Hey Bigots! Can I Have Some Bigot Cake as Well?

Remember Melissa and Aaron Klein?  They are the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, an Oregon bakery that shot to national infamy by refusing to bake a cake for the local Satanic cult’s 3rd Annual Fetus Cook-Off.  The cake was to celebrate the addition of Planned Parenthood as a Gold level sponsor of this year’s event, and….  Yeah, actually they refused to make a wedding cake for two women because Jesus said very plainly in that book the bigoted Christians really wish existed:

“And Thee Sayeth Onto Thou, Skip a bit, brother, and thee Woman folk I command thusly; Touch no man but thou husband; be pure and chaste in all, but slut in the bed of marriage; enjoy thee not sex, but suffer through it whenever your lawful husband, your master, wishes it; know that if your husband strays, it is your fault, oh woman, once tempted led to the fall of man; God created fellatio, as a way for woman to worship her superior, and you should provide your husband nightly; cunnilingus however, is the work of Satan, never ask it of your husband; and now woman, pay close attention, for this is the key to your salvation.  Thee are permitted, encouraged even, to lick, kiss, touch, feel, fondle, poke, rub, hug, and/or suck on any part of another woman ONLY for the entertainment and pleasure of your lawful husband.  For a woman marrying a woman robs two men of their rightful property.  So spoke Jesus the Christ.  Seriously.  That is what I said.  Jesus.  That’s me.  And that is what I said.  Honest. ” – The Book of “God We Wish We Had This,” chapter 5, verses 11 to 73.

See?  It’s right there in that made up quote from that imaginary book about the mythical sky daddy who tells these people to be bigots.  It’s not their fault!

So anyway, Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to bake the nice couple a wedding cake and possibly also told them they were abominations in the eyes of god*.  The nice couple sued, and since our judicial system doesn’t base their decisions on what they think a 2000 year old mythical figure would do, Sweet Cakes by Melissa lost and was ordered to pay close to 150k.

So everything worked out alright in the end, right?  The couple, who just wanted a wedding cake, got compensated for being discriminated against, which kinda makes up for their unwanted infamy among the Christian right wing lunatic fringe, the courts did court stuff lawfully, and the cake bakers who refused to bake cakes for people in relationships they did not approve of had to pay a hefty fine.  All’s right in the world!

Until you read this:

Sweet Cakes by Melissa was kicked off GoFundMe earlier this year, but has since raised more than $350,000 on the crowdfunding site Continue to Give. The growing total, which far exceeds the couple’s $150,000 goal, is the largest individual campaign in the history of the three-year-old site, the Washington Times reported. The couple previously netted more than $60,000 from Go Fund Me before that campaign was taken down.

What good are fines at stopping discrimination when there are a whole bunch of bigots out there all too willing to send their bigot bucks to whatever bigot needs bigot bucks at that particular moment?  It’s practically an encouragement to discriminate, a bigot safety net, there to catch bigots who face complaints and lawsuits in a big pile of bigot bucks.**

Which leads us to our next chapter in this story; what the Klein’s decided to do with the leftover cash.

This week, the owners of an Oregon bakery ordered to pay $135,000 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple sent out 10 specially made cakes to LGBT groups.

Sweet Cakes By Melissa sent the cakes, which say “We really do love you!” in white writing over a red heart. The packages also included a DVD copy of “Audacity,” an anti-gay film, according to The Advocate. The film’s website says it “delivers an unexpected, eye-opening look at the controversial topic of homosexuality.”

“Our purpose is to express our love for them as a Christian,” bakery owner Melissa Klein wrote in an email to the Oregonian. “We don’t hate them. We also included in the package the movie Audacity. I feel it is a well done movie that shows what being a Christian is about. My hope is that they will watch it and maybe just understand our heart.  We want to show them that it’s not about not serving them it’s about not being able to partake in an event.”

audacityPic credit: Equality California

Okay, three cheers to the Kleins for a textbook example of the second definition for “audacity”:

au·dac·i·ty
ôˈdasədē/
noun
noun: audacity
  1. 1.
    the willingness to take bold risks.
    “her audacity came in handy during our most recent emergency”
  2. 2.
    rude or disrespectful behavior; impudence.
    “she had the audacity to send GLBTQ organizations a cake with the hate flick Audacity.”

I mean, spot on use of language there.  Very impressive.  Second, you fucking sent them “Audacity”?  While claiming that you love them?  Holy mixed messages, Batman.  That’s like giving your kid a kitten then running the cute, cuddly ball of fur over on purpose,  then replacing said kitten with a puppy because puppy rape is what gets you going.  “Audacity” has an incredible amount of audacity (first definition) in even calling itself a film.  Half the damn movie is Ray Comfort clips from Youtube.  My feelings on “Audacity” can be summed up as follows; if Ray Comfort came up to me with a video camera and started asking idiotic questions about sexuality, I would fuck with him like no other.  But that’s not fair, I know who he is.  If a random stranger with a video camera came up to me and started asking me insane questions on sexuality in the same tone of voice and manner of speaking as Ray Comfort, I would say whatever I thought he wanted to hear to shut him up and get him away from me before he started to shoot or stab people.  If you torture yourself into watching “Audacity,” put everyone of his interviewees in that frame of mind.  If you want the full scoop on Ray Comfort’s masterpiece of Christian cinema, Eli, Noah, and Heath review this gem on The Scathing Atheisthere. (Review starts at the 23:45 part if you don’t like well written comedy. Not that you’ll like the review then either, but I still wanted to include the time stamp.)

So let’s see, we have spot on use of language, and inflicting a film that makes God’s Not Dead look both like  Oscar bait and a subtle, nuanced work of apologetic.  We’ll add that together, carry the one, divide by the square root, multiply by the ………

I got it!

Dear Melissa and Aaron.

Please take your bigot cakes, paid for with bigot bucks, and shove them as far up each of your bigot assholes as you each can reach, you passive aggressive, condescending, holier than thou, asshatted bigots.  While Jesus has surprisingly little to say about homosexuals, considering how much time and effort Christian bigots dedicate to all things gay, your god* could be the most homophobic deity in the pantheon and it still wouldn’t give you a legitimate excuse to not bake the cake.

When you bake a cake for a wedding, you are not giving your blessing and/or seal of approval on the match being made.  No one is asking that of you.  When they ask if anyone has any objection to the wedding, they don’t frantically look around to make sure the cake baker is in the room and giving consent.  It is the same as a county clerk, except even less vital; the clerk is also not approving or blessing the union, they are just verifying that the couple is eligible to get married according to the secular law, while you are just providing a decoration that will probably be shoved into at least one of the couple’s faces.

Melissa, you are a bigot.  Unfortunately, you happen to live during a time period in America where being a bigot pays.  You may have to move to a more bigoted location, or open up a mail order business, but it is beyond certain that while many talented and driven small cake shops will fail in the coming years, you will make a decent living either baking for bigots or speaking to bigots.  But do not let yourself be fooled.  Do not buy into the lie, that you are the one being oppressed, and that you are somehow fighting a fight for religious liberty.  You are not.  You are a homophobic bigot.

Why am I so comfortable in making that statement?  Well, partially this:

When one of the reporters called and asked if the business could make two identical cakes to help a friend celebrate the grant she received for cloning human stem cells, a Sweet Cakes employee simply laughed and said, “It’ll be $25.99 each, so about $50 to start.”

A request for a cake to congratulate a friend on her divorce was also happily accepted, with a Sweet Cakes worker saying, “We can definitely do something like that.”

Sweet Cakes was even happy to take orders for cakes for a pagan summer solstice fete — complete with a green pentagram decoration — and celebrating babies born out of wedlock.

But even more than that is the simple fact that all of you “traditional marriage” people are bigots.  No one is kidnapping the men off your block and forcing them into gay marriages.  You argue for biblical marriage, yet ignore the polygamy running rampant throughout the book.  Marriages were arranged for decent chunks of history, and while clans like the Duggars long for the days when women were passed like property from one man to the next, something tells me that even most Christians are not willingly going to accept arranged marriage.  While we’re keeping things traditional, are we bringing back the dowry as well?  I’ve recently been fascinated with medieval history, and the rare cases where a King or dowager Queen marry for love are often seen as scandalous.  (For one example, the dowager Queen Katherine and Owen Tudor. Or if we’re speaking of dowry, the marriage of Henry VI to “a Queen not worth ten marks”***, Margaret of Anjou.  Ah, traditional marriage.)  If you are that concerned about “traditional” marriage, why aren’t you freaking out about interracial weddings?  Cause you’re fifty years too late?  Cause that type of bigotry isn’t acceptable in polite, Christian circles anymore?  I guess it depends on what “polite, Christian circles” you run in, does it not?****

What about divorce?  You will bake divorce cakes, and something tells me you gladly bake cakes for people’s second (and third, and fourth, and….) weddings when Jesus, your whole fucking reason for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, was quite clear (for once) on divorce(my bolding):

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it. Matt 19

See, Jesus’ opinion isn’t “be fruitful and multiply,” it’s “keep it in your pants, but if you absolutely can’t stay celibate, which you definitely should, but if you can’t, I guess you can get married.”  And since he starts the chapter talking about how marriage was totes awesome according to god, who’s the enemy of traditional marriage in this story?  I’ll give you a hint.  It’s the same guy who’s on the other side of the glory hole.

Invariably, about this deep in any anti-marriage equality article, after the author has exhausted the weak arguments available to them, you find the anecdote about the author’s child (or friend’s child) finding out about gay marriage through tv/a magazine cover/ a newspaper cover/ an assigned book in school and that person having to explain something they are uncomfortable talking about to the child, and…..  Well, and then I’m not really sure.  I see this argument all the time I’m really not sure what they want.  The ability to hide reality from their child until that child is of legal age?  Here’s one recent example, from Right Wing Watch (although Wonkette covers it here as well.)

Ruse said that he started to worry when he realized that one of the chefs on Chopped “looked like a butch lesbian” and put his finger on the remote just in case he got exposed to gayness. “But this is the Food Network so we don’t have anything to worry about, right?” he said.

But it was too late. Despite his best efforts, Ruse and his daughter were forced to see a lesbian couple:

So I didn’t have my hand on the trigger fast enough when they did a hard cut to a backstory about this lesbian chef and don’t you know it she’s got her arm around her ‘wife,’ she refers to her ‘wife,’ and I was too slow in fast-forwarding. My eight-year-old Lucy, sweet Lucy, turned to me and said: ‘Did she say wife?’ And I said, ‘No, I think she meant girlfriend.’ And Lucy said, ‘I think she said life.’ God bless the innocence of this child. But they will not let us off the mat, the ideologies who want to cram this thing down our throats no matter where we go.

And it gets worse. Ruse laments that unwitting children may have had their vacations ruined by an edition of USA Today that featured a gay couple kissing:

The day after the decision of the Supreme Court was a full page photograph of two men kissing on USA Today. This is a paper that lands in front of hotel room doors all over the country, this is vacation time, families open that door, children may have opened this door to see two men kissing. They are making us explain things to our children that we don’t want to explain and they know what they’re doing, they absolutely know what they’re doing.

While Ruse complains about being persecuted by the Food Network, let’s remember that this is same anti-gay activist who condemned the United Nations for investigating “discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

I mean, I get the urge to protect your children.  If I had kids (and I do have nieces, a nephew, and a young cousin who’s pretty much a niece) I would want to protect them from Confederate battle flags, neo-nazis, Fox News, Westboro Baptist Church, Catholic priests, The 700 Club, guns, and poster sized pictures of aborted fetuses.  But these things all exist, and at age appropriate times, I think it is important to introduce children to the concepts.  I do not want the first time my daughter hears about a poster sized picture of an aborted fetus to be when she’s walking into a Planned Parenthood for her well-woman check and some protester is shoving it in her face.  “Traditional marriage” supporters will throw my own “age appropriate” comment right back in my face, but we aren’t talking about hardcore gay porn here.  We are speaking of the existence of a group of people who most certainly do exist.  Everyone knows a homosexual.  If you do not know a homosexual, it is more than likely because you are a bigot and the homosexuals you do know just aren’t telling you.  Chances are a few of the kids at your child’s school have gay parents.  A lesbian couple on Food Network is not an endorsement of that lifestyle.  A lip to lip kiss on the cover of a newspaper is not a religious statement.  They are just holding a mirror to society.  What evil lifestyle is the couple on Chopped displaying?  The one where you love someone and commit to them in marriage?  Those bastards.

Marriage equality is about love, consent, and equal rights under the law.  Freedom of religion means you do not have to get gay married.  Your church doesn’t have to perform gay weddings.  You and your pastor/priest can bitch about how gay marriage is going to lead to the end of the world all day long, and twice on Sunday.  You are even free, as sick as it is, to raise your kids believing that homosexuality is a sin and that gay marriage is wrong.  (Hopefully you’re not one of those bigots who will throw their child out of the house if they come out as gay.)

What you don’t get is the ability to force that belief on others.  No anti-gay prayers in school (or any prayers for that matter….and note, I am referring to official prayers, not non-disruptive silent prayers by individual students.)  If you hold elective office (or appointed office) you don’t get to refuse to do your job because Jesus.  You took an oath to obey and support the laws of our nation, not those of your book or church.  If you can’t do your job, then quit.  Save us all the trouble of firing you.  Especially when you are more than likely a “fiscal conservative” as well, and it is tax dollars you are wasting grandstanding for martyr points.  If you are a business, then you serve everyone or no one.  Simple, is it not?  Think that isn’t fair?  Well, how would you feel if I had a business and I refused to serve Christians?  Could you imagine what Bill O’Reilly would say about me?  He’d probably have David Silverman on as a guest, show the one picture of me posing with Silverman, and spend the whole segment yelling over David about how much of a treasonous bigoted scum sucking commie I was. But that whole thought experiment is meaningless to you, is it not?  Because you can not place yourself in another person’s skin.

Enjoy your bigot bucks.  Enjoy sending out your condescending cake with the bigger waste of a disc than “Free AOL” software.  Because on this front of the culture war, you lost.  You can pretend that you will out breed the progressives all you want, but most of your children will end up rejecting your bigotry.  The “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” kerfluffle will be a dark family secret, with their great grand children shockingly discovering those bigot were their ancestors, wondering what went wrong, eventually chalking it up to a different time, just as those of us did with ancestors who protested against things like interracial marriage, women’s suffrage, or ending slavery.

Now, get back to shoving that cake so deep in there that you see it in your santorum for the next year.

*While I never really thought of it before, after listening to this week’s diatribe on The Scathing Atheist, I am making a conscious effort to not capitalize “god,” except when it appears at the start of a sentence.  This is a habit I have had for ages, so please don’t mind the inconsistency as I retrain my fingers.

**Dude, I can not be the only atheist who’s retirement plan looks like this:

  • Fake conversion
  • Plead poverty/persecution due to my new found faith
  • Rake in the bigot bucks
  • Write book on my experiences in the Christian fringe movement.

Fucking ethics and morals.  I wonder how “psychics” and alt-med practitioners get rid of those pesky things.

***From the title of chapter 7 in The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir.  Also from this book comes my personal favorite nickname for the future Queen of England, “la petite creature.” (pg 107)

****Bigotry against an “outgroup” is fascinating.  While I was growing up and during my teen years, bigotry against homosexuals was seen as the standard in my area.  It was the default assumption.  Unless you spoke up, everyone assumed you hated the “fags.”  Those who were different at all for any reason were labeled “fags.”  (Before Nirvana went mainstream, I think I was called “leather fag” more often than my actual name for a while.)  There was also a really strong undercurrent of racism, just not as automatically assumed as the homophobia.  Perhaps because while my school had (I believe, I am not getting out my yearbook) one African-American (in 1994!!!)  and two Indian-Americans in my graduating class, we were just outside of Altoona (and all hung out with people from each school) which had a much more diverse racial make up.

Now, with outright racism largely frowned upon by society and the acceptance of GLBTQ community members as actual normal people, we’re witnessing a strange outbreak of bigotry across multiple fronts as, I don’t know, bigots look for an acceptable place to release it?  From the resurgence of anti-black racism (see the comment thread on any story dealing with Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown) to the last gasps of those who desperately wish they could choke on a nice hard cock (see Brian Fischer, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, et al.) to the shockingly counterproductive anti-Mexican immigrant hate coming from the GOP’s field of presidential candidates (see. well…all of them?) to the confusing issue of actual post 9/11 anti-Middle Easterner racism being lumped together and equated with legitimate criticism of the tenants of the Islamic religion, it seems society is determined to prove those who claimed we had moved beyond race, beyond bigotry as wrong as possible.  What’s the next group?  It can’t be women, although the GOP has made a go of it over the past couple of years, but women simply have too much voting power.  My guess, and we’ve definitely seen it in action before, I just think it will get much more mainstream: bigotry against the poor.  A group with almost no political power, with no money to buy politicians, that is so easily demonized (they buy steak with food stamps!  They get free phones!  Welfare mommas!  Your hard earned tax dollars, Rabble Rabble Rabble!!!)  It’s coming hard, from your local GOP candidate.  Bet on it.

***** Just a note here.  The piece on Jindal is over half done at the moment.  It hasn’t been the best week as it goes with my family and health, so I’ve been a bit behind.  I’m also just about to become unemployed,  hopefully for a very short period of time, which has been cutting into my time.  I will work on getting it up on Monday.  Thanks all for reading this!

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Stop Gloating.

Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately:  I understand.

Believe me, oh how I understand.

First there were the years of seeing him, his innumerable younger siblings, and his parents on their hit television show, produced and aired on a channel that once was known for educational programing*. Train wreck watchers who tuned in for the creepily trashy Toddlers & Tiaras or its sad, exploitative, insulting-to-both-the-audience-and-the-subject spinoff Here Comes Honey Boo Boo could stay tuned and wash off some of the filth with the equally creepy but wholesomely presented Duggar family.  Yet as horrifying as the Quiverfull movement is to people not still living in the 1500’s, as outdated as the unquestioned patriarchal family structure seemed in the 21st century, as abusive as forcing your older children to play parent to their younger siblings may be, and as illegal as pretending that Michelle Duggar was providing all her children with a adequate education definitely was, they were still just a minor blip on the pop culture radar screen**.  Sometimes people would notice the family and ask an embarrassing question, such as “are the girls all0wed to go to college?”,  and the family would have to make some sacrifice such as allowing their older daughters to take classes online from a Christian university, but on the whole they were just a minor little freak show that most people viewed as wholesome and harmless.

And I really believe that most people thought it would stay at this level.  If it would have, perhaps we wouldn’t be where we are today.  We’ll never know where that untraveled path would lead, because for some reason the Duggar family wanted more of something other than children.  Was it fame?  Power?  Money?  Whatever it was, the Duggars were suddenly everywhere, with their faces confronting grocery shoppers all across the nation seemingly every week as arranged marriages of their daughters were hyped as media events similar to the stylings of one Kim K… I forget her last name.  Maybe you know who I’m talking about.

And while their daughters arranged marriages were used as publicity for their show, publicity that worked I will point out, with Jessa’s wedding drawing their largest amount of viewers ever, they also pulled a Duck Dynasty, attempting to roll their celebrity/fame/infamy into a politically influential position with the conservative base of the Republican party.  (Of course, knowing that Quiverfull families are birthing out endless babies to be warriors for Jesus against the forces of secularism, also known as the “out-breed the atheists” strategy for winning the culture wars, it really isn’t a surprise that they would turn to politics eventually.)  First we had Michelle Duggar recording a horrifically trans-phobic robocall in opposition to an anti-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas that painted trans women as an evil on par with Catholic priests, fighting for the right to use the proper public restrooms and locker rooms only so they could spring out of the toilets and molest little girls.  Next, Jessa Duggar apparently looked at the controversy and publicity her mother was enjoying and decided that she too could say something horribly offensive and took to social media to compare the aborting of a potential life in a procedure that is almost always performed well before the point of viability to a collection of cells that not only lack thoughts and feelings, but also the ability to feel pain, to the systematic attempted extermination of an entire religion mistaken as race of people through methods that caused practically infinite suffering.  Yes, she compared abortion to the Holocaust.

And then there was Josh. (Information in this paragraph taken from Josh Duggar’s Wikipedia page.)  Perhaps inspired by his fathers two terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives, Josh quickly took to politics, first serving as a consultant, then working on Mike “The Huckster” Huckabee’s primary campaign in 2008, and then with Rick “My Sheets are Stained with” Santorum in 2012.  This experience earned him the role of the Executive Director of FRC Action in June of 2013, a high profile role with the Family Research Council, a job he used to rub elbows with buckets full of high profile Republicans, including a large percentage of those involved in the 2016 Goat Rodeo.
Yes, from eldest of 19 children, to used car salesman, to cock-gobbling*** with Rick Santorum, to full on roman orgies*** with the whole field of Republican presidential candidates, Josh Duggar seemed to most like a man with a rich future in the conservative movement and possibly national politics before him.  After all, he appealed to the base, and he had name recognition and minor celebrity.  Who better for the GOP to mold into a future candidate?  (Assuming they continue being, in the words of Gov. Bobby “Jesus, compare his speeches from 2012 to his current ones.  Is it even the same person?” Jindal, “the stupid party.”)

Oh, how low one can fall so quickly.

And when someone falls, especially someone as smug, smarmy, bigoted, hate-filled, and obnoxious as Josh Duggar, the first impulse is to point and laugh.  And mock.  And gloat.  And rub his whole families little noses in it.

But this is much too serious for that.

Josh Duggar is an admitted serial child abuser.  He sexually assaulted 5 female children, including some of his younger siblings.  For some reason, the State Trooper who dealt with the case let him off with a warning and the understanding that Josh would receive counseling.  Rather than counseling, his family shipped him off with a family friend for a month or three, then lied to the police about it.  The victims who were members of the Duggar clan almost certainly never got any form of counseling.  In fact, if you read the vomit inducing section on sexual abuse in the home schooling books they use, they probably blamed the victims for dressing like little sluts.

Josh was a teenager molester who should have received a ton of counseling, at the minimum.  His victims deserved to receive all the help they could be provided in order to deal with the abuse.  Instead, the Duggar’s worldview allowed them to brush this serious incident off, treat it like a joke by sending Josh off with a family friend while claiming he was at a counseling center, and sweep it under the rug until the whole shit show exploded in their faces.

This is not the time to gloat.  This is the time to feel bad for the victims of Josh’s abuse, and for that matter, for Josh himself, who never received the treatment a confused teenager who performed his horrific actions obviously needed.  It is the time to speak up about Quiverfull and the whole patriarch uber alles culture that provides so much cover for rape culture and sexual abuse of children.  And it is time to make sure Discovery Networks does more than just pull 19 Kids…. off the air until the media frenzy dies down.  TLC needs to cancel this train wreck immediately.

When a picture of Rick Santorum fisting Bobby Jindal while Mike Huckabee alternates gobbling each of their cocks shows up…..  Then we gloat.  Got it?

*Yeah, the letters in TLC stand for “The Learning Channel.  I may be mistaken, but I believe TLC was the first of the edutainment channel dominoes to fall for the sake of the almighty ratings point, a trend that resulted in travesties such as Finding Bigfoot, Ancient Aliens, Mermaids, and Chasing UFO’s, amongst other “evidence based” programing.

** I started to do a little research into how many people actually watch this trash, but quickly suffered an attack of ADHD.  In September 2014, the season premiere drew an audience of 3.29 million, but this was in the midst of a complete media saturation of everything Duggar as the girls get close to their weddings.  The summer finale that preceded this episode that aired in June 2014 only drew 3.18 million eyeballs, assuming everyone watching had both eyes and were using them both to watch the show.  Stupid humor aside, it drew 1.59 million viewers, or less than half the September premiere.  (Numbers taken from this Variety article.)  Going from the Wikipedia page, it seems that until the media push really started in earnest around season 8 in the spring of 2014, the show could claim anywhere between one million and one and a half million viewers, with some episodes bottoming out around .86 of a million, and the odd episode approaching 1.6 million.  As the wedding craze started, more eyes tuned in, with the show’s ratings ping ponging around with anywhere from 1.5 million viewers to 3 million, peaking at 3.53 million for Jessa’s wedding.  So people watch, and it is a huge deal for TLC, but it isn’t exactly a cultural juggernaut.

*** All cock-gobbling and roman orgies are assumed, based on well-known hypothesis’ as to the cause of extreme homophobia.  Excepting some very disturbing alt political slash fiction pages, there is no known accounts of any cock-gobbling occurring between Santorum and Duggar.

Thanks for the Great Idea, Hasselbeck!

Taking my cue from Elisabeth Hasselbeck (although to be fair, she does seem to share this ability with just about every other Fox “News” personality) and her seemingly amazing ability to turn practically any topic into a discussion about the manufactured scandal Benghazi, I have decided to join the extremely loud scandal mongers by changing the focus of Foster Disbelief itself.  Before we get to that though, let us first watch the master in action, as she attempts to capitalize on the NFL’s unsurprising domestic violence debacle and turn the focus where it belongs, back on that place she insists we should be outraged over (outraged!!!), Benghazi:

“Fox & Friends” host Elisabeth Hasselbeck took to Twitter on Tuesday to compare the controversy over the NFL’s handling of domestic abuse cases and the White House’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, terror attack on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

“Imagine if everyone that asked for transparency in the #nfl @nfl Demanded that same #transparency in our #government #Benghazi,” Hasselbeck wrote on Twitter.

….

Fox News has been criticized for what some call an obsession with placing the blame for Benghazi on the Obama administration. According to a study conducted by liberal watchdog group Media Matters, Fox News’ primetime lineup ran 1,098 segments on Benghazi in the first 20 months following the attacks, including 281 segments alleging a “coverup” by the Obama administration.

Fox “News”?  Obsessed with pinning blame for something on Obama?  Perish the thought!  Inconceivable, even.  We all know that Fox “News” is just another arm of the liberal media, after all.  (By the way, that is an actual statement I heard while listening in to an argument at a local Tea Party event.  Yes, I know that it is not a common belief, even for the true lunatic fringe, but I still get a kick out of knowing someone out there actually believes that it is true.  Someone who votes.)  That being said, one can kind of understand why members of Fox & Friends would want to draw attention elsewhere, after the masterful way their male hosts handled the issue the day TMZ released The Video:

 Hasselbeck is not the only “Fox & Friends” host to stir controversy while weighing in on the NFL’s domestic abuse problem.

Last week, her co-hosts, Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy, joked about a lesson to be learned from the video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancee unconscious in an elevator.

“I think the message is, take the stairs,” Kilmeade said during a discussion of the video.

“The message is, when you’re in an elevator, there are cameras,” co-host Steve Doocy added.

I have to admit that if I was unlucky enough to find myself on camera with them while they made those comments, I may have yelled “Benghazi!!!” as well.  Anything so those words wouldn’t stick in people’s memory.  Of course, this being Fox & Friends, those comments, no matter how offensive most of us may find them, more than likely drew laughs, guffaws, chuckles, high fives, and cries of “right on, ain’t no camera in the stairs.”

Now that I have seen the light, thanks to Elisabeth Hasselbeck, you may be noticing some changes around here.  While the URL will remain the same for convenience, the name of the blog will be changing to Foster Benghazi.  Rather than spending time writing about religious fundamentalists, science denial, and meaningless issues such as a woman’s right to control of her own body, marriage equality, and an end to racism, sexism, misogyny, rape culture, homophobia, and forced observance of other people’s religious beliefs, I will now be dedicating the space to nothing but stories about Benghazi.  Do not think that means you won’t find variety, however, here at Foster Benghazi.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  You’ll see stories trying to convince you that Benghazi is a scandal, that it is a scandal worth paying attention to, that the blame for the scandal is completely Obama’s, that the Obama administration conspired with rock creatures from the center of the Earth, and the known terrorist sympathizer race of Rodent Hominids from the Moon to hide the truth about Benghazi from the American public, that Obama himself ordered the killing of the four Americans at Benghazi, that Hillary Clinton pulled the trigger that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens at Benghazi, and that Fox “News” and the conservative media have desperately tried to create a scandal out of Benghazi so that the GOP can reap political good fortune and turn four dead American citizens into votes on election day, thereby allowing them to sweep into power, stock the Supreme Court with Constitution raping judges, outlaw abortion and birth control, and pass huge tax cuts for the richest Americans, creating enough kick backs that every member of the GOP establishment (not the voters though.  They get fleeced with the rest of them) can retire and move to a tropical island nation where brown skinned natives wear white gloves and full suits while serving them on the sun soaked beaches.  Whoa, got a little out of control there.  Did I mention Benghazi?

For a taste of whats to come, here it the first new story at Foster Benghazi by your blogger, Foster Benghazi.

6.7 million viewers tuned in for the 2015 Miss America competition Sunday night.  Imagine the results if 6.7 million Americans demanded that the Obama administration explain why they killed Americans in Benghazi?(Get the idea yet?)  The LA Times reports that there were 303,900 tweets about the pageant.  Imagine the response if 303,900 tweets were posted demanding that Vice President Biden explain exactly why he personally beheaded 2 of the 4 Americans sacrificed to Allah during the false flag operation at Benghazi.  (Okay, I am getting the hang of this.)  For that matter, what is The LA Times doing reporting about something as insignificant as the Miss America competition when they could be devoting 110% of their resources to getting to the bottom of the real reason Hillary Clinton ordered the assassination of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, a move that ended the lives of three other Americans at Benghazi, and finally reveal that it was indeed “that time of the month” for Hillary, proving once again that a woman in the White House would result in nuclear war every 30 days.  And Benghazi!  (Almost forgot it that time.)

In less depressing news, while 6.7 million Americans did tune into the Miss America competition, a competition rumored to have been organized by the Obama administration as an attempt to distract the American public from Obama’s criminal actions in Benghazi, 16.5 million viewers tuned in to watch Sunday Night Football.  While those 16.5 million should have been writing angry blog posts about the murderer in the White House and his plans to declare himself “Allah’s Chosen Ruler and Official Hitler for Life” the month before the 2016 election, a plan exposed to the public only after a careful examination of the Benghazi incident, there is a possible silver lining to those numbers.  An anonymous source, who I quite possibly just made up in my head while typing this sentence, has informed me that 16 million Americans, outraged over the Stalin like actions of Hillary Clinton in Benghazi where she helped the Obama administration slaughter a rumored 3 million American citizens, with 4 confirmed deaths, only decided to watch Sunday Night Football because they figured their best chance of seeing a woman, standing in for Hillary in their minds, get punched in the face was by watching the NFL.  Rather than watching football on the off chance a domestic battery breaks out, those 16 million should march on Washington and demand their God given right to punch Hillary in the face for her treasonous actions in (say it with me now) Benghazi.

I hope you enjoyed that taste of the new Foster Benghazi.  I will return tomorrow with more hard hitting coverage of the biggest scandal our galaxy has ever experienced, the story some people are saying “makes Watergate look like lying about a blow job, the story sure to bring down not only the Obama administration, but the entire communist-Nazi-Muslim soaked Demon-cratic Party, Benghazi.  Until then, this is Foster Benghazi signing off.

 

To turn off the satire for a second here, the worst thing (or one of the worst things) about this obsession over Benghazi on the right is the cover it provides Obama on real issues that actually should be scandalous.  As surprising as it may sound to you, especially since I covered both the 2008 and the 2012 elections while endorsing and promoting Obama, and volunteering for both campaigns, I have one thing in common with many members of the GOP’s congressional membership;  I want Obama to be impeached.

After that though, the differences are legion.  While the Republicans want him impeached just so they can say they impeached him, and if they had the votes would push through an impeachment for something akin to lying about oral sex and debating the meaning of the word “is,” I want him impeached for the way he and his administration have routinely wiped their ass with the Constitution when it comes to secrecy, executive power, and the ability to detain indefinitely if not just outright execute American citizens.  Mr. President, you lied to me and the rest of the American people when you said you would be different than Mr. Bush on these issues.  You fooled me the first time, I am ashamed to admit.  The second time you got my vote because the thought of the current GOP in power scares me into a panic attack.  You got my votes because the system is broken.  Obama is a center right politician who leans into wingnut territory when it comes to executive power and a few other issues, who can take practically any stance on any issue he feels like taking, and make any campaign promise that benefits him without any need to honor said promise, because the other party, in our brilliant 2 party system, has legitimate national candidates suggesting things such as letting the uninsured die outside the emergency room if they don’t have the money to pay, poking bears, poking Iran, poking both bears and Iran, starting more wars by fiat, banning contraception, declaring the USA a Christian Nation, and increasing the rate of capital punishment just as we start to learn how easy it is for an innocent man to end up on death row.  Obama could sacrifice a baby on national tv during a special telecast that he forces HBO to air during the season 5 premier of Game of Thrones and I would shrug and say, “Well, he’s still better than Santorum.”  How broken is the system?  That last sentence is my response to that question.

Of course, no one will ever hold Obama accountable for using the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as his own personal cum towel.  The GOP would love to impeach him, but they can’t go after him for actual legitimate impeachable offenses, because then they would have to admit George W. Bush committed the same crimes against the people as Obama.  The Democrats have no reason to impeach him because they are creatures of the system like our President. As much as the Constitution is rallied around these days, it is such a depressing minority that have a problem with the executive branch deciding that whole “checks and balances” thing the founders came up with is a bit too outdated for the War on Terrorism age.  And you Obama apologists out there may tsk at me, and say things like “Now Foster, Obama realizes the amount of power he has been given to deal with terrorism, but he has pledged, pledged!, not to use that power unjustly.”  And even if I believed a thing he said after two campaigns worth of ignored promises (and I am not talking about promises he made that the GOP has blocked him on either, just promises that he has broken himself), even if I trusted him with, say, the power to indefinitely detain American citizens, I sure as hell wouldn’t trust a President Santorum, President Romney, President Ryan, President McCain, President Christie, President Perry, President Jindal, or hell, a President H.R. Clinton to honor that promise either.

*sigh*

Have ya heard about Benghazi?

(Edited to deal with a Wall of Text)

The SCOTUS Has Become Theater of the Absurd

It is the decision I expected.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that Hobby Lobby can ignore federal law and deny its employees comprehensive health insurance because of its “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Analysis of the case has so far called this a limited ruling because it only applies to closely held corporations and “only” impacts contraceptive coverage. But this framing completely ignores the fact that more than 90 percent of corporations in the United States are closely held, and that the court just effectively ruled that it’s fine for employers to discriminate against half of the labor force. There’s nothing limited about it. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in her powerful dissent, far from being narrow in its ruling, the high court just “ventured into a minefield.”

Of course, that doesn’t make it any less infuriating.

To sum it up, five male justices ruled that thousands of female employees should rightfully be subjected to the whims of their employers. That women can be denied a benefit that they already pay for and is guaranteed by federal law. That contraception is not essential healthcare. That corporations can pray. That the corporate veil can be manipulated to suit the needs of the corporation. That bosses can cynically choose à la carte what laws they want to comply with and which laws they do not. Each specific finding opens a door to a new form of discrimination and unprecedented corporate power. If you think this ruling won’t affect you, you haven’t been paying attention. If you think these corporations are going to stop at birth control, you’re kidding yourself.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may she live 1000 years.

Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. … The distinction between a community made up of believers in the same religion and one embracing persons of diverse beliefs, clear as it is, constantly escapes the Court’s attention. One can only wonder why the Court shuts this key difference from sight.

….

Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution’s] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.

….

In the Court’s view, RFRA (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ) demands accommodation of a for-profit corporation’s religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on third parties who do not share the corporation owners’ religious faith—in these cases, thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga or dependents of persons those corporations employ. Persuaded that Congress enacted RFRA to serve a far less radical purpose, and mindful of the havoc the Court’s judgment can introduce, I dissent.

The SCOTUS was not quite finished for the day.  Hail the conservative 5!

Although Harris v. Quinn stood in the shadows of the Hobby Lobby case this session, both decisions dealt with women’s rights, since the home healthcare workers affected by it are disproportionately low-paid women. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case Monday made life harder for unions representing some of the lowest-paid workers in one of the fastest-unionizing sectors, but left most of public sector collective bargaining law intact.

The oh-so-cleverly named National Right to Work Committee widened this case to challenge “Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which held that public employees who don’t want to join a union must still pay representation fees, as long as the fees don’t pay for political activity.”

The Court stopped short of overturning Abood, but laid the groundwork for eventually reexamining the issue.  Par for the course, for the Roberts Court.

Some court observers see the conservative majority moving toward Abood, but slowly. “The court’s opinion in Harris is very much in the mold of opinions by the conservative Roberts Court majority: Issue a relatively narrow ruling on the conservative side, but lay the groundwork for a broader conservative ruling in the future,” Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, told Mother Jones. ”In Harris, the court sets itself down the path of overruling Abood but does not take that step yet.”

All quoted, linked articles are from Salon.

The Republican War on Blow Jobs

First they were trying to end legal abortion.  Then they decided that contraception, far from being a basic health care right, is actually “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”  And now, continuing their quest to shrink government until it does nothing but monitor your bedroom and legislate your vagina, they are coming for your fellatio, your cunnilingus, and of course, all of your anal play.

Yes, Virginia may indeed be for lovers, but if Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli gets his way, it will be for only vanilla penis in vagina type lovers.  From Mother Jones:

Virginia gubernatorial candidate and state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli launched a website promoting his effort to enforce the state’s law banning oral and anal sex.

What law would that be?  Well it would be Virginia’s Anti-sodomy law, of course.  Now I know what a lot of you are probably thinking, so let me take a moment to address that.  Ahem….

Continue reading

Yeah, What Digby Said….

Hat tip to Mock, Paper, Scissors for pointing out this post and providing the title for my post.

To the anti-abortion zealots and their defenders who are claiming that the mean old progressive bullies are twisting the meaning of your words, well Digby has an answer for you:

I’m not a religious person so I can’t speak to the theology here, but as a logical person I can only hold my head in my hands and moan. God doesn’t make mistakes but he didn’t intend for a rape to happen. It’s God’s will but sometimes bad things happen. All of this is supposed to be true simultaneously.

I’m sorry, if it’s God’s will and he doesn’t make mistakes then he must have intended the rape as well as the pregnancy. You can’t have it both ways and say he is omnipotent and all powerful and let him off the hook on that half that equation while you insist that the pregnancy is inviolable because God intended it.

This doesn’t matter to me because I am not a believer and I don’t care what “God’s will” is supposed to be. But for anyone who does believe, that logical inconsistency should require some deeper consideration before blurting it out in public and expecting people to accept it as an argument.

These people see women as an abstraction and blastocysts and fetuses as real, which makes it quite clear that they do devalue women and seek to control them. Their motivation for that is irrelevant to me. The fact that Mourdock doesn’t think about the living, breathing human being (aka gestation vessel) who is being told she must give birth to her rapist father’s child means that he is a complete and utter failure as a person and is totally unqualified to represent the 50% of the population he so blithely dismisses.

 

Tea Party Rally! Meh, Moving On…

I attended a Tea Party rally on income tax day this year, mainly because I hadn’t been to one yet and wanted to see if they were still hiding their radical social policies behind endless claims that they are all about the economy.  I was planning on writing a piece on my experience there, but honestly, the rally was exactly what you’d expect one to be in a deep red county in central Pennsyltucky.  I can sum it all up quickly:

Government is evil, unless it is being used to control women, deny homosexuals their rights, and keep Hispanic’s out of the United States, in which case government is God’s hand in action.  Public safety nets and government “hand-outs” should be cut immediately because they allow the poor to live in luxury on the dime of decent, hard-working Americans who have never asked for nor taken anything from the government.  (Which I’m sure would surprise the hell out of the government, since I’d bet about 70% of the attendees were drawing Social Security checks and benefiting from Medicare.  Damn Socialists.)  Obama is a socialist.  Obama is a fascist.  Obama is probably not the right kind of Christian, if he’s even a Christian.  Santorum is too economically liberal, Romney is too socially liberal, but vote for them anyway while we elect True Conservatives to remake this country as the founders intended!

The people I talked to were overwhelmingly Christian, and almost to a man felt that Obama was waging a war on religious freedom.  I heard Sandra Fluke called things that Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t have dared even think, let alone say out loud.  The speakers stuck to the economy, but conversations amongst the attendees focused on social issues.  Gun rights (Obama is coming for the guns, apparently), personhood amendments, banning abortion, putting homosexuals back in the closet, how forced ultrasound bills don’t go far enough, and how Christians are persecuted in the United States.  I heard some Sharia law talk, normally accompanied by comments about the “muslim-in-chief.”  I’d make a comment about the racism of many attendees, but it would be a cheap shot, because in this area it’s hard to tell if it is a Tea Party thing or just a central PA thing.

Cognitive dissonance is strong in the United States.  (Or at least in central PA.)  I hope the independent voters understand how far right the GOP has drifted over the years.  This isn’t a political disagreement anymore; this is batshit insanity.