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Trains, Not Brains – Part Deux

Trains, Not Brains – Part Deux

Hello, everyone.

A few days ago, I posted the first “Trains, Not Brains” diary in my Yahoo group, in which I discussed the study headed by Dr. Gordon Hodson, which found a correlation between a person’s intelligence and his involvement in religious right movements and causes. Since that posting, I have been reading on the Net, as I always do, and I found more evidence to support Dr. Hodson’s findings. Or, in the words of radio station WHB in Kansas City during the 60s: The hits just keep on coming!

One of the sites I visited discussed a film titled “Christmas With a Capital C.” It is a totally obnoxious film about a lawyer from a small town in Alaska who returns home to enforce the celebration of Christmas, rather than Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, in his home town. He plans to do this by running for mayor and winning the election. I watched the trailer, and I could not grasp the fact that there were people who would gobble this crap up. But then I remembered Dr. Hodson and his research, and I realized that they could and would.

I don’t remember where I saw the trailer – I don’t think that it was YouTube – but they had a comments section. Here are a couple of reactions to the movie.

– – – – – – – – – –

Positive

18 September, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Well I suppose that Christians cannot accomplish their goal of converting the world without being just a little obnoxious about enforcing their customs. But I like that there is such a thing as a “Christian comic.” That is news to me; it conjures up images of Ned Flanders attempting standup. And I like that it is set in Alaska, the new Mecca of “small town” rednecks. But my favorite part is the woman who says that “rights don’t matter” because all that matters is Jesus; sounds like a Republican plank. [COMMENT: It also sounds a lot like what Sarah Palin would say. Incidentally, “Palin” is nothing more than “pain” with an L in the middle.]

But this perception of atheists as a threat to American culture and values is ironically reminiscent of the way that early Christians were perceived by the Romans. Even this issue of usurping each others holidays is sort of similar, as Les mentioned. But I do not mind Christian decorations in public places, so long as other faiths and ideas are allowed. Perhaps we can hang up those fancy scarlet “A” symbols in public places.

The shoving was a bit much; seems almost like a veiled message to incite Christians to attack atheists. And, echoing Les, there is a special bit of bigotry in saying that a private store cannot hang up “Seasons Greetings” signs acknowledging that Hanukah and Kwanzaa are also taking place. There is no atheist “War on Christmas” but there clearly is a conservative Christian “War on Tolerance/Inclusion.” Not quite as catchy I suppose.

. . .

legacyABQ

19 September, 2010 at 12:50 PM

(BTW LOL @ JethricOne, funny!)

Great write-up Les, per usual

As an atheist, I have NO PROBLEM with nativity scenes at churches etc. I don’t even mind them on city hall property, though that’s the borderline. At that point, it HAS to be either all or nothing. Allowing religious scenes of one group and denying a seasonal display of atheists is clearly wrong legally.

FAR more christians make a big deal out of an atheist BUS AD then any atheists ever make about an openly religious display on PUBLIC property.

Oh well. So much for christian brotherhood and goodwill.

– – – – – – – – – –

Right after the first quoted comment, there was a comment by a Christian. It went something like this: “There is a war on Christmas – er, uh, let’s start over. Christmas is the only holiday that should be observed – er, uh, no, that’s not it. Jesus is the reason for the season – er, uh, that won’t work either.” And so on.

What a GLORIOUS piece of evidence to support Dr. Hodson’s findings!! Next to Jesus himself, that is.

Want another? I didn’t think so, but here it is anyway.

On 1/31/12, the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, which issues grants for treatment for breast cancer, withdrew a grant from Planned Parenthood on the grounds that PP is being “investigated.” That “investigation” is being conducted by a lone crackpot Republican representative. (Is there really any other kind?) But come to find out, that policy came into being when Komen hired some former Bush administration people to undertake some chores. What is not widely known is the fact that Komen is not enforcing their “guidelines” consistently. Penn State University is also conducting research on breast cancer, and it is also under investigation due to the sexual misconduct that was going on in its athletic department. But Penn State got to keep its grant. It is not hard to understand why.

Penn State doesn’t traffic in abortions. Planned Parenthood does include abortion in its health services to low-income women. And everyone knows how the Christers and their Republican cronies feel about abortion.

This whole pile of shit is so very much like Jesus. Remember the Canaanite / Syrophoenician woman of Matthew 15 who had a sick child whom Jesus healed extremely reluctantly? Christers bray like drunken jackasses about “the sanctity of life.” Aren’t the lives of those poor women doing their best to fight breast cancer just as sacred as the “lives” in the wombs in this country? Evangelical Christians say no, they aren’t. Christers will belch that I am wrong. But if I am wrong, then please explain to me why Komen tried to cancel Planned Parenthood’s grant, but not Penn State’s.

On the subject of sanctity of life, just exactly whose life is sacred? We all know that the Christers consider life sacred while it is in the womb. But what about OUTSIDE the womb? Do Christers support the programs that enable the poor to remain alive? Are they speaking out against this country’s tendency to go looking for wars that it can immerse itself into? Do they speak out against and protest capital punishment? If you say yes, then you’ve got to be kidding. I was in college 50 years ago when the Civil Rights protests were getting hot and in graduate school 45 years ago when the anti-war protests were getting heavy. You know who were taking to the streets and raising their voices in protests? Mainline pastors and laity. It was the Mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics who joined Martin Luther King in his marches in the Bible Belt. It was the Mainline pastors and laity who joined with the Berigan Brothers in protesting the Vietnam War – a war that, incidentally, did not cut the muster in terms of the Constitution. Where were the Evangelicals? Sitting on their dead asses, whinnying their praise to their “Jesus.” I did not hear even one word of support for King in the Nazarene Church I attended while in college. I DID hear the voicing of some concern about our involvement in Vietnam in the church I attended while in graduate school. But then, the Nazarene Church in Kirksville was not your typical Nazarene Church – not by any stretch of the imagination!

Before I forget it, can’t you Christer dummies discuss ANY topic other than abortion? Somehow, I have my doubts that you can.

This morning, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang “Morning Has Broken.” I had some renditions of the song on my laptop, but none on my desktop, so I went into YouTube and got some. A couple of them were, of course, by Cat Stevens. Here are a couple of YouTube comments about Cat’s rendition:

“”But of all the countries I have been to, the poorest one I have been to is America.” Somewhat shocked, the reporter informed Mother Teresa that America was one of the richest countries and questioned how it could be the poorest. “Because”, she replied, “America suffers most from the poverty of loneliness.”” — ganthony1 1 month ago 16 

enjoy beautiful music and stop talkin about religion politics and all that endless subjects… we live in a fucked up wild world as he said. We’ve been controlled by politics, religion and all that shit. so just think about better things and let’s love each other.” — nocaptivity 2 weeks ago 6 

 I couldn’t come close to topping the wisdom that these comments contain, so I won’t even try.

 Now from the sublime to the preposterous. One commenter said that s/he liked Cat Stevens ”while he was human before he walked away from the cross.” “Walked away from the cross?!?!” Oh, puh-leeezz!!

 And another thing: Since when do people who “walk away from the cross” and who walk away from “Jesus” stop being human when they do so? And what exactly do these former humans turn into? Gorillas? Kangaroos? Penguins? Thompson’s gazelles? Horses? I would be willing to bet my next year’s pension that the person who made that asinine statement was home schooled, since he / she couldn’t possibly learn such nonsense in a biology class in a public high school.

 Now for this little gem from Crooks & Liars:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday suggested that Susan G. Komen for the Cure shouldn’t provide grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings because abortions cause breast cancer, a false claim that has been repeatedly debunked.”

Everybody with a functioning brain knows what a moron Rick Santorum is. He is the one who made man-on-dog sex a household word almost 10 years ago. No further comment is needed.

We will wrap up this diary with a little serious food for thought. This is also from C&L and their discussion of today’s Fareed Zakaria program.

 “That’s all too much fact and critical thinking for your average Republican voter. They don’t want to contemplate the reality that all those “We’re #1!!” chants mask a country where we’re actually ranked 37th in medical outcomes, 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics, and 28th in life expectancy. They cheer on someone whose personal income lands him in the top one-tenth of one percent, ignoring that almost half of Americans are at or near the poverty level.”

 Here are the pertinent URLs:

 Medical outcomes — http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0910064

 Reading skills — http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/us-falls-in-world-education-rankings_n_793185.html

 Science – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/us-falls-in-world-education-rankings_n_793185.html

 Mathematics — http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/us-falls-in-world-education-rankings_n_793185.html

 Life expectancy – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2065548/U-S-ranks-28th-life-expectancy-pay-MOST-health-care.html

 The Poverty Line — http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/15/census-shows-1-in-2-peopl_1_n_1150128.html

 One final comment says it all:

AnonymousFeb 5, 2012 06:49 AM

Holy rollers aren’t that bright or else they wouldn’t be holy hollers.

Amen to that!!

As radio station WHB used to say, The hits just keep on coming.”  Yeah, they just keep on coming, whether you want them to or not.

That’s it for now. Don’t be surprised if there’s a Trains, Not Brains, Part Troisbefore too long from now.

Have yourselves a great day – and a good, hearty belly laugh!!

Bill

 

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February 6, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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