Sunday, February 23, 2014

So many ways to fuck up a meditative Sunday ...

(Above: some tasty Biblezines for you, and plenty more to google)

At last the mainstream media is paying actual attention to what's going on in public schools, with The Age leading the way, even getting this meditative Sunday off with an Oz style EXCLUSIVE at the top of the digital page. Well it actually appeared last night but hey, it's a slow weekend:

Yep, Uproar at 'Biblezine' sex tips for kids is full of juicy bits, as sex rears its ugly head one more time, though in the usual way, the sex is featured is the bizarre kind you get with fundamentalist Xians:

The magazines, Refuel 2 and Revolve 2 – which intersperse the text of the New Testament with dating advice, beauty tips and music reviews – warn girls not to go bra-less because "your nipples are much more noticeable and a distraction and temptation for men", and not to wear tube tops and low-rise jeans because men are "sexually stimulated by what they see". 
"The Bible says not to cause anyone else to sin. Are you putting sexual thoughts about your body into guys' heads? If you are showing a lot of skin you probably are," it states. Advertisement The material, produced by the News Corp-owned Nelson Bibles, America's largest Christian publishing house, also "exposes the lie of safe sex", claiming that condoms condone promiscuity, and urges those who think they are gay never to act on it. 
In response to an agony aunt-style question about, "How far can you go before you are no longer pure?", the document reads: "Let's put it this way: How much dog poop stirred into your cookie batter does it take to ruin the whole batter."

That's the kicker, right there. The News Corp-owned ...

Yep, Satan himself is pumping out Christian literature ... and never mind the injunctions about the sanctity of marriage. Hey, the bible approved of slavery and divorce.

Now imagine if a fundamentalist Islamic of the Taliban kind was roaming around pumping fundamentalist nonsense about sex into the minds of impressionable young people.

Oh wait, they are, and the Australian federal government is funding the schools ... and the ones that do Scientology and the ones that do Exclusive Brethren and the ones that teach creationism and the ones that ...

Okay, it's an old, old, ancient grey haired loon pond riff, but how pleasing to see The Age slowly coming to some kind of awareness.

The sweet old Pravda on the Yarra even delivered an editorial harumph today, under the header Children do not deserve this kind of religious instruction:

Zealotry is alive and well in Victoria. Its targets, however, are not anyone or any group who can bring their life experiences to bear in coping with its attention. The zealots are those who believe it appropriate to peddle their interpretations of the New Testament. The targets were grade six pupils at Torquay College. 
The strand of religion is not the point of concern. There is no argument against the Christian faith. It is the manner of its delivery and the content of its message that deserves opprobrium. It is fundamentalist claptrap masquerading as some sort of moral Christian code that will lead to a virtuous life. It is nothing of the sort. 
It is blinkered and prejudiced; in effect, a tract of negativity that can only stunt a young person's growth to maturity that should be based on inclusiveness and compassion towards their fellow human beings.

There are of course plenty of arguments against the Christian faith, but The Age is a slow learner, and then there's the business of offending the demographics ...

But at least the sweet Pravdans have started to pay attention, starting with a story they ran five days ago, Primary school principals shut down religious education classes (forced video to keep that Fairfax share price on the rise).

Inter alia, that story offered up this insight:

Joe Kelly has been principal of Cranbourne South Primary School for 15 years, and acknowledged that until two years ago he had been "blindly supporting" Access Ministries' presence. That was until he took a closer look at the actual classes and curriculum. 
"It is not education," Mr Kelly said. "It has no value whatsoever. It is rubbish - hollow and empty rhetoric … My school teachers are committed to teaching children, not indoctrinating them."

Good on you Joe Kelly, you're a pond hero first class.

Naturally Access has flinched with all the attention being paid:

Access Ministries says it did not approve the Biblezines, or their content, and they were a graduation gift from local churches, which normally donate traditional Bibles. 
In a statement, chief executive Evonne Paddison said: "This year there was a huge rush for the Bibles and, for reasons we do not yet understand, it seems as though 15 copies of Refuel 2 were handed out. Students were asked to return them on the day . . . Our agreed curriculum teaches the basic beliefs of the Christian faith and does not stray into areas of sexuality at all. We are extremely disappointed that this has occurred and will continue to investigate how it happened." 

Yes, because Refuel 2 looked so innocuous and so ... so decently Ixian:

How to attract godly girls?

Oh you poor pimpled hapless squeaky voiced hamburger flipping nerds ...

Meanwhile, in associated reading, The New Yorker's Margaret Talbot provided an exemplary insight into the fundamentalist mind set, when caught between castigating sex. women and contraception, and actually reducing the number of abortions.

You can read it all in Reading the Numbers, currently outside the paywall, but the pond feels so righteous, here's a long slab of the opening:

Last week’s report about the declining abortion rate in the United States was potentially good news for everyone, especially, one would think, for right-to-life groups. Most of them, though, weren’t cheering. A statement from Americans United for Life called the report “an abortion industry propaganda piece short on data and long on strained conclusions.” One problem was that the groups didn’t like the messenger. The report, which showed that between 2008 and 2011 the rate of abortions had fallen to its lowest level since 1973, came from the Guttmacher Institute. Guttmacher produces scrupulous research on reproductive health; it also supports abortion rights. But the bigger problem was the message itself, because the report made a persuasive case that the right-to-life movement cannot take credit for the decline in abortions. Since 2008, states have enacted more than a hundred laws related to abortion, most aimed at limiting access to the procedure. The researchers, however, concluded that the new laws, with few exceptions, had had little impact on the number of abortions. Instead, much of the decline is probably attributable to more effective contraception, some of it available through the federal funding—“Uncle Sugar,” in Mike Huckabee’s creepy coinage—that Republicans like to rail against. Right-to-lifers could be promoting contraception and touting its success in averting unwanted pregnancies, but that doesn’t seem to be news that they want to hear, let alone spread.

Let's see if we can do a formula:

Contraception + sex - abortion: bad
Sex - contraception + abortion: good

There can't be a better example of the failed mindset of the fundamentalist and sex than Australia's current PM.

There he was, at one moment, dedicating himself to a life of chastity, and the next thing you know, vows forsaken, he was out and about fornicating like a rabbit, and without contraception. How do we know? Well he fathered a child out of wedlock didn't he, or at least, he thought he did, because he didn't take precautions.

It turned out it wasn't his, and someone else had been fornicating without contraception.

Now the pond doesn't have any issue with fornicators, having religiously and with some fervour been at times a fornicator. But the old days, when you could fornicate without too much worry about STDs, provided there was some penicillin handy, are long gone, and it goes without saying that the easiest way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and the abject pain of an abortion, is to use contraception.

And yet fundamentalist Xians and Islamics join together to assault condoms (yes they do, head off to the BBC for Islamic views on contraception).

All this has got the pond as mad as hell, so it's just as well that the fatuous, profoundly tedious Cardinal Pell spends this Sunday in the Terror - the least trusted newspaper in Australia - brooding about Cardinals and celebrating the Pope turning up on Rolling Stone. Yep, along with Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Janet Jackson celebrating the joy of sex, Britney Spears, the passion of Kanye West with crown of thorns, Charles Manson, and semi-nude Red Hot Chili Peppers ...

When the Pope strips, that'll be the time to talk about an enormous bounce ...

And by the way what on earth does the header Pope tells cardinals they need actually mean? It's not even a bloody sentence ...

Meanwhile, the whole sorry story of blame-shifting and guilt in the Catholic church continues apace in stories such as Church claims lies, collusion on scandal, and Principal lied over claim that church was to blame for abuse (behind the paywall to keep the innocent pure).

Bottom line? The rats are blaming each other as the ship continues to sink ... and the bowl needed to wash away the sins is getting larger than Sydney harbour ...

And if that's not enough, just as you'd expect, the angry Sydney Anglicans, and Phillip Jensen in particular, chime in right on cue with Unmarried Mothers and the Science of Marriage.

The Jensenists really do know how to come up with stupid headers. Science of Marriage?

Yes, you see, that policy of blaming women and unmarried mothers had nothing to do with the god botherers and the bible bashers and the tub thumpers, it was all the fault of scientists:

...the thinking behind the practices of the 1950’s and 60’s was not that of moral conservatives but progressive, professional, best practice, science. 
Between the World Wars unmarried mothers were viewed in eugenic terms as “feebleminded” or “sexual delinquents”, whose children needed protection. WWII made the community wary of eugenics and so environmental factors were blamed and Freudian concern about early childhood experiences led to the ‘clean break theory’. The social workers, doctors, lawyers and psychologists followed the modern science of human behaviour. Unfortunately for the mothers and their children, like all utilitarian science, it took a generation to discover the full impact of the error. 
Sadly we Christians, having more confidence in modern professional best practice than the word of God, shared in this mistreatment of women.

What nauseating hypocrisy. What a stench of humbug.

So it was all the fault of eugenicists and shrinks that the Anglicans at Grafton abused the children in their care?

Suddenly the bowl of water needed to wash away the sins of the wicked and their apologists takes on the side of the Indian ocean.

Well if you can find eugenics and shrinks and science at work in the story Anglican Church offers compensation to NSW victims of abuse at children's home in Lismore, let the pond know.

There's more, lots more, equally offensive and hypocritical, and after the blame shifting and the guilt avoidance, where would we be without a bit of gay bashing:

Just before Christmas Sir Paul Coleridge, a long serving judge in the Family Division of Britain’s High Court, received an official, formal warning of judicial misconduct for airing his views that gay marriage is a minority issue affecting 0.1% of the community compared to the “destructive scourge” of divorce and family breakdown, which he has likened to an epidemic involving 3.8 million children in the family courts every year.

Gay marriage? How about mere gay survival in Africa, where the angry Anglicans and other fundamentalists have helped to build a world of hate and woe?

The Jensenists got the pond so agitated it threatened to ruin a peaceful Sunday morning, so instead, how about a few old Doonesbury cartoons?

The pond likes to keep a few Doonesburys to hand, like an axe in case of fire or an encounter with an Anglican or a Republican, and these made a nice series. Click to enlarge if you like:

And finally the pond has hit on some novel literature that might be circulated amongst Victorian schools.

You'll have to be an old hand to remember Flirty Fishing, but in the usual way, you can do a Greg Hunt and wiki it here.

The moral of the story?

So many religious loons, so many ways they can fuck with the minds of the young and fuck up sex, love, life and, it turns out, a meditative Sunday ...


  1. All in the eye of the beholder, DP. How do you like Steely, telegenic, slender blonde? Quite enough to guarantee a spot on the QandA panel. There's more. Yulia is "known at home" as вона (Ukrainian for She).
    What's the prospect of any of our political leaders doing a seven-year stretch for "abuse of power"? Wrong target, I guess, on recent trends. Re-phrase. What's the prospect of any of our *opinion* leaders doing a stretch ... ?

  2. Hardly ever seen on Q&A is the one leader not befouled by the smell of gas...

    If it got as far as any of the usual suspects facing a stretch they'd at least hobble the jury and let it stand, as for St Joh the Innocent and apprentice Pumpkinhead. Otherwise where would it stop? Next there'd be no super, no gold card, no Westminster System (whatever that is), no sacrosanct cabinet confidentiality, ..oh, uh oh... It's a slippery slope Trevor.


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