Protect the Children

Today I want to talk about North Carolina, and Rock stars, and transgender people in bathrooms. I know I am a little late to this party, in fact I was going to let it pass by, but I saw this blog from Ben Shapiro this morning and the meme below a short while after, I decided I really did need to lend my voice to it. Here a two other articles I had saved a while back by Matt Walsh and Ryan Anderson

rockstars

While all three blogs cover varying aspects of reactions to North Carolina’s bill, they all touch on how they believe these musicians are hypocritically discriminating against North Carolina in response to North Carolina discriminating against transgender individuals. The key piece these bloggers seem to be missing is that transgender people are people. States are not people. You cannot discriminate against a state. Although I suppose corporations are supposedly people now, so how long before the Supreme Court gets a case about the personhood of states?

Are these musicians practicing discernment in their choice of venue, absolutely, as is their legal right. Say I own a strip club, and I really want the Newsboys to perform at my club. The Newsboys have no legal or constitutional obligation to perform at my strip club. None. The government has no authority to tell me where I have to open my business (they have some ability to say where I can’t open my business, zoning laws and what not) but If I was a Christian business owner, they couldn’t force me to open a store next to a strip club.

I find this argument similar to one a Christian family member used on me, that forcing bakers to sell wedding cakes to homosexual couples would be like forcing a Jewish deli to sell bacon. Excuse me, what? You can’t force a Jewish deli to sell bacon because Jewish delis don’t sell bacon. I also can’t force Wal-Mart to sell me a car because Wal-Mart doesn’t sell cars (at least a no location I am aware of).

Now say Bruce Springsteen was having a concert in Virginia and said that Christians couldn’t buy tickets to his show. That is discrimination on par with a Christian business not selling a wedding cake to a same-sex couple. Come wake me up when that happens, I will happily protest with you.

While I was writing this The Hill posted an article about Ted Cruz’s response to the bill. Cruz apparently argues that his position isn’t aimed at targeting transgender people but rather the “heterosexual pervert.” I wonder if Cruz knows that “transgender” and “heterosexual” don’t discuss the same thing, but that is beside the point. I think it is safe to assume Cruz actually meant the cisgender heterosexual pervert like the one Mike Huckabee admitted to being.

If the fear is 6 year old girls in the bathroom with 42 year old men I’m not sure why Ted Cruz isn’t freaking out about his daughter’s sharing the bathroom with Chaz Bono. If the fear is about sexual predators, then we should focus on legislation to prevent sexual predators, not legislation that would force transgender men into using the Women’s restroom.

Of course we already have legislation that deals with sexual predators. If I walk into a bathroom and just whip out my genitals for all to see, or peep over bathroom stalls, or in any other way harass the occupants of that bathroom that is illegal. It doesn’t matter if it is the Men or Women’s bathroom; or if I am a man or a woman; cisgender or transgender; or heterosexual or homosexual. Mix and match your favorites, it’s still illegal.

I would like to remind the general population of one Jerry Sandusky, what is the NC bathroom bill going to do to protect children from predators like Jerry Sandusky who liked to molest and rape 10 year-old-boys in the shower? It was the Men’s locker room after all, Sandusky had every right to be there. Are we going to ban grown men from having any contact with children next? That seems to be the most logical way to protect children from sexual predators.

This North Carolina law creates more problems than it solves (and that is just in terms of bathrooms, let alone NC’s economy) and does nothing to actually protect children which supporters claim is the primary purpose.

I call Bull Shit.

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Bitter Water

So, in Indiana (where I live) Governor Mike Pence recently signed a law that banned abortions based on the potential gender, ethnicity, or disability of the fetus. This has spurred the creation of a protest of sorts in the form of “Periods for Pence” a group encouraging women across the state to call, tweet, Facebook, or otherwise inform Mike Pence of the happenings with their menstrual cycle. This has since made the national news circuit. You can read about it here and other places.

Not a perfect segue, but I was thinking about how in this presidential election cycle two GOP (Rubio and Walker) presidential candidates came out as opposed to abortion in all circumstances including rape, incest, and even if the life of the mother was in jeopardy.

I wonder, if those individuals who believe like Rubio and Walker that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances are aware of a rather peculiar ritual described in the Old Testament where a suspicious husband could force his wife (no proof necessary) to take a “magic potion” that of course would do no harm to an innocent woman, but would most likely (the wording is a little obscure, yet still pretty explicit) cause the death of an unborn child for a pregnant women and (or if she wasn’t already pregnant) cause her to remain barren for the rest of her life. See Numbers 5:11-31 for the full text, it is lengthy so I’ve edited out some redundancy and extraneous bits.

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “Speak to the people of Israel, If any man’s wife goes astray and breaks faith with him… 14 and if the spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself…15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest and bring the offering required of her, a tenth of an ephah of barley flour…

16 “And the priest shall bring her near and set her before the Lord. 17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water… 19 Then the priest shall make her take an oath…21 

 24 …And he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain…. And when he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has broken faith with her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away, and the woman shall become a curse among her people. 28 But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be free and shall conceive children.

The trick with this verse is no one quite seems to know what “her thigh shall fall away” means. The NIV translation seems to be the only one that will directly translate that to “her womb will miscarry.” However, bitter pain, a swelling womb, and something falling away, coupled with an “innocent” woman being able to conceive children seems pretty obvious to me. It is called context clues people. That and the Bible is known for using euphemisms when it comes to discussing genitals.

Take this strange story about God trying to kill Moses in Exodus 4: 24-26. Why God is trying to kill Moses is never explained (it is an entirely random insertion) nor why circumcising an infant and throwing the bloody foreskin at Moses’s feet or penis would make God stop. But at least the penis makes more sense than his feet.

This also completely changes Ruth’s story in Ruth 3:4

The thing I find most interesting is the grain offering. I know even priests have to eat, but step back Planned Parenthood Jewish priests were the original abortion profiteers.

Props to the Awkward Moments Children’s Bible for making me aware of this verse, for some reason it is typically left out at Sunday school. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you definitely need to check them out.

 

 

 

 

I Love My White Male Privilege

A friend and favorite debate partner of mine sent me this video about a man who sarcastically claims to love his white male privilege while pointing out all the ways he is “disadvantaged” by being a white male. Of course he doesn’t examine any ways which he is privileged to be a white male to see if the net value of being a white male is a positive or a negative, but perhaps that is an activity for another time.

Anyways there is plenty to unpack when discussing privilege, but here is my quick take on the video.

For about the first third of the video, just because other cultures also participated in the slave trade, and may have committed “greater” atrocities, however we want to define that, doesn’t let America off of the hook for the atrocities it has committed, especially as a country who purports itself as a free society.

White men died to end slavery, but only because other white men were dying to keep slavery… Kind of cancels each other out.

His statistics on how few white people owned slaves doesn’t get at the fact that even if you were a poor white person, you were still of a higher status than a freed black person, let alone a slave, and the prejudice carried over into the 1950s and to some extent, to today.

28 percent of freed blacks owned slaves. So that’s like what 5…? 5 black people owned slaves. Percentages are great, but there is a huge number disparity here that isn’t addressed.

“Collectively blamed whenever a lunatic goes on a rampage sharing my skin color” This is kind of a fuzzy area for me. After the Charleston shooting liberal outlets were like “white people should condemn this shooting” but that in itself was commentary on how Muslims are constantly being called out to condemn shootings carried out by Muslims, and white people never are. Well white people didn’t like being called out like that but instead of taking the high road and learning not to paint with a broad brush, now they feel they have a license to keep doing it. So now we are in this awkward “You should condemn!” “No! You should condemn!” “No! You should condemn!” shouting match.

The rape culture statistics are not “made up” the issue is the stats are 1 in 5 women report being sexually assaulted, that somehow got turned into 1 in 5 women are raped. Sexual assault includes rape, but also includes so-called “lesser crimes” like groping or harassment. Rape culture itself isn’t just about how many women are raped, but the normalizing of sexual assault behavior (think about any romcom where the male protagonist engages in behavior that in the real world would be considered stalking or harassment, but is cute and endearing in the movie) or our tendency to blame the victim for drinking, or wearing certain clothes, or leading men on or whatever, but that is a different conversation

He complains about men account for 99.9 percent of combat deaths, ignores the fact that men are fighting (to this day) to keep combat jobs closed to women…

I would like to see more men awarded custody of their children.

Men receiving tougher prison sentences than women for the same crime (double according to him). According to the ACLU prison sentences for blacks are 20 percent longer than for whites. And I can take that all the way back to kindergarten where black children are disciplined more severely than white children for similar offenses and with the addition of resource officers these students are introduced to the criminal justice system much earlier for things that used to be normal school issues, and that’s called institutional racism and the school to prison pipeline. https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/141027_iachr_racial_disparities_aclu_submission_0.pdf

At one point he says “I love how my white male privilege allows me to be judged collectively while I’m being called a racist for judging people collectively” Here he is assuming that people who are engaged in thinking and conversations on privilege are judging all white people, that isn’t the case, and he would know that if he actually jumped in and examined the thinking on privilege. Acknowledging one’s privilege isn’t about wallowing in guilt, that doesn’t help anybody, and if you are going to feel guilty about anything, don’t feel guilty about slavery, feel guilty about the inequality in our education system now, feel guilty about the inequality in our criminal justice system now, that’s what you should feel guilty about. But again, don’t feel guilty, that doesn’t help anybody, do something about it. Even acknowledging it exists is a great place to start.

We generalize, we say White people do this, Muslims do that, Black people are this, Christians are that Men are like this, and Women are like that. When we (as a human race) do this we ignore the areas where those things intersect, and we ignore the vast “in-group” differences that are present (Appalachian Pentecostal snake handlers anyone?). Everybody generalizes and then everybody complains that the other side is generalizing them, it’s like we never learn. Unfortunately I don’t know if the solution is to not take generalizations less personally, to try to eradicate generalization, or just admit everybody generalizes.

My question at the end of all of this is, if he feels like, when he criticizes the violent aspects of Islam, that he is not criticizing all Muslims. Why does he feel, when people criticize the aspects of our society that give unfair advantages to white males, that they are criticizing all white males?

Free Stuff and Misdirected Anger

If you haven’t realized by now, most of my posts are about dumb (in my humble opinion) things I find on my Facebook page. Today’s topic is about a video of Dinesh D’Souza using an analogy to describe the problem of often discussed “free stuff” presented in this campaign cycle. You can watch the full video by following the link below, or if you would prefer not to give them the click I will recap the relevant section below (I click so you don’t have to).

http://www.proudcons.com/the-best-analogy-about-free-stuff-you-will-ever-hear/

First off I love edited videos like this that are intentionally manipulative. This was filmed supposedly in a debate setting with Bill Ayers. Presumably there was a rebuttal. If this analogy was so fantastic, why not include the rebuttal? “Proud Cons” are actually setting up their readers for failure. Some poor conservative keyboard warrior is going to present this analogy to some smart ass Bernie Sanders supporter like me and get ripped to shreds. The least Proud Cons could do is give them a chance to prepare a counter rebuttal.

Dinesh converts “Free Healthcare” into a grocery store experience. Which is smart, not everybody can relate to the necessity of a life saving medical intervention, but we’ve all stood in line to buy some cocoa puffs. In Dinesh’s scenario everyone now has the opportunity to go to a grocery store, fill up their cart with whatever they want and when they get to the cash register “somebody else will pay.”

The first thing Dinesh claims will happen is everyone will then fill up their cart with things they don’t need, “12 cartons of milk and 45 cartons of bologna” to be specific. This isn’t the main point I want to make, but let’s pause here for a second. Not only is this an extremely cynical view of humanity, but simply doesn’t transfer back to the healthcare field. No one goes to the doctor for the fun of going to the doctor. Even if nothing is wrong, people go to the doctor because they think something is wrong. The two concerns Dinesh might possibly have about people “filling up their carts with things they don’t need” are Hypochondriacs and drug seekers, both of whom might finally be able to afford treatment under Bernie’s medicare for all plan.

The second thing Dinesh claims is the grocery store  will realize that they can charge whatever they want because the person receiving the benefit is not the person paying. He concludes that the benefit receiver and the grocery store are conspiring together to rip off the taxpayer (never mind that the benefit receiver is a tax payer). I concede this might be possible in Dinesh’s hypothetical grocery store, but it is exceedingly unlikely that benefit receivers will load up with 45 cartons of the hospital’s equivalent of bologna. And we know that with better access to health care people spend less money on healthcare because they receive the preventative care they need to avoid expensive health issues down the road. So it is the hospitals jacking up their prices that are left holding the proverbial  “screwing the american taxpayer” bag.

We see the same thing play out in terms of minimum wage, or a living wage. Workers demand a higher minimum wage, congress raises the minimum wage (after raising their own salaries first, of course) and then the corporations jack up prices to maintain profits, to maintain CEO salaries, to maintain executive bonus. And people, in all of their wisdom, direct their anger at the people who only want to live above the poverty line if they are working a full time job, or to work a full time job instead of being cut off at 39 hours. Newsflash, if a corporation can’t afford to pay its employees a decent wage, it hasn’t earned that profit.

If higher prices are the concern the anger should be directed at the people responsible, that is, the hospitals who are more concerned about profit than patients. The anger should not be directed at those who want to use the healthcare system without filing for bankruptcy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balancing the Nuetrality Scale

Valentine’s Day is a day set aside for couples to acknowledge the feelings they have for one another. Many companies run Valentine’s Day themed ads, one such company was Adidas, who used the holiday as an opportunity to recognize that not all relationships are heterosexual relationships with this simple image posted to Instagram.

adidas

I think we are well past the need to congratulate Adidas for acknowledging that LGBT community exists and some of them might enjoy sports and sports equipment, and it doesn’t appear Adidas lost much in anything by way of customers as most of the comments were positive in response to the ad. However there are always those individuals who think that different is bad. Apologies for the language ahead.

adidas response

While there is a lot to unpack here, for instance, perhaps someone should inform Leepapi that the image is most likely of two women. Howevery,I want to focus on the idea that Alxgreco posted. I saw similar responses following the Campbell’s commercial featuring two dads, or the infamous Coke Super Bowl commercial a couple years back. Companies shouldn’t take sides in social issues, or companies should remain neutral.

If we accept alzgreco’s premise, that companies shouldn’t take sides (and ignore the fact that if the company in question was Chik-Fil-a or Hobby Lobby he would probably be singing a different tune) what does remaining neutral in the business and marketing world actually look like? To answer this we should look at what being neutral looks like in other contexts

To swing into the political arena Donald Trump, cause a bit of a stir the other day when he indicated he planned on remaining neutral in the Israel/Palestine conflict. So what would that look like? Simply, If America gave large amounts of aid to Israel, but not Palestine, America would not be neutral. Likewise if America gave a large amount of aid to Palestine and not, Israel America would not be neutral. To be neutral America has two options. It can give equal amounts of aid to both Israel and Palestine or no aid at all to either country.

The same can be said if I am a talk show host. If I want to remain neutral, but only give air time to Bernie Sanders and not Hillary Clinton, I’m not neutral. If I only give airtime to the Democratic nominee and not to the Republican nominee I am not being neutral. Neutrality insists on equal representation or no representation at all.

Back to Adidas, most of their ads appear to be asexual which would amount to no representation at all, in which case their acknowledgement of the existence of any sort of sexuality could very well be choosing a side. However a quick search of their website http://www.adidas.com/us produced these two images:

Admittedly the first image is not the best example. But the second image oozes heterosexuality. And there was no images of a homosexual couple to be found. If every time Adidas diverged from its typical asexual policy with an image of a heterosexual couple, as it appears Adidas is willing to occasionally do, Adidas would not be neutral on this topics. The same can be said for Campbell’s, if every family they portrayed was a two parent, heterosexual, nuclear family it could not be said that Campbell’s was neutral on that social topic. For some reason I doubt Axlgreco has ever complained about the lack of neutrality in the presentation of a heterosexual family (but I don’t know his life, maybe he does, but probably not).

This Valentine’s Day Adidas just tipped the scale a little bit back towards neutral.

*Editors note: I was first introduced to this Adidas aid by the Newnownext blog by Dan Avery. You can find his post here: http://www.newnownext.com/adidas-valentine-gay-instagram/02/2016/