Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense


Oppose Marriage Equality!!! *

While I try to avoid using sarcasm in anything serious that I write, this (which I first saw on Facebook… I didn’t write it) is an appropriate use. Ha!

10 Reasons To Oppose Marriage Equality

I’ve heard equality-opponents make arguments against some of these points and it’s always amusing to watch a bigot try to justify their beliefs.

“Homosexual behavior is a choice!” (#2)

“Studies show that children do better with a mother and a father!” (#9)

“What about polygamy!?” (#3)

…and of course…

(insert any number of bible quotes here) (#1 – #10)

* title meant as sarcasm

Who knew?

I just saw this store under construction at a local shopping center.

LifeWay Christian Store

It’s not open yet, but it will be so great when you can buy Christians! I had no idea that was even a thing!

Miracle Babies

Another currently relevant comic by The Atheist Pig

The Atheist Pig - Miracle Babies

(click the image to see it full-size at

Try again…

I would wager that this is the real reason most people who oppose gay marriage actually oppose it.

The Atheist Pig

Carl Sagan on Silent Assent

If we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition – even when it seems to be doing a little good – we abet a general climate in which skepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. Figuring out a prudent balance takes wisdom.

– Carl Sagan

I (heart) Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart addresses the birth control mandate and the oppositions claims of “religious persecution” and “wars” on religion.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Vagina Ideologues – Sean Hannity’s Holy Sausage Fest
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Jediism (via Virtual Shackles)

I thought this was perfect!

Jediism via Virtual Shackles

[click image to embiggen]

Hooray for New York!

New York finally passed legislation to allow same-sex marriage in their state. According to CNN (and other news sites), the vote was 33-29 in favor. It was the “first time a state Senate with a Republican majority has approved such a bill.”

Other than the awesome news that gay couples will now have the same rights as straight couples, that also means that there are still 29 people in the New York senate that are probably theocratic bigots.

Says the CNN article…

The new law, which will allow same-sex couples in New York to marry within 30 days, drew a sharp rebuke from opponents, who spent millions to try to defeat the measure.

Because, you know… those damn gays!

But the Catholic Church stepped up in support! Oh wait. No they didn’t.

“We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization,” the state’s Catholic bishops said in a joint statement released late Friday. It was signed by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan and seven other bishops.

It’s an absurd argument. Marriage isn’t undermined by omg-teh-gheys!!!. It’s undermined (if it is at all) by drunken Vegas weddings, marriages of convenience, sex scandals and infidelity, hypocrisy, televised marriage contests, marrying for money, serial marrying, arranged marriages, and a myriad of other things, none of which have anything to do with two people of the same sex loving each other.

And to show how loving and considerate the opponents of same-sex marriage are…

Opponents of the marriage equality law have vowed to take political action against any Republican who voted for the bill.

Because presumably, standing up for equal rights is just wrong and should be punished!

Fortunately, there were enough rational politicians to get this measure passed. It’s sad that it needs to be passed at all. You’d think in a country that prides itself on freedom and human rights, this would be a complete non-issue, but the religious right can’t help but try to impose their twisted moral values on the rest of us.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets it, though.

“In recent weeks, I have had many conversations with our state Senators. I emphasized that not only is marriage equality consistent with bedrock American principles, but it is also consistent with bedrock Republican Party principles of liberty and freedom — and the Republicans who stood up today for those principles will long be remembered for their courage, foresight, and wisdom. In fact, 10 or 20 or 30 years from now, I believe they will look back at this vote as one of their finest, proudest moments,” Bloomberg said in a statement released shortly after the vote.

So three cheers for New York. Kudos to those Republicans who had the wisdom and courage to stand up to their party’s archaic stance on the matter.

And congratulations to all those who are waiting to be married and now are able.

Dear Christians…

“Dear Christians who find Harold Camping crazy, you’re not that different if you think Jesus is still coming back, but at an unknown time.”

Tweeted by Hemant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist.

Retweeted and posted here due to the plain truth if it.

My three questions for candidates

People have different ways of selecting a candidate in any given elections, sometimes changing their selection method from election to election depending on current events. Some focus on a candidate’s position on the big issue of the day, some on a plethora of smaller issues, some one the tone of campaign ads, some on a specific hot-button issue, some on the candidate’s political party, some on what their chosen party tells them to do.

My approach is generally to focus on a few main questions (three in this example). Sometimes it’s hard to find the candidates’ answers to the questions and sometimes the candidates will hedge when answering, but to me, the answers to these questions say much more about the candidates than just their positions on the issues at hand.

Question #1: What is the candidate’s position on abortion?

This one has many shades of gray (funding, age limits, accessibility, notification, etc), but the focus of my question is on the candidate’s position about the morality of abortion. Should a woman have the right to choose whether or not to get an abortion? Usually, candidates will be fairly black and white on this issue.

Why this question?
It reveals something important about the basis for a candidate’s policy decisions. There is no argument that 100% opposes abortion (that I have heard or that anyone I know has heard) that is not based on religion. This is not to say that some of the arguments about limiting abortion are not valid for other reasons, but a strict, 100% opposition… it’s all about religion.

Why is it important?
Someone who has a strict anti-choice viewpoint bases their decision on religious dogma. I’m looking for a candidate who bases their decisions on rational thinking and objective reasoning. Basing decisions on 2,000 year old dogma doesn’t meet that criteria.

Question #2: What is the candidate’s position on climate science?

I want to clarify that this is not a question about any particular legislative proposals on how to handle global warming. This is a question specifically concerning the candidate’s view about the current state of climate science and, by association, whether they think global warming is occurring or not.

Why this question?
This question reveals an important aspect of the candidate’s objectivity and ability to independently analyze information. The evidence gathered by the world’s climate scientists overwhelmingly points to the fact that our planet is warming and shows an extremely high probability of it being accelerated by human activities. While the manner of dealing with the problem can be honestly and objectively debated, denying the existence of global warming is the intellectual equivalent of covering your ears and yelling “La! La! La! I can’t hear you!”

Why is it important?
Science education in much of the country is in a horrible state of insufficiency and the last thing we need is the country’s leaders making public statements discrediting good science in an attempt to score political points. Denial of global warming is ideologically-based and indicates that the candidate is more concerned with political or religious ideology than with objective reality and good science.

Question #3: What is the candidate’s position on the separation of church and state.

Prayer in public schools? Crèches in the courthouse lobby? Teaching creationism/intelligent design in public schools? Beginning government meetings with prayer? Proselytizing in the military? Religion-based discrimination? These issues are all ones of religious intrusion into what should Constitutionally be secular government activities.

Why this question?
This is another test of the candidate’s objectivity. Our Constitution has strict rules preventing government intrusion into religion and ensuring the free exercise of religion (and a non-preferential treatment of religion). A candidate’s response to this question reveals his thinking about religion and our government… and whether or not he actually supports the Constitution or if he only says he does.

Why is it important?
The religious right has become a disturbingly strong influence in this country, particularly in the Republican Party and the Tea Party. Despite their calls for following the Constitution, this issue reveals that their support of the Constitution only goes as far as their religious beliefs. The path they have chosen is one that leads to a theocracy and that’s about as anti-American as you can get. Any candidate who doesn’t strongly support an uncompromising separation of church and state is supporting that theocratic path.

There are other criteria that I use to select candidates as well as the ones above, but the above three questions serve as a good litmus test for candidate selection. I’ve only given brief summaries for the reasons behind each of the questions, but in each question, there’s a strong focus on finding out which candidates support good science and rational thinking, not necessarily by looking at many small issues, but by examining the overall intellectual and philosophical tendencies of a candidate. It establishes a foundation for further inquiry into each candidate’s positions, but if a candidate can’t provide that solid foundation based on a few simple questions, it seems silly to support them on issues that are, essentially, built upon that foundation.

If a candidate can’t leave religious dogma out of their decision-making process, doesn’t support solid science, and doesn’t support the Constitution, why should they get my support?

…or anyone’s support, for that matter.