I hate people who hate


What is with all of this hate speech that is coursing through the veins of our society of late? It seems that people are spewing all sorts of heinous vitriol in the name-of their religion. Not that this is anything new. I had just hoped that society had come a bit further than this, since the days of the Inquisition.

Today, the Huffington Post reported on George Michael being hospitalized with pneumonia, which, in itself would have been worthy of a mention, however the story was accompanied by some truly disturbing hate speech. See for yourself here, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/george-michael-hospitalized-christians-for-a-moral-america_n_1118654.html?ref=tw

Also today, on twitter, a self professed Christian porn star had these choice words for a terminal cancer patient in her own industry.

Monica Foster

@MonicaFosterMonica Foster
I hate to say this – but sometimes people with terminal diseases need to give it a rest & stop ruining other people’s happiness with their
Monica Foster

@MonicaFosterMonica Foster
tragedy. If you have a terminal disease let your family and friends know. Bring awareness to the disease to help others – but then just live
Monica Foster

@MonicaFosterMonica Foster
the rest of your life and stop draining others emotionally or otherwise. It’s wrong to do and very selfish.
Monica Foster

@MonicaFosterMonica Foster
When God wanted to take out the trash in the old testament – plague and disease worked quite well. Considering all the satanism, demonic
Monica Foster

@MonicaFosterMonica Foster
activity and evil in the world today (especially within the la porn circuit) God’s getting old testament gangster once more. Sickness &
Monica Foster

@MonicaFosterMonica Foster
disease isn’t random – quite often it’s God taking out the trash…  Christ is RIGHT!
In the United States, the law is part of the problem. The first amendment to the constitution protects free speech, unfortunately, in many cases this also includes hate speech. I’m sure quite a few of you have heard of the Westboro Baptist Church and their penchant for protesting the funerals of gays, soldiers and an innocently by-standing 9 year old girl. The fact that the Supreme Court of Kansas sided with them sickens me to the core.
This video is interesting. It was made for students of political science. It explains why/how hate speech is protected in America.
In Canada, however, where, yes, contrary to American opinion, we actually do have free speech, we also have laws against hate speech. Oh and we actually DO separate church and state.
Sections 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada make it a criminal offence to:
  • advocate genocide
  • publicly incite hatred
  • wilfully promote hatred

against an “identifiable group.” 

 An identifiable group is defined as any section of the public distinguished by:

  • colour
  • race
  • religion
  • ethnic origin
  • sexual orientation

The Criminal Code provisions are intended to prohibit the public distribution of hate propaganda. Private speech is not covered by the provisions. 

For example, “advocating genocide” includes publicly arguing that members of an identifiable group should be killed. Willfully promoting hatred can only be committed by communicating statements other than in a private conversation. And inciting hatred is only prohibited if statements are communicated in a public place.

 Online communications that advocate genocide or willfully promote or incite hatred are likely to fall within the provisions because the Internet is a public network.

This is something that Ann Coulter found out personally. When she wanted to speak at a university in Ontario recently.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-rowe/sorry-ann-coulter-canadas_b_513865.html

Though, when she went back home, she claimed SHE was the victim of a hate crime.

I am a believer in freedom of speech, but not when it puts someone in harm’s way. Hate speech in the name of religion, well, if you’re going to claim to be better than the rest of us, then you shouldn’t be allowed to spread hatred, ignorance and obscenity like the Westboro Baptist Church, the Christian porn star and the ironically named Christians For A Moral America.

Although, if you keep it up, you’ll just be making more atheists like me.

There aught to be a law.


I was bullied as a child. I was different. I was a nerd, a geek and a bookworm who was socially awkward and shy, also known as an easy target. I can’t begin to count the number of times I came home crying because of the name calling and ostracizing. Oh, the good old days, when that’s all bullies did. Verbal and psychological abuse is bad enough, but it seems that the bullies of today have taken it to a whole other level.

Last week, three teenage girls decided it would be appropriate to set a 12 year old girl on fire. The act was pre-meditated. You can read about it here http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111127/mtl_fire_111127/20111127/?hub=MontrealHome

This is just one example in a sad trend of torturous behavior committed by teenagers and young adults. While I applaud celebrities like Lady GaGa

and Rick Mercer

for taking this on as a pet cause, I can’t help but wonder, where are the parents in all of this? Why are the parents of the victims not stepping forward and pressing charges? And what about the parents of the bullies, why are they allowing this behavior in their kids? Where were the teachers and faculty in all of this? In many cases this behavior happens right in front of adults who are supposed to be authority figures, yet they ignore it (just kids being kids). Where are the police in all of this? Why are the police not arresting these kids and making them pay for their behavior? Where is the legislature in all of this? There aught to be a law. If we continue to allow this behavior to go unpunished, then we have only ourselves to blame for the consequences.  Isn’t anyone doing anything to protect the victims of torment? Now I’m not talking about simple name calling, I’m talking about behavior like trying to set someone on fire, or behavior that causes a young gay teen to commit suicide.

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2011/09/25/lemon-rodemeyer-suicide.cnn

Doing nothing because “it’s hard” to do something is no excuse.

The statistics are scary http://www.bullyonline.org/stress/suicide.htm

I will leave you with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi,

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

What do women want?


As a feminist, it really puts the wind up my skirt when I hear another woman say, “I’m not a feminist, but…”. If you believe in equal pay for equal work, the right to choose what to do with your own body, the right to vote, the right to education, the right to have a career and/or children and the right to own property, then you are a feminist. If you are against rape as a weapon of war, marital rape, sexual enslavement, genital mutilation (female circumcision), sexual discrimination and being treated as less than human, then you are a feminist.

Women want the same freedoms, rights and privileges that are afforded to men, no more, no less. I don’t see why that is so hard for some women to understand.

We have accomplished so much in a relatively short period of time, but change takes time and we still have battles yet to win. In North America alone, we are still struggling. As a matter of fact, just last week, after 28 years in the Canadian courts, Canada Post has finally lost a pay equity case. Yes, the Post Office fought for 28 years, taking this case all the way to the supreme court, spending far more than they would have spent if they had just abided by the first ruling against them. http://www.psac-afpc.com/news/2011/issues/20111117-e.shtml. It was just 1982 when the Canadian Equality Law went into effect.

In the United States, Nebraska was the first state to criminalize marital rape in 1976. It took until 1993, yes 1993 for the other 49 states to follow suit. In Canada, Bill C-127 came into effect on Jan. 4, 1983, making marital rape a criminal offence.

I hope that these examples will make women think twice the next time they want to say, “I’m not a feminist, but…”. The more you distance yourself from the fight, the less likely it is that we will continue to win these kinds of battles. It’s only by standing united that we will continue to advance.

Fear of the unknown


As an atheist, I’m proud to say I DON’T KNOW. Heck I will even shout it from the rooftops. I don’t know how the universe came to be. The truth is no one does, no matter how concretely sure they come across, no matter how much they believe, deep down the one thing we all have in common is WE DON’T KNOW.

There are many theories as to how the universe came into existence, for instance, science gives us the Big Bang Theory (so do Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, but that’s not the Big Bang Theory I’m talking about here). Religion gives us the theory that some deity or another created the universe.

What happens after we die? Another good question with the same answer I DON’T KNOW. The truth is no one knows, but this question causes so much anger, delusion, violence, war, murder, hatred and FEAR, yes fear. The difference between theists and atheists is that atheists aren’t afraid to say I DON’T KNOW. Believers are so afraid to even entertain the concept that they don’t know the answers to these questions that they will bulldoze over those who deign to challenge their theory. Scientists relish the opportunity to challenge a theory. This difference is beautifully illustrated in the “interview” below.

O’Reilly’s smug condescension is simply a mask for his fear of the unknown and a weapon used to silence logic. Now look at what happens when Richard Dawkins is allowed to get a word in edgewise.

Another example of how theists stifle those who they see as their opponents (atheists are not the enemy, by the way, we just want to be allowed to express our own beliefs) is illustrated here, through violence.

And here, again through smug condescension.

Notice how the believers are trying to show hypocrisy on the part of the non believer by trying to prove she has faith in something… anything? What I find funny is their go to was money… something Jesus was adamantly against. It has always baffled me that religions and religious types don’t see their worship of the almighty dollar, euro, peso, yen, etc as flying directly in the face of their religious teachings, but I digress.

What theists need to understand is that atheists aren’t persecuting you. If you want to know who is really being run ram shod over, take a look at this.

In conclusion I would like to share a short back and forth I had on twitter with a self-professed Christian woman.

Her- Ain’t no such thing as an athiest . Pastor Anderson said so.

Me- Ooh, say hi to the pastor for me. Time for him to understand the difference between real and imaginary.

Her- Ignorance cannot be helped . I’ll just pray for you :)

Me- Why, so I can be ignorant too? Ignorance is bliss. Have a blissful day.

Her- Ignorance may indeed be bliss , but i’m not ignorant . Have fun rotting in Hell – literally .

Me- That’s very Christian of you.

It’s a crime (part three)


Bill Maher has this great bit about being pro death. “I’m pro death. I am pro-death penalty.  I am pro-choice.  I am pro-assisted suicide, pro-regular suicide. I am for anything that gets the traffic moving faster” While this is a funny way of expressing his views, he’s still expressing his real views.

I too am pro death, especially when it comes to assisted suicide. I don’t understand why this is a crime. I mean why needlessly prolong someone’s suffering. You wouldn’t do that to a family pet, so why do it to your grandmother? Of course the family pet hasn’t named you in his will, so there’s not all of that legal crap to worry over. I’m not suggesting that assisted suicide should be allowed if the person assisting is a family member, there’s too much temptation possible in that scenario and the consequences would be too legally messy. However, if a dying person, who has no chance at a quality existence decides they would rather not continue living, I don’t understand why their doctor cannot help them out of their pain. The doctor doesn’t even have to be the one to administer the final blow. Leave it in the hands of the patient, by allowing them control of the morphine drip. They can just press the button until it’s over. Isn’t it preferable to die without pain? To give the patient some control over his/her last moments? To allow this person to die with dignity?

I haven’t even gotten into the fact that the healthcare industry would save millions of dollars every year if people were allowed to choose this option, rather than be kept alive with expensive machinery and drugs. In countries like Canada, that has universal healthcare, it makes no sense not to allow assisted suicide. In the United States, however, where healthcare is a for profit industry (don’t get me started on the moral issues this raises), I suppose assisted suicide takes food out of the mouths of the doctor’s servants. Getting back to civilized countries, as the Baby Boomers (the most populous generation on the planet) are aging and governments are facing spending multiple millions of dollars on their healthcare, it only makes fiscal sense to allow the OPTION of assisted suicide.

It’s a crime (part two)


Why is prostitution illegal? It really is a victim-less crime. Oh, sure a case could be made that the wives of the male customers are the victims, but, without prostitutes, these men would find somebody else to cheat with. Actually by keeping prostitution illegal, the real victims become the prostitutes, themselves.

If you look at the countries that have legal prostitution, the women who ply this trade have less instances of violence, have less STDs and have less social stigma attached to what they do, which, in turn, gives them a better quality of life.

In countries where prostitution is illegal, sex trafficking is a real problem, STDs run rampant, prostitutes are not protected by the law, so there are more instances of violence perpetrated upon them. These women live in fear of being jailed, beaten or worse on a daily basis.

If your daughter chose to be a prostitute, which of these two lives would you prefer she lived?

There will always be a demand for sex, so there will always be a supply. Keeping prostitution illegal only serves to vilify women who choose to profit from their own sexuality, (and we all know how scary a woman’s sexuality is, just look at how many women are still getting female circumcisions forced upon them on a daily basis worldwide).

We have come a long way, baby, but the road ahead is just as long, if not longer.

It’s a crime (part one)


This will be the first in a three part series on things that I think should be decriminalized.

Marijuana use. It seems that we are getting closer to the legalization of marijuana use, at least for medical purposes, but what about for recreational use? I realize there are all sorts of special interest types of reasons why pot is an illegal substance (paper companies, drug companies etc.), but let’s just do a comparison of marijuana and alcohol from a social standpoint and you can draw your own conclusions.

Alcohol is legal as we all know. People who are drunk, often commit acts of violence (intentional and unintentional), often vomit, black out, cause car accidents and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

People who get high on pot never commit acts of violence (that would require getting up off the sofa and nothing is THAT big a deal), rarely vomit (unless you’ve munched too much), never black out, and rarely cause car accidents (those accidents would be far less dangerous, as the driver is travelling at a MUCH slower speed). High people also make a nuisance of themselves, but you rarely want to punch them for it.

Alcohol is addictive.

Marijuana is not addictive.

What about the Children?


Will the stupidity never end? This week a “News Story” broke about a retired porn star, Sasha Grey reading to grade school children. Read what happened here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/sasha-grey-porn-star-read_n_1088017.html

In this blog I will make the argument that the folks on ALL sides of this event are showing their stupidity. Let me begin with the aforementioned Ms. Grey. It should be noted that I am not anti porn in any way. I consider myself a sex positive feminist, from the old school of feminism that believes a woman should embrace her sexuality, not be vilified for it. I do not judge Ms. Grey for her former profession, only for her behavior in this instance. As a former porn star she should know that society will not want her in direct contact with children unless they are her own. While I applaud her wanting to volunteer for a worthy cause, she picked the wrong one. If, however, she had gone into that classroom, read the story and left without feeling the need to be validated through tweeting about her good deed, chances are, we and the children’s parents never would have heard about this situation. But, then Ms. Grey would not have had the publicity she so sorely desires. I am so sick of women playing the victim, especially when it’s obvious that they cast themselves in the role. Oh, look at the poor former porn star, she’s not allowed to do anything good without being reminded of all the bad she’s done. It was stupid of her to tweet about reading to elementary school children under her performing name to all of her porn fans (and TMZ). What I really want to know is who took the pictures of her in the classroom? Can you say Publicist?

Then there’s the school who claimed, when pressed, that Ms. Grey was never there. Could it be because she was there under her non-porn name and they just didn’t put two and two together (not EVERYONE watches porn after all)? Could it be because they wanted to avoid the inevitable shit-storm from the parents? Or maybe they thought that if they denied it, no one could ever possibly prove otherwise. Enter Twitter and TMZ. Denial was possibly the most stupid route to take in this drama. Who do they think they are, politicians?

Now to the outraged parents. The collective complaint here seems to be that their innocent little angels were subjected to the horror that is being in the same room with a lady who read to them. Let’s face facts, in the moment, all these kids were aware of was that some lady was reading to them. It’s the parents who have made this an issue that they now have to explain to their kids, by voicing their outrage. And we all know how parents hate having to talk to their kids about sex. How do you explain pornography to a 6-year-old? This is a question the parents should have asked themselves before reacting emotionally. If they had just left well enough alone, then these little children would not have had to know the meaning of the word pornography and why the pretty lady with the long brown hair was a bad person. These parents in their stupidity are just breeding more hate and playing right into the hands of Ms. Grey and her quest for fame (or, in this case, infamy) through victimization.

Do you believe in magic?


Today is 11-11-11 and people seem to have lost all common sense. What do we expect is going to happen? Will all our dreams come true? Will the world end? Is it supposed to be lucky somehow? There are many people planning on making a wish and/or buying a lottery ticket at 11:11 (both am and pm) today.

The only people I can think of that 11-11-11 would be lucky for are dyslexic people.

What is this fascination we have with luck and magic? Is it just another way of not taking responsibility for ourselves? If you ask the richest among us how they got so rich, the answer is invariably a good idea and hard work. So why are we pinning our hopes on a numerical oddity? Do we really expect that if we wish hard enough today that the wish will magically come true? Have we really become so entitled that we expect all of our dreams to appear on a silver platter? Let’s talk about hard work for a moment. In this reality show culture we have created, it seems so easy to get rich and famous. What we don’t see is all the hard work it takes on behalf of the agents, managers, publicity teams, hairstylists, make up artists and stylists to take someone without any talent whatsoever and make them into a Kim Kardashian, or even a Snookie. Then it’s all the hard work  and grueling schedules that the “stars” themselves must keep up with in order to remain in the public eye. Let’s not forget the hard work of the paparazzi and the people who put together the entertainment shows and magazines that have to think of something interesting/controversial to say about  these no talents. For every “over night success” there is a team of very hard working people making it happen. There is no magic involved. The only luck is the luck you make for yourself.

I am also confused by the people who seem to be cheering for the world to end. Harold Camping and his ilk. These doomsday watchers seem to have a death wish. Is life so tough for them that they are hoping with every fiber of their being for the entire world and all life on it to cease. There are people who are projecting their financial future only as far as December 21, 2012 because they are SURE the world will end. December 21, 2012 is another one of those numerical anomalies 12-21-12. All of this craziness puts the wind up my skirt. After all, you could die tomorrow, or you could live to 110. Doesn’t it make more sense to plan for the latter and not be caught unprepared? I understand the need to have something to look forward to, but really, if the end of the world is what you’re excited about, maybe you should re-examine your priorities.

As for 11-11-11, I don’t paint by numbers and I don’t live my life by them either, but I will be buying a lottery ticket today, because it’s Friday and I always get my ticket on Friday and you can’t win if you don’t play. I will also continue to work hard and NOT plan my future with the assumption that I will handed anything on a silver platter. I realize I have to EARN a lot of money just to be able to afford the platter.

What would Jesus do?


I am sick and tired of hearing Christians asking, “What would Jesus do?”. I am an atheist (who has read the Bible) and I know what Jesus would do in most situations, more importantly I can tell you what Jesus wouldn’t do.

Jesus wouldn’t murder people in the name of God.

Jesus wouldn’t cheer a presidential candidate because he executed over 200 people.

Jesus wouldn’t ostracize and bully a young boy/girl until they took their own life because they were gay.

Jesus wouldn’t worry so much about keeping up with the Jones-es (or the Kardashians) that his family was starving or foreclosed on.

Jesus wouldn’t subject thousands of women to genital mutilation in the name of God.

Jesus wouldn’t use rape as a weapon of war.

Jesus wouldn’t declare war.

Jesus wouldn’t get involved in petty mud slinging and idle gossip.

Jesus wouldn’t worship at the altar of celebrity.

Jesus wouldn’t worry about the richest one percent of the population over the poorest among us.

Jesus wouldn’t vilify a woman for doing as she wished with her own body.

Jesus wouldn’t jail marijuana smokers longer than pedophiles. (Jesus wouldn’t jail marijuana smokers at all)

Jesus wouldn’t condemn a person with AIDS.

These are just a few of the things I am sure that Jesus wouldn’t do.

One thing I am sure Jesus WOULD do is tell his Christian followers to stop using his name when they do the things listed above.