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You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Sep 29, 2011
Memo to Calvin College, Bob Marshall, and Newt Gingrich: YOUR TURN!
Bottoms Up week continues! Sorry to those of you waiting for me to comment on the macing of Wall Street protestors, Michele Bachmann's claim that Cuba is in cahoots with Iran, or the premiere of Terra Nova. This is necessary. I hate to sound like a douche, but this whole exercise is about making sure my research mound feels fresh down below. Onward!
We start today with Calvin College, a Christian Reform college in Michigan whose motto is "Minds In The Making". Their motto, as we will shortly see, is not "Minds In The Using", because if you use your mind at Calvin College, rather than just making up your mind and leaving it that way, your mind will be out on your mind's ass.
The mind-users, John Schneider and Dan Harlow - wrote a couple of scholarly papers. Their premise was not in any way revolutionary. All they basically said was that there's been a shitload of science in the past 2,000 years, and that if you accept the science, on account of it being, you know, SCIENCE, then Genesis can't be literally true.
I'm not sure why these two guys felt the need to write "scholarly papers" reaching the same conclusion that every single sane Christian in the world has reached in order to move into the Sane Christians camp, but that pales in comparison to how not sure I am why one of the guys got fired over it and the other had to fight to keep his job. Well, OK. I am sure why that happened. I just didn't think the kind of people that would make a fuss over it would know a scholarly paper from their own post-consumer toilet paper.
But the rabble heard about it and there was an outcry and the college decided that "recent and proposed scholarly work addressing issues in genetic science and Christian theology, as they relate to human origin, have engendered legitimate concerns within the college community and its constituencies." And with that one word, "legitimate", Calvin College officially declared itself less credible on matters of both science and the spirit than Calvin and Hobbes.
And speaking of fucking nutjobs using big words to disguise how bigoted and insipid they are, ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"As a Catholic legislator, I disagree with Governor O’Malley. Sexual orientation is not limited to same- or complementary-sex attractions but includes attractions to children, prostitutes, multiple wives (polygamy) dead persons (necrophilia), animals, inanimate objects, and others that could not be printed in the Baltimore Sun out of deference to readers. - Virginia Delegate, which I'm pretty sure I looked up before and it was Virginia's weird-ass name for their state reps, Bob Marshall, explaining why gay people shouldn't get married.
This is, of course, a lie. The "sex" in sexual orientation isn't fucking, it's gender. He even uses "sex" instead of "gender" himself, before going on a lengthy, and I guarantee Bob-Marshall-erection-inducing, list of things you can stick your dick in - kids, whores, groups, corpses, critters, stuffed critters, and THE UNSPEAKABLE OTHER.
It's that last one that I find hilarious. Apparently, the Baltimore Sun's deference to its readers, and Bob Marshall's concern for same, does not extend to child-fucking, corpse-fucking, horse-fucking, or bleu-cheese-fucking. So what couldn't be printed would have to be worse than all four of those things. And honestly, I'm stumped. Oh! Maybe he means stump-fucking? No, that can't be worse than a corpse. I'll say this for Bob Marshall, he's got a much broader imagination than I do, not to mention clearly a much broader range of what he's willing to spank it to.
And finally, Newt Gingrich accidentally finds a nugget of truth in his own heapin' helpin' of bullshit:
"You have to recognize that free enterprise is based on free people and … free people are based on faith. The very basis of our belief and freedom is that we believe we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. The very source of our strength is that we believe these are truths – not theories, not ideologies, not gimmicks, not political consultants, powerpoints – truths, and so there’s a core absolute overlap between free enterprise, freedom and freedom of faith. And if you don’t have freedom of faith in the end you’re not going to have free enterprise because there’s no moral force that defends and protects you."
Now, what Newt was saying, which is a complete fucking joke, is that American economic prosperity is directly tied to Christian morality, which is inextricably linked with raw, unmitigated free-market capitalism. Which is why, as we all know, Jesus relied heavily on child labor.
But if you pretend he's actually talking about his party, and the 40 to 55 percent of Americans who agree with him at any given point in time, then he's absolutely right. The source of their strength is that they believe these things are truths. Not open to debate. Not subject to mountains of contradictory evidence. They believe it absolutely, because a generation of Republicans who believed it as a political gimmick to give more money to their rich friends have passed those values to a new generation who no longer think it's a game.
That's Republican strength, and America's weakness.