The Good. The Bad. The Asinine.

Block & Roll #3 – Dishing it Out

Block & Roll 3

Found in translation

Oh Holger, you didn’t. Please tell me you didn’t say that “women should shut up in public”.

Because that’s what the Herald Sun, The Age, The Gaurdian, The Daily Mail and the ABC are saying you said. And, oh dear, I just checked YouTube, and it’s on there too, for all to see. “You push me around like my wife”, you said. “Women should shut up in public”, you said. What do you have to say for yourself?

You thought you were off the record? Come on Holger, you’ve been playing the press game long enough to know that nothing’s really off the record, especially when you have about 20 microphones in your face and you say something stupid.

Oh hang on, it was only a joke? A private joke between you and your wife? Well, sorry Holger, but just because you and your wife think it’s funny, it doesn’t mean the rest of us have to.

Wait, wait, what was that? What you actually said was “Mulieres taceres in ecclesia”? Haha, nice try Holger, but saying “Women should shut up in public” in Latin doesn’t make it sound any better. In French, maybe… but definitely not Latin.

Ahhhh, I see now. You were just quoting the Bible. 1 Corinthians 14:35, to be exact.

Well that can’t possibly be sexist. Carry on.

Spotted by the eagle-eared Martin from Furious Purpose.

Well of course she was asking for it

Well, she was. What did she expect? Out late at night, putting herself in that position, dressed the way she was, what was I supposed to do?

I’m talking, of course, about the young woman I just ran over with my car. Now I know what you’re thinking, and believe me, I understand how you feel. I had the same thought when I first saw her. Running people over is generally considered to be a bit mean, and I have a big four wheel drive with a kick arse bull bar, and I knew it wasn’t exactly going to tickle if I ploughed right through her. She’d probably suffer lasting physical and emotional damage. She could even die.

So yes, I understand that you think running her over wasn’t the right thing to do. But hear me out.

It was late at night, as I said, and it was in a bit of a dodgy neighbourhood, so there were no streetlights. But on top of all that, she was also wearing dark clothes! How dumb can you get? She must have known that if she dressed like a ninja, and then crossed a dark street late at night, there was a good chance she would get hit by a car. What was she thinking?

Now if you think that’s bad, wait till you hear this. Despite all of that, I still managed to see her in the middle of the road. I am, after all, an excellent driver. My dad even lets me drive on the driveway. So yeah, I saw her. And yeah, I could have stopped, or beeped my horn to warn her. But you won’t believe what happened next. I looked up, and saw that she was crossing the street while the little man was red!

Can you believe it? No don’t worry, I couldn’t either.

So I stomped on the gas and ran that bitch over.

It’s what any nice, normal young man from a good family would do.

God is a gentleman… apparently

If you’re a good American Christian, and you play to the stereotype, it’s likely that the recent school massacre has reaffirmed a few things.

In particular, it’s probably reaffirmed that:

  • All those Christian founding fathers were bang on when they wrote the Second Amendment. It’s just the First Amendment they stuffed up;
  • What America needs, more than anything else, is more guns (let’s face it, you’re going to think twice about gunning down six-year-olds if you know they’re all carrying);
  • Anyone calling for even the smallest amount of gun control is a left-wing, anti-American, pinko, Muslim atheist kill-joy, and probably gay.

What it probably hasn’t affirmed is that, while your god might be great at weddings, he is, to put it mildly, a bit of an arsehole.

You see, if you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent god, you must also believe that god could have somehow stopped Adam Lanza from killing 20 children, but chose not to. But why on earth would he choose not to intervene? Let’s ask Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association.

So there you have it, folks. God will happily appear on your toast, find you a parking space at Costco, stop your son’s Little League team from getting the wooden spoon, and help you win a Grammy. But he won’t intervene to stop the slaughter of 20 six-year-old children in a public school, because god is a gentleman, and doesn’t go where he’s not wanted.


Because nothing says “You’re wanted” like being nailed to a giant cross.

Priorities… Catholic style

Same old, same old

Behold, the words of Mr S. Smith, Member for Flint, as he addresses the British House of Commons:

I cannot comprehend the mental attitude of those who say we should only look at the first step we take, and shut our eyes to its inevitable consequences; as well might a man drive a coach down a steep incline with a precipice at the bottom, and say that he had no business to consider the precipice.

‘The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the Head of the Church’ is the uniform language of Scripture, repeated in one form or another hundreds of times. Could a greater calamity befall the human race than to undermine this sacred institution? I [don't] much doubt that … should X be successful, a time of social chaos would ensue.

Out of this movement for X may develop at a later date another movement to replace the marriage law of Christianity … and I much fear that experiments may be tried which will not tend to the welfare of mankind … It may be granted that the great majority of those who are moving in this matter have not at present the slightest wish for such changes, but my argument is that they are feeding a movement which contains them in its bosom, and out of which they will ultimately grow.

I wish to lay before the right hon. Gentleman the circumstance that universal history is opposed to X; no free country in the world has ever tried the experiment … They take a tremendous responsibility who deride the universal experience of mankind.

[If X was allowed], everything would be thrown afresh into the melting pot, and no human being could predict what would emerge from the cauldron. But my main objection to this and all similar Bills is my dread of its effects on the home life of the nation. I hope the House will weigh well the pregnant words of the right hon. Member for Midlothian — ‘I am not without the fear lest, beginning with the State, we should eventually be found to have intruded into what is yet more fundamental and more sacred, the precinct of the family, and should dislocate or injuriously modify the relations of domestic life.’ I believe those words are perfectly true, and they weigh more with me than all other objections combined.

I ask the House to pause before taking this terrible leap in the dark. It is the most revolutionary proposal of our time. If it prove a mistake it will be irretrievable; once given it cannot be reversed. In my judgment, it will be the commencement of national decline. In any case, it is a desperate experiment. We have too much at stake to make rash experiments. We are trustees for the greatest Empire the world ever saw, and we cannot afford to sap its foundations by reckless innovations.

Can you guess what ‘X’ is? Sounds like he was talking about marriage equality, doesn’t it?

He wasn’t.

He was speaking in 1892, about giving women the vote.


Let me fix that for you… again

The last poster was stupid. This one’s just sad.

In the accompanying article, the woman in the photo, Belinda, explains that she was “born with a broken face”, and “despite some clever doctors doing their best to fix” her, she remains disfigured.

I am happy that she seems to have found some kind of peace with the hand she’s been dealt. But I also feel profoundly sad. Sad that she celebrates the beauty that her god sees in her, while simultaneously wishing she’d been “fixed”. Sad that she finds strangeness in the human reaction to her appearance, but not in the deity that bestowed it. Sad that she doesn’t realise that although “god doesn’t dislike us because of our scars”, he dislikes us enough to give them to us. Sad that, for every person who has managed the double-think required to love the god that cursed them, there are 1,000 others who’d swap the imaginary cosmic compliment for some kind of normality. And sad that, although Belinda was able to ask her god for answers, there are countless others, like my autistic nephew, who will never be able to.

And so, the more appropriate caption is this:

Reality is in the hands of the creator.

Belinda is beautiful. But she’s not beautiful because of the way her god made her. She’s beautiful in spite of it.

Edit: I had originally recaptioned the poster with “God. Messing with people’s heads since 4000 B.C”. Many thanks to Chrys for highlighting my insensitivity, unintentional though it was.

Submission impossible

The scene: Joe and Mary want to get married. Unaware of Sydney Anglicans’ new marriage vows, they approach their local Anglican priest to enquire about using his church for the ceremony…

Joe: Hi there. I’m Joe, and this is my fiance, Mary. We were wondering if we could talk to you about getting married in your church.

Priest: Hi Joe! Come in, please. Will Mary be waiting outside?

Joe: Excuse me?

Priest: Oh, you’re one of those. Fine, fine. Come in, please.

Joe: Thank you.

Priest: So, you want to be married in my church?

Joe: Yes, if that’s possible.

Priest: Shouldn’t be a problem. You’re both Christian, I hope?

Mary: Yes, we are.

Priest: Good, good. And I assume you know what will be expected of you, as soon-to-be-married Christians?

Joe: I think so. We should at all times be to each other what Christ was to his followers.

Priest: And that was…?

Mary: Respectful, loving, forgiving –

Priest: Goodness gracious! Where on earth did you hear that?

Mary: Oh, I thought the bible –

Priest: Haha, poor little thing. That’s not what the bible says at all… Your husband is your master!

Joe: That doesn’t sound right…

Priest: I can see how you might have missed it. I mean, it’s only in the first frikken book. “And the Lord God said to Adam, It is not good that you should be alone; I will make an help meet for you.”

Mary: An help meet?

Priest: Well, OK, the wording is a little silly. But there’s more, Mary! “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”. See? You have to find him sexy, and he gets to boss you around.

Mary: Oh… It really says that?

Priest: And more! This is the best bit. Adam wasn’t punished for eating the fruit, he was punished because he listened to his wife! “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, cursed is the ground for thy sake”.

Mary: Well, maybe, but that’s just a story, isn’t it…

Priest: Don’t be so worried! Submission isn’t a bad thing, Mary. It’s like dancing. The man always leads, right?

Mary: I guess so… but a dance doesn’t last 50 years, does it?

Priest: OK, OK. Bad example. Think of it more like an altar boy submitting to his priest.

Joe: Well that doesn’t sound so bad. Right, honey?

Mary: Yeah, that does sound better!

Priest: So, we’re all on board?

Joe and Mary: Yep!

Priest: That’s great news! It’s great being Christian, isn’t it? Imagine being one of those damned Muslims. The way they treat their women. Disgraceful…

Hypocrisy, thy name is Jim

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s only being able to list one thing that I hate. Oh, and I hate those little stickers that they put on fruit. They are very annoying.

Jesus hated a few things, too. Fig trees, for instance. But also, hypocrisy:

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
- Matthew 7:3

“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.”
- Matthew 6:1-6

“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”
- Matthew 15:7-8

With that in mind, you’d think that his modern day followers would also hate hypocrisy, wouldn’t you? And fig trees, of course.

Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least, not if the Australian Christian Lobby is anything to go by. Not only are fig trees readily available from a wide range of nurseries, but the hypocrisy of the ACL, and its managing director in particular, apparently knows no bounds.

As I mentioned here the other day, Jim Wallace, the aforementioned MD, was a little put out when 7′s Sunrise came out in support of same-sex marriage:

That a TV current affairs show, let alone TV station, should take sides in such a highly contentious issue in the public square is disgraceful.

Fine Jim, fine. As long as you’re prepared to label any corporations that support your position as ‘disgraceful’, too. You wouldn’t have a problem with that, would you Jim? So when Gloria Jeans donated $30,000 to your organisation, an organisation that spends most of its time battling against equality for gays and lesbians, you just gave the money straight back, didn’t you Jim?

Jim? Are you there?

Didn’t think so.

You’re probably out battling fig trees.

Chrys Stevensons’ awesome summary of Gloria Jeans’ connection to homophobia can be found here. And, if you’re so inclined, there is a Facebook page, too.

Bronte and Jim go to the dog park

I have two golden retrievers, Bronte and Rory. They are awesome. But Bronte hides a terrible secret.

When she was born, I said to myself, “As long as she doesn’t get my nose, I’ll be happy”. And I was happy. Well, as happy as you can be if you have a nose like mine.

The weeks went by, we ran, we played, we pooped in the backyard. As her personality began to express itself, however, I started noticing things. Bronte started noticing things, too. And by “things” I mean “much smaller dogs”. And by “noticing” I mean “seeking them out in the dog park and forcing them to play with her against their will until they ran back to their owners for protection and a doggie treat which she thought was all part of the game so she’d run over to their owners as well and jump on them and steal the treat and then sit there asking for more and thinking ‘This is the best game ever, I can’t believe I invented it’”.

To be fair to Bronte, she always had good intentions. Golden retrievers are nothing if not big, smiling, balls of goofy happiness, and Bronte certainly fits the mould. But you can’t escape facts. And, sitting at the dog park watching her playfully terrorise anything smaller than herself, the fact seemed to be that she was a bully.

After a couple of years, we started to wonder that perhaps the reason Bronte was so, er, enthusiastic, was that she didn’t really get to play with other dogs that often. I’m sure Bronte was wondering things, too. Mostly why the government set the carbon price at $23 per tonne, but also why none of her little playmates ever visited. Anyway, we decided the time was right to get another dog. Another goldie. Someone to keep her company, and teach her some playtime manners.

Ah, Rory. The definition of a letdown.

I’m kidding, of course. Rory is absolutely sensational, and we don’t call him “Rorgeous” for nothing. But teach Bronte manners? He practically begs her to pick on him. Don’t get me wrong, they get along like a doghouse on fire, but Bronte’s bullying seemed to just carry on as normal.

Enter Trixie, Mum and Dad’s german shepherd. Trixie loves playing with Bronte, in much the same way that Bronte loves playing with small dogs with treat-laden owners. And Bronte doesn’t like it, not one bit. As I was watching them the other morning, a sudden thought occurred to me. Bronte and Jim Wallace, the managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, have a lot in common.

You see, Jim is a bully, too. That’s all his opposition to same-sex marriage is. Bullying.

Jim is happy to stand up and tell homosexuals that they are immoral. That they aren’t fit to raise children. That his dogmatic definition of a family, cherry-picked from a randomly-selected holy book, is better than everyone else’s. That his opinion on your personal life is worth more than yours.

But don’t you dare disagree with him. He doesn’t like it:

What it says for the respect they have for alternative opinion, even our values, is extremely disappointing and we need to register our disappointment.

We must respect your opinion that gays are inferior? Sorry Jim, but no, we don’t. You’re just a bully, running around telling everyone else what they have to think and believe, and then crying foul when someone disagrees with you. Which is exactly what Bronte does.

Although, she’s a young dog, and means well.

You’re an adult human, and just, well… mean.

It’s time to have a look in the mirror, Jim, or pretty soon no one will want to play with you at the dog park. Not even Bronte.

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