Thursday, August 24, 2017


A yellow labrador attempting to eat the spot on the wall where refracted light has created a rainbow pattern. Image source.
1. ACLU Will No Longer Defend Hate Groups Protesting With Firearms (posted August 17) "For decades, the ACLU has defended white supremacists and other hate groups against government efforts to curb their speech, driven by the belief that carve-outs to the First Amendment weaken its protections for everyone."

2. Protesters in Durham “Turned Themselves In” to Show Solidarity with Takiyah Thompson (posted August 17)

3. The coolest checkerboard magic trick (posted 2015) Oooooh this is a really cool math question.

4. Sex Repulsed Aces in Fiction (posted August 17) "I glared at him. 'How is that what makes someone human?'"

5. Harry Potter Theory: Was Hagrid Dumbledore's Secret Weapon? (posted August 17) "...and it is the most, like, Dumbledore thing I can think of to fix Hagrid's wand."

6. An Atheist Reads The Case for Christ: Chapter 9 (posted 2012) "So Jesus kills an entire herd of animals that didn't belong to him. He devastates the livelihood of whichever farmer happened to own those pigs, when he could have just cast the demons out without letting them jump into the pigs. We don't see demons being cast out of people and having to jump into animals or other people any other time. You think Jesus can't be convicted of any sin? Ask the guy who owned the pigs." Wowwwww I have NEVER thought about it in that way before. I'm really glad I'm watching this video series. I'm not saying I 100% believe that Shives's interpretation of that passage is correct- it would require more research before I could form an opinion about it- but what I'm really astonished at is the way I was carefully trained to read the bible so that it would never even occur to me to think such things about Jesus' actions.

Back when I was a "good Christian," I attended many a bible study where we addressed the issue of "what God did in this passage sounds really bad- let's figure out how to convince ourselves that it wasn't actually bad." And it worked. I learned all sorts of clever arguments, ways to call good evil and evil good. And now it's been YEARS since I quit believing that everything God/Jesus did in the bible is by definition right, and I decided it's okay to just say "no, this was bad, and I'm not going to believe any twisted reason you invent about why it wasn't actually bad." (For example, when God commands genocide. In order to believe that everything God did in the bible is good, you have to be heartless.) It's been YEARS, and I watched this video today and this is the first time I've ever thought about "hey, those pigs belonged to someone, and Jesus just killed them all? WTF?"

I learned how to read the bible like a good evangelical. And I'm angry.

7. I'm a black Southerner. I had to go abroad to see a statue celebrating black liberation. (posted August 16) "But the fact that the national debate still centers on whether pro-slavery monuments should be taken down, not on how many anti-racist monuments should be built, speaks volumes."

8. The U.S. Capitol has at least three times as many statues of Confederate figures as it does of black people (posted August 16)

9. On the Vandalism at the Boston Holocaust Memorial (posted August 16)

10. Cover Story: Facing Our Legacy of Lynching (posted August 18) [content note: description of lynching] "But in America, he says, 'We don’t talk about lynching. Worse, we’ve created the counter-narrative that says we have nothing about which we should be ashamed. Our past is romantic and glorious.'"

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