Thought of the day

Religion has not merit. It is undeserving of this absurd respect demanded of it. It is something to be fully and robustly disdained. Worst yet, it’s untrue. I mean, come on. Virgin birth? Reincarnation? Shut the hell up, you crazy kooks

Freedom and prepositions

The First Amendment reads, in part, as follows.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

This necessarily entails freedom from religion. There’s a growing number of morons who have absolutely no concept of grammar or how to interpret texts with historical and logical context.

Here’s the jist: the religidiots believe that ‘freedom of religion’ means that the constitution was intended to allow people to worship without government interference, but that that concept only goes one way; they think religious interference in government is okay, just not the other way around. There’s an unspeakable poverty in this sort of infantile thinking.

It is not possible for a government to be subject to religious interference while simultaneously allowing its people to worship (or not worship) as they see fit. If one group instills its religious beliefs into law (as just happened here in Maine), then that belief is obviously placed upon all people of all religions. It shouldn’t be hard to make the connections now, but I will do it just in case any “Yes on 1” supporters are reading this: my religious choices (or lack thereof) cannot be freely made because one group has told me, based upon religion, that I cannot behave, act, think, or otherwise do as I personally see fit in accordance with my own beliefs. That means that I no longer have any freedom of religion because, through interference in our secular government, I am not free from religion.

It’s that fucking simple.

Naturopathic medicine

I just submitted a letter to the local paper concerning another letter they recently published. Here it is.

On 10/29 “Dr.” Christopher Maloney wrote a letter praising Naturopathic medicine. As is so common with charlatans, he was dangerously misleading.

Maloney begins by telling us that the regular flu vaccine has no effect on H1N1. He intentionally mentions this piece of irrelevant pedantry because he is setting up his punch-line: flu vaccines only provide 6 to 15 percent protection. This is a lie. Healthy adults face upwards of a 90% reduction in their chance of becoming infected with the flu (CDC). Beyond that, vaccines also dull the intensity of the flu should an individual actually face infection.

For his next dangerous joke, Maloney claims vaccines have no effect on deadly complications in any group. The non-mountebank truth is that they reduce hospitalization in the elderly by 50-60% (CDC). Death rate falls by 80% (CDC).

Next this quack recommends black elderberry for those waiting for a flu shot. PubMed features two peer-reviewed studies to the efficacy of this treatment (and not for the H1N1 virus specifically). It has some positive results, but the researchers note (correctly) that larger studies are needed. It does not, however, “block” the H1N1 virus, as Maloney claims.

Finally, Maloney brings out some false, unsupported statistics about stress. This is nothing more than the usual mantra for alternative medicine supporters.

The most interesting thing about this “doctor” is that he doesn’t mention that Naturopathic “medicine” is actually illegal in two states. Another 30 do not acknowledge it.

His recommendations are borrowed from basic nutritional information at best (and it’s far better to get that from someone with a proper education) and are downright dangerous at worst.

Go to your regular doctor.

On the upside, Maloney is not the swindler Andreas Moritz is. He is a charlatan and a mountebank for all this bunk misleading, but his concern seems to be more genuine and less about money. But he’s still wrong.

In the interest of not making a big, ugly blog post, I will include Maloney’s letter in the comment section.

Bad news

It looks like outright contempt for civil liberties will be victorious tonight. I cringe at the interviews where these fucking bigots are so proud of their ability to oppress a minority. It’s utterly disgusting. I have seriously run through my mind the likelihood of being able to move out of state to a place where my civil liberties are not so at risk. (This rejection of rights is not merely a rejection of rights for one group; my neighbor’s rights are my rights.) In all objectivity, it’s anger which drives me to this consideration, but that makes it no less real.

The single consolation in the all-but-certain results from tonight is that they are not the end of this. Maine spent roughly a decade fighting to protect sexual orientation in education, housing, employment, and other areas. Voters rejected this fight multiple times until it finally won in 2005. Soon after, another petition was generated to yet again attempt to repeal these protections and it had to be aborted due to lack of support. The exact same thing will happen with same-sex marriage – unless of course someone brings the issue to court. I hope that doesn’t happen for a couple years since it could trigger a constitutional amendment vote; it’s too early for that.

But I think it’s important to start asking certain questions. Those who voted to repeal Maine’s bill on personal liberties as they pertain to marriage have no concept of the gravity of what they have just done. Where does this all end? They have just affirmed that marriage is a religious institution that is to be legally sanctified by the state. Religion is such a dangerous weapon always, but that is especially true here. If marriage is a religious institution, then it is only really valid in the eyes of these bigots if it is done in front of their particular sky fairy. So what group faces the chopping block next? Muslims? Probably not too soon since Lewiston has a large black* Islamic population. Hindus? Not enough of a threat, really. Buddhists? Too amorphous to attack. Atheists? That’s a good target. It’s an unpopular group (even more so than gays), and not only do they not have the right god, they have no god at all. Why not take away their rights to marriage? And really, it isn’t taking away any rights. Marriage is now legally defined as a privilege. It can be taken away by the whim of the majority at any time, principles, rights, and liberties be damned.

*I specifically mention that they are black because a disproportionately high number of blacks in California voted against same-sex marriage. In Lewiston they went 3:1 against it. It’s astounding. This is a group with a still relevant history of oppression and discrimination against them (which specifically includes marital rights), yet they go and pull these tremendous stunts. They should know better. Stupidity knows no racial bonds; it is ubiquitous.