What happened before the Big Bang?

The reason Christians don’t know what happened before the Big Bang is because they aren’t very adventurous. Every atheist knows it was preceded by the Big Foreplay.

Faith healing couple convicted

The faith healing couple that was charged with felony mistreatment of their daughter last year has been convicted:

An Oregon jury took just an hour Tuesday to convict a couple of felony criminal mistreatment for relying on faith healing instead of taking their infant daughter to a doctor.

Timothy and Rebecca Wyland’s daughter Alayna, born in December 2009, developed an abnormal growth of blood vessels that covered her left eye and threatened her vision. Now 1 1/2 years old, she has improved under state-ordered medical care. She remains in state custody but lives with her parents…

The couple had 6 ½ months to seek medical attention before the state intervened but they did not, [Prosecutor Christine] Landers said. Because of their faith, “they never would have,” she said.

In the past two years, Clackamas County has prosecuted two other couples from the same church whose children died from untreated ailments.

Oregon has been making great strides in the fight against this religious-based violence on children. It is currently in the process of developing and passing a law that takes away the defense of faith healing, it has this recent conviction, and as the article notes, it has convicted other Christian parents of their crimes. The only place where improvement is needed is in sentencing. While I am against using prison merely as a means of punishment (because that’s just petty, emotional revenge), it does serve a legitimate purpose to use real sentences as a deterrent. Most convicted faith healing parents receive short sentences or probation (which is likely for the Wylands), and what do we keep seeing? Parents who want to hide behind their religion when they neglect their children. It has to stop.

Thought of the day

I don’t see how anyone can think David Barton even resembles anything like an historian.

New Jersey, Tennessee, and emotional distress

New Jersey passed an excellent law earlier this year in partial response to the bullying-caused death of Tyler Clementi. (The process of developing the law began prior to Clementi’s tragic death.) Primarily directed at the junior high and high school levels, the law provides administrators easier ways of dealing with bullies. This follows from the basic premise that harassment is not okay, even between minors.

I mention New Jersey’s law for two reasons. First, it bears relevance to a recent law passed in Tennessee:

A new Tennessee law makes it a crime to “transmit or display an image” online that is likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone who sees it. Violations can get you almost a year in jail time or up to $2500 in fines…

The new legislation adds images to the list of communications that can trigger criminal liability. But for image postings, the “emotionally distressed” individual need not be the intended recipient. Anyone who sees the image is a potential victim. If a court decides you “should have known” that an image you posted would be upsetting to someone who sees it, you could face months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

I say this bears relevance to the law in New Jersey because of the second reason I’m posting this. Some random scrotebag on a friend’s Facebook wall thinks the two laws are equally or nearly as bad as each other. It’s obvious this person is an idiot. The law in New Jersey protects individuals from systematic harassment. The law in Tennessee prevents people from posting offensive images. There really is no comparison. Opposition to one is a macho-bullshit exercise in chest-thumping for the small dicked whereas opposition to the other is premised in the U.S. constitution:

If you’re posting…say, pictures of Mohammed, or blasphemous jokes about Jesus Christ, or harsh cartoon insults of some political group [then you’ve violated this law]…Pretty clearly unconstitutional, it seems to me.

It’s inane to me that people who can’t make such simple distinctions manage to dress themselves in the morning.