“If God created the Universe, then who created her?”

Every so often I will see some God issue where God is referred to as a woman. For instance, there’s a Facebook group I recently saw on my feed with the same name as the title of this post, and there are countless other examples where people intentionally use the feminine pronoun. I find it annoying and here’s why. In almost no instance has the writer of such a question had the intention of opening up a discussion or making an important metaphysical point. No, the entire point is simply to needle the religious.

I know the first thing frequent readers are probably thinking is that I commonly needle the religious too, so who am I to talk. That misses a key component: I don’t merely write to bother Bible, Koran, and other holy text thumpers. That may be one goal of mine, but it’s really quite secondary. I don’t think that’s the case when people go out of their way to refer to God as a woman. I think in almost every instance the point is to simply be spiteful. It isn’t a matter of women’s issues or talking about religious perspectives and assumptions. Someone has just decided to be a jerk because they know most religious people care whether or not their particular god is referred to as a man or a woman.

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Well, isn’t Indiana just silly

A bunch of kooks in the Indiana state senate have decided to go ahead and try to bring an expensive lawsuit to their doorstep:

On January 31, 2012, the Indiana Senate voted 28-22 in favor of Senate Bill 89. As originally submitted, SB 89 provided, “The governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.” On January 30, 2012, however, it was amended in the Senate to provide instead, “The governing body of a school corporation may offer instruction on various theories of the origin of life. The curriculum for the course must include theories from multiple religions, which may include, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.”

In other words, these people recognize the fact of evolution – that fact that is supported so thoroughly, overwhelmingly, and wonderfully – is in direct conflict with their religious dogma, so instead of adjusting to the evidence, they want to ignore it, even promoting ideas that are blatantly false. It’s a good thing it is so well established that they cannot use government to do this. Not that bill sponsor Dennis Kruse knows this:

Kruse acknowledged that the bill would be constitutionally problematic but, he told the education blogger at the Indianapolis Star (January 31, 2012), “This is a different Supreme Court,” adding, “This Supreme Court could rule differently.”

It’s true that there is a reckless disregard for the constitution amongst some of the justices and political figures on the Supreme Court, but with the possible exception of worst-court-members-in-history Scalia and Thomas, no one is going to uphold the teaching of creationism in public schools. Kruse doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

If these religious zealots are so anxious to promote their doctrines and dogmas, then they can do so through dispassionate courses such as comparative religion and philosophy. That would enable them to spread their views without actively promoting them; it is active promotion that is the problem here. Of course, students will also have to deal with competing ideas, something which is antithetical to religious thought, but it’s the best that these kooks are constitutionally allowed to do with public funds – thank goodness.

Cranston ordered to pay ACLU $173,000

The school district that knowingly attempted to defy the constitution is being asked to pay the ACLU $173,000 in legal fees. And this is after the ACLU decided to give deep discounts:

The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which won a lawsuit against the Cranston School District for a religious display at Cranston High School West, filed a request for repayment of attorney’s fees in the amount of $173,000 in U.S. District Court today.

In a release, Steve Brown, executive director of the RIACLU, said the amount includes major discounts for hours of work by volunteer attorneys Lynette Labinger and Thomas Bender. He also said the amount is mindful of the school district’s budget woes in recent years.

“In terms of its complexity, the ACLU noted that the school district initially raised ten affirmative defenses when it filed its answer to the lawsuit. The amount sought by the ACLU attorneys pales in comparison to the attorneys’ fees that lawyers working with the Becket Fund, the national group that assisted the school district in defending the case, obtained in a church-state lawsuit two years ago. In that case from Colorado, dealing with a church zoning dispute, attorneys working with the Becket Fund were awarded over $1.25 million in attorneys’ fees for their work handling the case in the district court.”

This is what these people get. If they really didn’t think they were going to lose this lawsuit, they had to at least know there was a possibility they would have to pay attorney fees. And for what? An old prayer banner? They should have just taken it down when it was brought to their attention. Hell, they could have even taken it down months after they were made aware of its problems:

“In fact, in an attempt to avoid the costs of litigation and spare the taxpayers, we waited eight months before filing suit in the hope that this matter could be informally resolve,” [Brown said].

Part of me is glad the school district has this bill. It would be ideal if they could spend the money in more fruitful ways, but they brought this on themselves. It isn’t what the students should get, but it is what the administrators deserve.

Don’t do business with Bill Groome of Madhatter Magic Shop

I’ve never been a fan of douchebag businesses and the entitled twits that run them. That’s why in 2009 I wrote about T’s Golf of Manchester Maine, run by Rawn and Judy Torrington. I even wrote about them in print (in addition to a number of other subjects), making sure they received a copy of my publication. I know for a fact that I took business away from them and I’m damn proud of it. Nobody likes to pay for services when the person doing the serving is a colossal sac face.

With that in mind, I’m glad that Jonathan Kamens wrote about asshat Bill Groome of Madhatter Magic Shop in Columbia, S.C. Here are the basics. Kamens asked Groome specific questions about a product. That information turned out to be incorrect. Kamens sent two emails asking for a refund. Both were ignored. When he sent a third email where he said he would initiate a disputed charge claim with his credit card company, he got this asshattery-laden response:

This is the first email I have seen from you since your purchase. I am very busy and I give information to the best of my knowledge. I get over a hundred emails per day and try to reply to all of them personally. My reply below was accurate and gave you the information on how the trick worked. Now I have more important things to deal with than a little boy crying over a $5.00 trick. I am sorry it did not fit your needs, but I described it as accurately as I could. Feel free to send it back in new condition and we will refund it per our return policy.

There are more intricate details that can be seen here, but the gist is that Groome only offered a refund when he was told one would be forced upon him. And that’s hardly an offer at all. Moreover, the comments Groome has left on Kamens’ blog makes it clear Groome is a liar. He claims that he did give a refund, except the way the charges appear on Kamens’ statements are such that only the credit card company could do it.

To make matters worse, Groome went after Kamens’ for being Jewish. I’m not familiar with Kamens’ blog or writing, but him being Jewish is irrelevant. This is a disputed business transaction. As silly as all religious beliefs are, Groome is just being mildly anti-Semitic.

But it gets worse. You see, whereas the idiots at T’s Golf were, well, idiots, they managed to keep their stupidity confined. Had they been dumb enough to respond to me, I would have done all I could to make the biggest stink possible about them. Christopher Maloney knows that all too well. Groome, on the other hand, went ahead and left a number of responses, as I have been showing. But now he has taken it one step further and threatened to sue.

This is all impressively dumb. Not only has Groome ensured that his online presence continues to be tarnished, and not only did he do damage to his reputation by race-baiting and calling a customer a ‘crying little boy’, but he has no case judging by his inability to demonstrate a single false statement on the part of Kamens.

So remember: Don’t do business with Bill Groome of Madhatter Magic Shop in Columbia, South Carolina. He’s a douchebag.

via Popehat