"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." -- Bertrand Russell

Thursday, September 27, 2012

[Purported] Anti-Gay Hate Crime at Lancaster High School in California

Edit (Sep 29):

I am shocked as to how much interest this post has generated on my blog. For a little blog like mine to have generated so much traffic on an issue that I am not particularly connected with is fascinating.

To be clear, I first found this story in a Facebook post and simply wanted to share what little I could find about it. Over night, it generated more traffic than any story I'd ever run on here.

For those too lazy to click on links, Snopes.com has now identified the rumor reported here as "probably false". The actual case seems to have involved a high school student who misidentified a female student as male and had a physical altercation with her. However, I am astonished by the number of people who have tried to excuse his behavior by saying that "he didn't know it was a girl". Even supposing that this student had beaten up a male student that would not excuse his actions. It's unclear as to how much of an asymmetry was involved with the altercation, but numerous reports indicate that the boy did a lot more damage to the girl than she did to him. Provided that this is true, there are still issues worth talking about here.


A user has posted the following on the Facebook group Gender Queer Atheists:
Yesterday a 17 year female , who attends Lancaster High School in California, was beaten by a football player, on school grounds, for being gay. After receiving over a dozen blows to her jaw, head, eye and head, all he received was a 5 day suspension by the Lancaster School District. She suffered from a fractured jaw and multiple concussions to the head and the Deputy Sheriff advised her mother to re-think her wanting to file charges against the football player because her daughter pushed him back. The school ended up documenting "assault" charges on the victims school file, NOT the football players!!! To make things worse, the Deputy Sheriff warned the victim, by saying, "Just so you know, if you file charges against him, I'm taking his side." We're attempting to raise awareness and bring this story to light because Lancaster High School is trying to sweep this "Hate Crime" under the rug! Like if you care and please forward to everyone you know. FYI : CBS, KCAL 9 news are running the story tomorrow at 10pm.

 Edit 1: It has come to my attention that many do not think this to be a hate crime. It's possible that this wasn't an anti-gay hate crime and that, as some claim, the female student was mistaken for a male student and that he was acting in self defence. I fail to see how that resolves anything. The asymmetry in the force used between the two individuals is astonishing; the fact that the girl ended up with the amount of damage that she did, while the boy ended up with so little, means that he used excessive force. That puts this beyond the realm of self defence. The fact that he is not being prosecuted for excessive force speaks to privilege (presumably due to his elevated status as a student athlete), even if it's not heterosexual privilege.

Edit 2:  The genders of the two individuals should not matter. A male student should no more beat up another male student than beat up a female student.

Edit 3: It has additionally come to my attention that this event is not very well confirmed. Please check the relevant snopes.com site often for updates on this situation.

Edit 4: The local PD has released a press report.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Election 2012

Watch Romney tell a gay veteran that his spouse does not deserve basic human rights. To his face.

However you feel about economics, foreign policy, or anything else, please understand that one political candidate supports gay marriage, while another does not. That one political party has had major representatives publicly support the rape of women at abortion clinics, while another party has condemned such practices. Please understand that one party uses a particular form of conservative, fundamentalist Christian Protestantism to further their cause, while the other hardly ever mentions religion. Please understand that one party is openly racist, misogynistic, homophobic and the other is not. One candidate doesn't always come through on his election promises but the other is on the wrong side of history.

I know precisely who is getting my vote. I cannot sit by while bullshit like this happens in our country.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What a Douchey Ad

Warning: The following ad is highly rage inducing...

(Thanks to my friend Jessie for bringing this to my attention.)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feminist Resources... For Men

I put together a bunch of Feminist/gender issue articles/papers for a male friend of mine. I figured that I'd share it here on my blog so that everyone could have access. I put these resources together specifically for men, like myself, who are interested in Feminist issues and in being a Feminist.

Of Dogs and Lizards: A parable of privilege, concerning a dog and a gecko.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack: The classic article on privilege.

The Question: A moving article on the privilege blindness of men. It really brings a point home which is probably trivially obvious to female readers.

Feminism 101:The ultimate Feminist resource for those of us to whom this does not come naturally.

Derailing For Dummies: This is a parody; don't do the stuff on here, but spend some time thinking about why it's bad.

Terms related to gender identity, orientation, etc: Because definitions matter.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Are There No True Christians?

Edit: Join the Reddit discussion here!


Christian apologist Ray Comfort often claims that there are no true atheists. He seems to claim this simply because, as he would state it, no one could ever know for sure that there is no God. Therefore, he insists that all people who self identify as atheists are actually agnostics. And, further, that agnostics are "ignoramuses" who wish to avoid personal responsibility for their sins (from here):
The professing atheist is what is commonly known as an 'agnostic' - one who claims he 'doesn't know' if God exists. It is interesting to note that the Latin equivalent for the Greek word is 'ignoramus.' The Bible tells us that this ignorance is 'willful' (Psalm 10:4). It's not that a person can't find God, but that he won't. It has been rightly said that the 'atheist' can't find God for the same reason a thief can't find a policeman. He knows that if he admits that there is a God, he is admitting that he is ultimately responsible to Him. This is not a pleasant thought for some.
I'll leave it to others to discuss why Comfort is, at the very least, deeply question begging. However, I have recently worked out an argument for the proposition that there are no true Christians. I don't know if this argument really works, but I think it does raise a number of interesting questions.