Archive of articles classified as' "Manners For The 21st Century"

Back home

Fictoid: going viral


James R Bingham - all over YouTube cap

underlying art by James R. Bingham

No Comments

I Know Who I’d Prefer To Ship Out Of The Country…



It has been pointed out that outrage is no good if it does not point to a viable solution.  For those who might be interested in helping out by taking in children who are in need of foster care, we present the following resources:

Even if one can not be a full time foster parent or an adoptive parent, one can be a child advocate and help out in some way.  Like the story of the starfish on the beach, it may not be possible to help them all, but it will mean everything to the ones who can be helped.

No Comments

Unclear On The Concept


Holly Makes Jesus Sad1

No Comments

And As The Snake Whips Around…


…to bite Hobby Lobby and SCOTUS on the ass…

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt

No Comments

Addendum to “Lauren’s Choice”


I’ve been asked, “But what about adoption for unwanted children?”

To that I say:

and even more

That is the best, most humane solution to the problem of a woman’s unwanted pregnancy.  It’s a perfect example of “pony up”.  Give that child a stable, loving home.  Raise it to its full potential.  Personally assume that responsibility.

A blessing for the child
A blessing for the parent
A blessing for the society


No Comments

Lauren’s Choice


Cartoonist Lauren Weinstein was told that the child she was carrying had a high (1-in-4) chance of carrying the cystic fibrosis gene to such an extreme degree that it might require a lung transplant before age 5.  Weinstein tells the story of her nerve-wracking three week wait to find out if this would be the case in her story “Carriers” (parts one / two / three / four / five).

Major Spoiler:  
It has a happy ending and
her daughter was born
disease free.


Many reading her story will rejoice, but say to themselves,
“If it had been me, I would have never even thought of terminating my pregnancy.”

Good for you.


I mean that.

I want you to have a choice.

Just like I want Lauren to have a choice.

Just like I want billions of other women to have a choice.

Because nobody knows what is best for a woman and the pregnancy she is carrying other than that woman herself.

She gets to make her own decisions.

Just as you get to make your own decisions.

She’s certainly entitled to seek medical advice and/or moral support from others, but in the end, she is the one who has to either see it through to a live birth or terminate it.

It is, quite simply and quite literally,


And I drop the f-bomb very deliberately & in its sexual context to get the point across:

Not your uterus,
not your problem,
not your responsibility,
most certainly not your business,
not now,
not ever.

If you’re serious about wanting to reduce the number of abortions in the world today, see to it that birth control is reliable, available, and inexpensive (free would be best; we can pay for it with the money we would otherwise spend incarcerating unwanted/abused/neglected children who grow up to be addicts and/or felons).

See to it that sex education is universal, pragmatic, sensible, and easy to understand.  Wishful thinking, no matter how devoutly inspired, does not trump science or the realities of human nature.  Be prepared for and compassionate to people who make messy mistakes; there but for the grace of God…

See to it that no mother ever has to worry about affording a safe place to raise her child, or how she will feed her child, or pay for her child’s health care, or her child’s education (you can slice a fraction off the defense budget for this; we can somehow squeak by with only 999 new jet fighters instead of 1,000).

Pony up…

…or shut up.




thanx to
Tom Spurgeon,
The Comics Reporter,
for the tip off


No Comments

The Anti-Abortionist Credo


anti-abortionist credo

I forbid you to have sex without MY permission.

I forbid you to know anything about birth control.

I certainly won’t pay for your sex education.

If you defy ME and have sex anyway,
then I want you to get pregnant / catch the clap (or better yet, AIDS!).

I forbid you to have an abortion.

I will judge you and call you a murderer if you do.

I demand you bring the pregnancy to full term.

I demand you bring the pregnancy to full term
even if the child will be born with a fatal condition.

I demand you bring the pregnancy to full term
even if you already have a house full of children and
you are stretched to the breaking point.

I demand you spend 18 years of
your life (minimum!) taking care of this child.

I will not help you.

I will not offer any financial subsistence.

I will not lift a finger or spend a dime of MY money to help you provide
food / lodging / medical care / education for the child.

I demand you suffer for your sins.

However, you may not judge ME.

Because just by saying I oppose abortion,
just by condemning you for your choices,
I am pure and holy.

(Did I miss anything?
Did I not summarize our
position accurately?)


No Comments

Go Read What A Really Smart Guy Wrote


Jim Wright is a former US Navy Chief Warrant Officer with a really smart and insightful blog called Stonekettle Station; you are all encouraged to visit it and delve among the various posts.

One post you’ll no longer find there is this one.  You’ll notice he’s taken it down from his blog and his Facebook page though he’s allowed other sites that asked reprint permission to keep it online.

A lot of people agree with Jim on that post, and unfortunately from Jim’s POV, a lot of them liked it enough to copy & paste it without asking his permission first.

It would be safe to say that on the matter of copyright, fair usage, the practicalities of the Internet, etc., Jim and I have differing philosophies.  However, while I might see the matter from a different angle, I do not for one nanosecond say Jim isn’t 100% right in his desire to protect the dissemination of his own material and to expect compensation for same.

And absolutely the testicle head who read his essay on the air then pissed him off by refusing to either apologize or pay for it deserves all the shame and approbation Jim has unleashed on him.

Sitting in my files is the first rough draft of a post on creativity, copyright, fair use, plagiarism, swipes, and public domain.  As much as I’m annoyed by the greed of certain corporations that lobby to extend copyright to ridiculous lengths in order to keep properties they acquired but never created from reaching the public domain, Jim’s case is neither defensible as fair usage nor a matter of a non-copyrightable public utterance.  There are a lot of conflicting rights playing off one another in the issue of copyright / fair usage / public domain, but hosing over a creator and then being an anusoid about it is never right.

Book Illustration Depicting Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in a Train Cabin

Two guys recently confirmed
as being public domain.  
Original art by Sidney Paget.

No Comments

So What Does Jesus Have To Say About Sex?


love is

…cuz nuthin’ sez
“Christian Sexual Ethics”
better than little people
porn on a shot glass…

Well, let’s start with the point he considered most important: 
Asexuals are lucky that their ability to love God and to love their fellow human beings selflessly and compassionately is not hindered or distracted by sexual urges or a need for romantic love.

If you weren’t born asexual, 
try to cultivate that lifestyle.[1]

If you can’t, get married so you’ll have a loving companion with whom you can mutually satisfy your needs and urges.

When you get married, stay married.  The only legitimate reason to end a marriage is if one’s spouse betrays one (though forgiving at least enough to continue the marriage is always an option).

Otherwise, only death will release you.
No widow or widower is obligated
to remain unmarried.

The betrayal of a spouse (adultery) is a big deal and not to be regarded lightly.
Mucking around with another person’s spouse (ditto adultery) is just as big a deal and not to be regarded lightly.

In fact, if you are married and look at another person and wonder how you can get them in the sack, or if you look at another person’s spouse and wonder how you can get them in the sack, you are committing adultery for all intents and purposes.[2]

That being said, it is not an automatic exclusion from the kingdom of God.  Jesus famously took a frequently divorced woman living with her boy friend and used her to successfully spread the gospel just the way she was, without requiring any atonement on her part first.

Jesus was compassionate and forgiving to persons with spotty personal histories.  He urged us not to judge lest we get clobbered by the same judgment we dish out, and to love one another as we love ourselves.

Oh, and don’t harm kids, which while ambiguous certainly includes a prohibition against pedophilia and statutory rape.

There, that pretty much covers it…




[1]  Meaning Jesus recognized some people are indeed “born that way” whatever “that way” may be.

[2]  Jesus seems to think that doing a good thing for any reason is ultimately a good thing, but not doing a bad thing simply because the opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet is still a bad thing.

No Comments

Picking Unnecessary Fights, Dying On Indefensible Hills


Christian Please Jesus-Facepalm

In a nutshell, the SBC’s key problem:

They act as if their initials
stand for Smug Bigot Confederation,
not Southern Baptist Convention

I know, respect, and love a great many individual Southern Baptists.  Southern Baptists, as unique human beings, are among the kindest, most loving, most generous, most tolerant, and most forgiving people I know.

Their convention, however, is led by a bunch of thundering asshats.

The most recent proof of this is located here:
A Resolution On Transgender For The SBC by Denny Burk

Denny…shut up.  Just…shut up.

You don’t know what you’re talking about.
End.  Of.  Dis.

I don’t know what I’m talking about either when it comes to transgender and transsexual issues.

I know the people going through such problems are torn by feelings and emotions that I can only vaguely empathize with.  I know they feel it on a level so deep and profound and visceral that I have no way of fully & equally accessing it.

So that right there marks it as territory I’m not competent to pass judgment on.  All I can do is listen to their stories, try to be as empathetic as possible, oppose efforts to deny them their civil rights, and not get in the way of their attempts to find means of coping with their situation.

And by “not get in the way of their attempts to find means of coping with their situation” I mean most pointedly to let them come to God in the manner He sees fit, not the manner that makes the vacuous squishbags of the SBC leadership feel comfortable and clean.

How can anyone look at this resolution and not see the incoherent hypocrisy of the SBC on the one hand claiming it wants parents to be able to raise their children as they see fit then on the other hand vehemently arguing against letting them do that very thing?

Denny, seriously:  Shut up.

You are on specious theological ground, anyway.  And, yeah, I know you’ve got a degree and a nice prestigious job:  You’re still as flat out wrong as flat out wrong can be on this issue.

  1. If matching biological configuration with mental gender identification is so flipping important to God, then why doesn’t He make absolutely sure we don’t have any people who are genetic chimeras, or who are born with external sexual features that fall betwixt & between common sexual dimorphism?
  2. If human sexuality could be expressed in one fashion and one fashion only (i.e., hetronormative) then why did Jesus teach us that some people are born asexual, some become asexual (strongly implying that castration & emasculation was an acceptable route to this end goal), and that those people had an advantage over straights because they weren’t distracted from their love of God by sexual urges?
  3. If God doesn’t want us fiddling with our physical forms in order to feel more comfortable in our own skins, then why did Jesus restore withered limbs, cleanse leprosy, restore sight, staunch gynecological problems, cure the sick, raise the dead?  Why not just put a mental whammy on them to make them feel comfortable with their twisted limbs, pustulent skin, deteriorating bodies?*

I’ll give you the benefit of a doubt, Denny, and presume you thought you were really coming up with a good idea to present to the SBC, one that would let them say they were loving the sinner while hating the sin.

But Denny, that ain’t how it’s gonna be read by the rest of the world.  The SBC has spent the last two centuries doing a really great job of convincing people that they like to feel smug and superior to n[egroe]s then — when it became socially unacceptable to play the racial bigotry card — of convincing people they like to feel smug and superior to gays & lesbians.

Now that gays & lesbians are on a roll, with marriage equality and other civil rights within sight, even the old hardline gay bashers realize their “Adam & Steve” schtick is only playing to the most backward (read least affluent and graying) segment of society.

Whatever the future is going to be,
it ain’t gonna be that.

So the SBC is in search of a new fight, for a new minority to pick on, to shut the gates on, to bar from the fields of the Lord, to feel smug, and superior, and holier-than-thou towards.

Shut up.  Just…shut up.




*  Yeah, I know you wanna jump in and point out he drove unclean spirits from people.  He drove unclean spirits from people who either wanted the unclean spirits removed (if you read “unclean spirits” as schizophrenia and/or psychological/emotional problems) or were victims of invasion by demonic forces (if you read “unclean spirits” literally).  His exorcisms were of people who wanted their lives freed from forces they could not control nor understand.  As reparative therapy has proven to be an utter failure, useful only for teaching a few coping skills but not curing anyone, as prayer and laying on of hands has not “cured” or “fixed” anyone’s orientation or gender issues, then it’s perhaps fair to say sexual orientation and gender identity are no big deals to God (He of “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”); and if they’re no big deals to Him then maybe to be more Christ-like we should stop getting our pretty lace panties in a twist over them as well.

No Comments