The Solar Cycle's Problem with Women (Spoilers for all books)
2020.09.27 19:03 fuligennoise The Solar Cycle's Problem with Women (Spoilers for all books)
I've seen the normal criticisms of Wolfe as a conservative, misogynist, etc. and I've been there before throwing away Wolfe's work as downright fascist, but before the dismissals come in: I'm not taking aim at him right now, not yet. However, as I start my third reading of tBotNS, right after my first go at the Short Sun trilogy - I'd love to hear any theories of discussion of the intense misogyny in the books, whether they are nuanced takes of Gene Wolfe as a writeperson, or in-world looks at the various narrators and characters of the books.
My partner is currently reading the Long Sun series and we've had some collective cringes over literally every description of a woman - do we need to know the breast size and attractiveness of every bio woman? Now, the Long Sun was written by Horn, who is clearly has the same attitudes towards women as Severian (who I will discuss shortly) and so it's been easier for me to disregard some of this absurdly misogynistic characterization as Horn's (Silk's?) absurd horniness. And it was easy until journey at the end of the Short Sun, with Horn/Silk, Seawrack, and Nettle embarking on this new journey... with no consequences for Horn/Silk? With no last point of self-pity/self-critique from Silk/Horn ? I know better than to expect poetic justice from Wolfe, but I'm still wrestling with the implications of men getting passes in his books (particularly since I've seen folks urge that Wolfe get a pass for being an old white man from the South - sorry, folks, it doesn't work that way)
Not to mention the cover of On Blue's Waters... a digital approximation of 60s sci-fi paperbacks, complete with (again) another unnecessarily naked woman (who, Horn rapes, of course.) Not to belittle the importance of mass market paperbacks, but I was always attracted to Wolfe's work as being slightly more esoteric, and I hate to think of it as what it could be... a deeper, and definitely esoteric, relic of the sexploitative pulp of the mid-century.
Then there's Silk himself. It took me a couple reads to really get just how flawed Silk is, his biggest flaw, apart from the his obvious naivete, being his intense(ly repressed) horniness (surprise, surprise.) I literally don't need to hear about how turned on Silk gets every time he's around a woman (who are so often unnecessarily naked... why... why...) But again, Silk is this flawed character, and Hyacinth is just another part of his downfall (alongside his confused theology/adoration of Pas/Typhon knowing perhaps what they are and how they conflict with the G-d/the Outsider's plan)
I'm sure Severian's story has been talked to death, but for reference: I understand and even believe that Severian is making up half the stories he tells, and certainly almost of the times women consensually fuck him. I get that he's a horny, shirtless teenager - and that he's not attractive, according to Horn - and that he just wants to fuck. But he is also Christ, and while I'm not Xtian and can understand the beauty in the narrative that even a torturer and rapist can be/come Christ, he's also an unrepentant rapist... and okay may be the Christological implications of Urth of the New Sun were lost on me (it's been a few years) but I have an extremely hard time seeing the Book of the New Sun as Christ's Journal as anything but somewhat damning of him as a character... and okay, I'm actually fine with that - fine with despising Severian and enjoying the story at the same time. But it doesn't look so great when seen in comparison with the other series in the Solar cycle.
(And also, I mean, in a lot of ways Wolfe's writings become almost heretical in this light, and, likewise, after reading the Book of the Short Sun, I'm actually reading a lot more anti-authoritarianism into his work, but again that's another story.)
Lastly, and here is more speculation than anything, but when Wolfe has every woman tearing off her clothes, or having Chenille/Scylla lick her nipples... it's so pulpy and over the top that I can't help but think of old style mass market sci-fi and fantasy that really were meant as pure fantasy... (ecstasies for horny teenage boys) Is it just a throwback to a different style of spec fic before more literary spec fic became popular? Is it just some remnants of that style of writing showing through as though the whole work were a palimpsest?
tl;dr what logical loops are you throwing yourself into to justify the misogyny in the books? can anyone shed light onto gene wolfe as a writeperson and how that's reflected in the writing? ++ Ursula LeGuin was a fan, so it can't be all bad, right???
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2020.09.15 15:11 kasparovv96 The joys of a non-Christian relationship
My boyfriend (23M) and I (21M) have been dating long distance for over 5 years now and nominally our relationship has always been non-religious. Nominally. At the start I was a lapsing Catholic but this never really interacted much with our relationship besides his offers of support (he has never been religious besides attending the occasional Baptist service as a child). Our relationship has had ups and downs like any but I would say that it has always been strong. We dislike argument due to various traumas and we have become excellent communicators. Sometimes he's an idiot; sometimes I'm an idiot, but we always work it out and are better off after than before.
What I didn't realise was just how much the Catholic mindset had ingrained itself into my perception of relationships. In Catholicism (and many other Xtian denominations) a relationship is almost like an ownership. I put a lot of stock in getting married. I cared far too much about how he modified his body (piercings and such - as if it was any of my business!). I was painfully jealous. Some of this came from other places but a majority came from the controlling and codependent model that Christianity gave me. In retrospect I'm horrified. It's no excuse for what a complete ass I was; I'm grateful that I began to think differently about relationships. I no longer see marriage as the vital end-all of a relationship, and I don't need anything to define our care for one another. I'm not possessive of his body or how he looks. I just want him to be happy. We've even started talking about ethical non-monogamy and my jealousy has abated in favour of excitement and an acceptance that I can't be everything he needs and he can't be everything I need. In letting go a bit we are happier and our relationship is stronger than ever.
I only wish I had known from the start that relationships can be so different and that love doesn't require you to hold on as tightly as you can. I don't own anyone and nobody owns me - I choose to stand with my partner and that's much more powerful.
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2020.05.28 11:04 RajaRajaC How Nehru destroyed a democratically elected govt using a #risingintolerance approach and allying with the church and mullahs
Gandhi Nehru hagiographers continue to weave their lies. https://theprint.in/opinion/nehru-wanted-jayaprakash-narayan-as-his-political-successor-not-indira-gandhi/429326/
ThePrint publishes a piece with a lot of mistruths.
- claim- one of the reasons Nehru was chosen as PM over Patel because he was younger -
False - Nehru lost the 46 PCC elections handily.
15 state PCC voted for Patel, 1 Acharya Kriplani and zero for Chacha. Gandhi then used his power and rigged the elections post facto to get Nehru announced as President of INC. So despite his age Patel won handily, Nehru was so distrusted that he won 0 votes.
*claim - Nehru was aware that has colleagues were scared of him and had contempt for them as they didn't disagree with him.
Status - half truth. Yes his colleagues by 1952 were yesmen but it was Nehru's own making. He systematically purged his cabinet of all men of stature who could challenge him in his first term. He humiliated them, overruled their decisions and men of integrity simply resigned. Crying that he only had yes men after this purge when he encouraged yesmen is a bit ironical
*G B Pant and U N Dhebar secretly engineered Indira's election as Cong President
Status - bs. To argue that Nehru's own daughter was secretly engineered into a position of power without the knowledge of the all powerful Nehru is ludicrous. Chachaji appointed her PA, he took her on foreign tours. Was very proud of her skills in diplomacy and foreign affairs. So this is a weak claim.
- Claim - Indira and G B Pant engineered the dismissal of the EMS govt in Kerala
Status - absolute whopper of a lie
Nehru was deeply involved, he addressed the press on contentious issues on the Kerala education bill.
His close aide and commie V K Menon visited Kerala during the height of the Cong lead agitations. He reported directly back to Chacha
In 1958 Chacha himself lead the charge against EMS 9/n and strongly came down on EMS for the anti President (of India) rhetoric emanating from Kerala.
In March 58 he himself criticised the violence employed by the opposition (his own Cong engineered)
In a later speech he believed Commies in Kerala were being Leninist and accepting a bourgeois democracy to only later install a violent Communist regime.
In an interview with an English paper in May 58 (Daily telegraph iirc) he went on record saying that the Kerala govts days were numbered.
It broke in Aug 58 in a press conference. Chacha went full throttle against EMS, accused him of terrorism! It was then that U N Dhebar (who this author in the print does not even mention) visited Kerala on a tour as Cong President, but instead of taking it to the govt he took it to the CWC.
The CWC in verbiage very similar to the nonsense spewed by it to this day said that "there was a state of insecurity, murderous assaults on innocents and a massively discriminatory Govt". Chachaji then addressed the CWC threatening constitutional action. 12/n EMS saw the writing on the wall and issued a point by point rebuttal of Nehru and CWC's accusations but it fell on deaf years.
He then personally met Nehru to ask him to take a neutral view of things.
On Sept 12, 1958 Chacha struck. Using a proxy (plausible deniability) a motion was tabled in Lok Sabha about the law and order situation in Kerala. The speaker in a pretense at neutrality wanted the GoI to provide SUpPoRTinG docs. 7 days later the speaker approved. Happy with the documentation provided.
EMS and the Kerala govt once again sent a detailed rebuttal of the motion in parliament, EMS personally telegramed Home minister and pointed out the unfairness in only Kerala being discussed and that too using lies and slander as a basis. This was allowed but it was too late. Chacha's close personal friend, Minoo Masani a gujju MP moved a motion directly against EMS. At this point Chacha asked the army to plan a move to move into Kerala to appease it.
Let me repeat in bold, CHACHA ASKED THE ARMY TO PLAN A MOVE INTO KERALA TO APPEASE IT.
U N Dhebar in Nov as INC president upped the ante in a public letter where he accused EMS of being a totalitarian.
Then in Feb 2. 1959 Indira Mata was elected President and EMS had his days numbered. She in her maiden AICC speech said "Kerala govt is a communal one using communal poison to achieve political power". This is the same garbage Sonia and Pappu spew to this day.
The media got in on the act (had been for a while) all manner of what we call "fake news" was freely published working up public ire across India against EMS. As late as June 1959 EMS wanted a direct meeting with Nehru but this was declined. Kerala Cong stepped up the violent agitations and acted in consort with the Clergy and Muslim parties (they were the ones being communal). The AICC held a meeting in June 59 in Ooty, EMS sent his personal emissary Krishna Iyer to make a plea to Nehru to stop this assault on a democratically elected govt. Nehru gave Iyer as much attention as Pappu gave Hemanta Biswas which was none. At a AICC session in Coimbatore Indiramata stepped up the rhetoric and asked for centre to take action. When asked about Cong tie ups with Clergy and Muslim parties, Chacha said "they were not congressmen but Catholics and Muslims acting on their own" wah wah Chachaji watte master stroke.
Mata then sent Congi workers Sadiq Ali and U N Dhebar to tour and report. They reported that there was "rising intolerance" and Xtians were being targeted. Again, the Cong playbook is unaltered in decades it seems. Nehru then ordered the Army Southern command chief to tour Kerala to plan defense of central govt offices. Finally Chacha consented to tour Keral and he did so from June22-24 1959. Mata then wanted to put on a show for the Emperor to prove the lies they themselves had constructed. Mass gatherings of Congis and their allies organised, 10's of thousands of "protestors" including women and children #shaheebbaghkeralastyle lined the cavalcade route of Chacha. Chacha met people but they were vested interests including the anti commie governor and declared that the situation was worse than what he imagined. He did clamp down on using children and Harsh language by congi protestors and this was shut down. June 27 the Cong parliamentary board recommended to Mata and Chacha fresh elections and suspension of the education bill.
A coalition of parties sent a letter to the President in Jul 59, asking for the dismissal of the EMS govt. EMS again met Chacha in Shimla in July 59. Nothing doing. The church then sent church lawyers to file a petition with the President face to face and had the same #risingintolerance rhetoric common to this day. A whole host of Congi stooges from V P Menon to K M Munshi to Acharya Kriplani then cried that India was doomed if this evil communal govt was permitted to continue.
25th July 59, Mata met President and openly asked for the dismissal of the Govt. The same day Chacha met the president along with the Home minister to understand options. 28th July senior leaders of the commies appealed directly to Nehru to cancel a massive demonstration planned by the cong and its partners but Nehru said it was their democratic right and declined. The news media though spun this and reported that Nehru was all for helping EMS govt. A big fat lie. The governor of Kerala on Jul 16 th submitted his report, word to word a copy of the KPCC memo published earlier on. This only had the Cong side of things, ignoring facts and reality. Aug 1 govt was dismissed.
Unlike what @ThePrintIndia says, Nehru and his cronies were involved every step of the way, to argue that this undemocratic act was done only by Indira (when the conspiracy was moving much before she was president) unknown to Nehru is a lie of Goebbelsian proportions.
Nehru was power hungry despot but Cong hagiographers have cleaned up that image. The truth should be told to defeat these lies
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2020.02.27 12:03 martianlonewolf I have a confession to make PART I . This confession is in 3 parts.
I always thought that somehow ,some how some hindus could grow a spine and back up what they say and try to do the right thing according to their DHARMA. But no, they cannot. Why ???
Because they don't want to.
They always keep pointing out to the outside problem i.e. MUSLIMS, XTIANS, CULTURAL MARXISTS,etc.
The problem is hindus have lost it completely. Not many, i think ALL HINDUS HAVE LOST IT.
This is the 1st time i am posting on the topic of hindus , but i know i would get a lot of flak from everyone, even as i am sitting in canada.
Ok, so lets start with the problems :-
1- ISLAM. Hindus keep getting reminded that they have a mental scar that there women were sold in the markets of Damascus as SEX SLAVES by islamic invaders.
The point is ,THATS EXACTLY TRUE. We cannot run away from the PAIN we experience from just that realization. However the solution is to fight back , not get disheartened like Chhatrapati SHIVAJI RAO MAHARAJ ji, GURU GOBIND SINGH JI and LACHIT BORFUKAN and Raja Krishna dev Rai, Harihar Rai, Bukka Rai , etc.
All the hindu temples and sites been destroyed coz hindus were busy fighting each other. We have never been able to become as thick-skinned as muslims who even defend the indefensible and even rapists and cases like LOVE JIHAD, etc. Even their women are RADICAL enough to travel to syria to be a sex slave of a mujahid who is fighting for #ISIS.
On one hand , muslims are that radicalized and on the other hand what do we hindus do ????
We support LGBTQ+ , why ?? Coz RSS chief said so.
Is RSS chief your overlord or what ???
We support communal harmony, when we exactly know what is happening everywhere.
We support indian laws to be biased towards hindus and especially against HINDU MEN.
In islam polygamy is allowed.
In hinduism ???
Father of Lord Ram ( for whom every hindu bows down to generally) had 3 wives.
Lord Krishna had many marriages Lord Ganesh ji has 2 wives ( ma riddhi and ma siddhi) Lord Kartikeya ji ( son of lord shiva) has 2 wivrs.
Why hindu men cannot marry and have more children ? Atleast who could afford ????
Demography is the key to everything. Future belongs to those who SHOW UP. Thats why all these military age males have invaded EU as well and are raping white european women.
And every indian hindu girl is nowadays is a feminist. Who just wanna emasculate hindu men into submission.
And marital laws are shit. Community doesn't take care of anyone of their own and they don't wanna have kids.
Why ??? Are these all problems created by muslims ???
Whats the solution ?? Create a real HINDU PATRIARCHY and enlist all boys to be trained in gurukul in martial arts. Told to retain their semen and taught the benefits of celibacy.
Yes in this day and age of bachelorette parties in even small towns and suburbs where male strippers and gigolos are doing good in their business and extra-marital affairs and everything what men do , women do the same and even better (lol,VIVA LA FEMINISM),if womsn could sleep aroujd with many partners , why not men should have multiple wives i am talking about those things from thousands of years ago
Which need to be re-installed to create a HINDU PATRIARCHY for the protection of hindu women and children.
6 Anyways, now coming to economics, a gurukul could be built in each of the 632 districts of india with our own money. Seperate school for boys and seperate school for girls.
Now if these things are allowed, you would not be afraid of increasing muslim demography, coz your own demography would be increasing and i would say skyrocketing.
Now you would say ,"what about scarce resources ???"
Do you really give a flying f%$k about it ??? Nobody does , so you should not also.
If hindus were that red-pilled then india would not had been partitioned and a seperate nation for muslims would had been carved out of india.
We were blue-pilled then and we are still blue-pilled even NOW. So you cannot rely on government and politicians to save you coz you DO NOT MATTER since your demography is DYING.
Muslims would not stop having kids, mark my words. They don't care about anything in the world. Whether people call them poor, whether people call them jihadi, product of HALALA, etc. They simply don't care.
So lets put on our thinking caps and try to find out the solutions for all this right ???
Coz hindus pay their taxes to enrich the welfare programmes for muslims. Its not the other way round. Plus they have theur saudi arabian paymasters to bankroll them via ZAQAT (aka khairaat) in the form of aid and mosques and charitable institutions and madarsas, etc.
Hindus don't haveanything but just a hogwash of being elitist and egotistical and trying to appear as if they are educated and civil.
The world doesn't respect anybody.
Doesn't matter if you are a CEO of google or whatever, you would still be inferior to those who have the conviction to blow up themselves as suicide bombers in the name of their religion.
Now am i telling you to do the same and become a suicide bomber ?? Certainly NOT.
What i am saying is to increase your demography. And have polygamous marriages.
So that society gets some babies out of it. As our future generations to keep hinduism alive.
Muslims have not stopped hindus from doing anything which i have said so far.
A nation is what ??? Its people right ???
What if your people are wiped out ???
Call yourself as HINDU INDIAN. Not as an Indian Hindu. A nation is just a piece of land. Nothing else.
Afterall, vasudhaiv kutumbakam right ????
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2019.09.17 04:33 emilylime27 Christian subreddits: come for the gymnastics, stay for the infighting
Sometimes I visit Catholics, xtianity, True-whatever, etc. just to see what they’re talking about. Some of their struggles are truly sad (allll of the lonely people waiting for a partner to just wander into their lives, gay people feeling suicidal for their proclivities, masturbators just trying to ease the discomfort, depression and anxiety sufferers being crushed under the weight of human worthlessness and inherent evil, etc.) and some of their POV are just abhorrent (suicide=hell, gay also=hell). But it’s just amusing to see them disagree on everything. This is especially apparent in the xtian subs because they attract different sects of belief. But for every “I struggle with masturbation” or “do works matter?” post they cannot get their inerrant stories straight. It’s encouraging when some of them are like “jack off, you’re fine” but then amusing to watch someone come along and call that responder a heretic.
Idk. It’s funny.
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2019.04.19 06:44 TattooedMuscle Pro Wrestling coming back to Pcola this Saturday! Please bring your canned food items as well for the Manna Food Pantry!
Reddit!! We’re coming back to Pensacola, FL on Saturday. Thanks to those from here who have attended in the past. If wrestling ain’t your “cup of tea”, that’s fine too! I know not all enjoy it but using this platform, as i usually do, to spread the word for the fans in Pcola that are out here. When I started on this journey with my partners back in 2016 the goal was simple, bring the best quality pro wrestling to the area available. We’ve been doing it for years and love entertaining all that attend!
Here is our writeup for the event directly from our Facebook page (Elite Championship Wrestling-FL) for you to get all the info. Tickets will be available at the door. All only $10 each! Talk about affordable top quality entertainment! We hope to see you and your friends there if you can make it! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We return to THE POST in Pensacola, Florida on Saturday night, April 20th!
Already signed for the main event, “The Unprofessional” Jaxon Slade gets a shot at the Elite Heavyweight Championship, as he takes on “The GameChanger” Xtian Blake! With King Love still suspended by Elite’s Director of Operations Curt Diamond, and the Heavyweight Title still wrongfully in his possession, the stakes have never been higher! Will Xtian be able to snuff out the King’s personal enforcer? Or will Love have the Elite Heavyweight Championship officially awarded to him by his own hired gun?
Brand new Elite Junior Heavyweight Champion Soulja will defend his title against a mystery opponent. Who will be the hometown hero’s first title defense, now that he’s seemingly rid Elite of the obnoxious former champion, Chaz Spencer Adams?
Juice Jennings and his paranoid conspiracy theories have begun to target Elite mainstay and perennial fan-favorite Purple Haze. What’s next for the “Agent of Change” and his misguided crusade for justice? Will Purple Haze play Jennings’ mind games, or just block out his bad vibes and keep on dancin’?
Also in action: “Outlaw” Matt Lancie, The American Kaiju "GabeZilla", “The Symphony of Destruction” Zach Cooper, and - making his Elite Championship Wrestling debut - former NWA National Heavyweight Champion, Jake Logan!
Concessions sold at the event are to include pizza, hot dogs, nachos, chips, candy, soda, and water. This is a BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer) event! No liquor allowed. Adults 21+ (IDs will be checked) can bring beer into the event, but no other outside food or beverages.
Details: American Legion Post 33 1401 W Intendencia St. Pensacola, FL Doors open at 6pm Event starts at 7pm
ALL TICKETS ONLY $10<<<
We’re collecting canned food items for the Manna Food Pantry, as well. Bring a canned food item and you’ll get a raffle ticket to be drawn for a prize at intermission.
Be sure to like and share this post, follow us on all of our social media, and use the hashtag #EliteFL to join the online discussion during the show! We look forward to seeing you all there!
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2017.11.22 08:51 tewong Anyone else an ex-fundie married to a xtian?
A little background...
I grew up in a Pentecostal church/home. I "left" the church at 17 but still attended here and there until age 20 when I moved across the country. At 22 I moved back to my hometown and started attending my home church again (I was living with my parents at the time) and met my current spouse during this time. We met at work; he wasn't a shout-it-from-the-rooftops xtian. We didn't really discuss religion actually. Got serious pretty quickly and moved in together and had a baby (followed by 2 more). I started visiting local churches, trying to find a place to fit in. He always came with but never seemed super interested.
Fast forward to today. I bristle at the mention of god and church and xtianity. I have spent years trying to overcome the panic and anxiety from the damnation bs that was drilled into me as a child. My husband has, over the past few years, become much more vocal about his xtian beliefs. He will go to church randomly and take our younger children (willingly) with him. He is welcome to do as he pleases; my thought is if it makes him happy so be it.
But at home in our every day lives, we seriously butt heads when religion comes up. As a non-exfundie, he just cannot wrap his brain around my anger and hurt. Which is understandable; you can't really "get" it if you haven't lived the fundie life (in my opinion). As hard as I try to explain, I just can't put into words the hurt and anguish and confusion and all that bullshit that comes along with growing up as a fundie. I don't love that he is a xtian, but it makes him feel fulfilled so I'm not going to insist that he walk away.
Does anyone else have a similar situation? How do you reconcile the two different belief systems? How do you explain to your partner the damage and why you are so averse to xtianity? Is it even possible to have a functional relationship with an xtian if you are adamantly opposed to xtianity?
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2012.11.17 10:36 tabledresser [Table] IAm Annie Laurie Gaylor, Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president, AMA
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Last updated: 2012-11-21 09:31 UTC This post was generated by a robot! Send all complaints to epsy.
|Questions ||Answers |
|Some media outlets, particularly politically conservative ones, like to cast your involvement with state/church separation violations by saying they come from "those atheists in Wisconsin." They then usually follow that up with "why are they picking on XYZ town in ABC state so far away? Why don't they mind their own business in Madison?" Could you tell us how you really get involved with state/church separation violations? Do you proactively look for state/church separation violations anywhere in the United States, or do you just offer support to local citizens whose towns might have, for example, put up a Christian cross on public property? ||Thank you for asking this question! Individuals in "XYZ town in ABC state" contact us for help. We don't go "roaming the country" looking for violations. FFRF is one of the few state/church watchdogs out there. We're besieged with requests for help - over 1200 requests just in Jan-Sept 2012 alone! FFRF is "atheists (and agnostics) from Wisconsin . . . and 49 other states." We're a national membership group and we advocate on behalf of our members (and members of the public). We think one of the most important things you can do is work to support the First Amendment, and we're proud that our staff attorneys are able to end so many violations without our having to go to court. |
|How optimistic are you that your lawsuit against the IRS will be successful? In that case is it reasonable to think you could win against the IRS, or is it more about raising awareness of them not enforcing their own rules? ||We are quite optimistic that our lawsuit will light a fire under the IRS: either require it to prove that it is taking action (investigating complaints) or prompt it to do what it should have done back in 2009 and appoint someone to lead investigations. |
|Has the IRS ever prosecuted churches in the past for electioneering? If so, how many have had their tax exempt status revoked? Would they be liable for back taxes if you win? And thanks so much for all you do! ||Yes. I can't give you stats. If we don't settle our case before we get into discovery, we should get some answers. Generally there is wrist slapping or light action taken, such as declaring that contributions for a particular year aren't deductible but allowing 501(c)(3)s to take corrective action. That's a good question about back taxes. We'd have to look at what happened to the groups that temporarily lost exemption over Bork to know more about that. Sorry, I'll have to do more research. |
|What are the biggest hurdles for FFRF in the litigation process? Which state is nearly impossible to deal with? ||The biggest hurdle is a 5-4 Supreme Court that is unfriendly right now to keeping religion out of government. i have to say we seem to get so many violations out of Mississippi, but Texas might be the most impossible state to deal with, in terms of the nasty push back. |
|Might this have something to do with the fact that judges in Texas are elected, and therefore less impartial in their interpretation of law? ||I'm with Sandra Day O'Connor - State Supreme Court justices should NOT be elected! We have the same problem in Wisconsin. It's a bad idea and yielding bad law. After Citizens United, one can only imagine. And if churches are allowed to electioneer, it will get far worse. Our suit against the national day of prayer really started because a just-elected Wis. Supreme Court justice accepted an invitation to speak at a prayer breakfast put on in a northern county by a sheriff in Wisconsin! We couldn't find a plaintiff in that county, then realized . . . the root of the problem was the Congressionally mandated national day of prayer. |
|Can one assist FFRF in any way other than donating? ||One doesn't have to join us or other groups to be an activist. It may sound lame, but it really isn't -- write those letters to editors -- you influence so many people, public opinion, when you see nonbelievers dissed, or the separation of church and state downgraded. Commenting online at news article sites - same idea. Speak up! I think one of the most revolutionary things a U.S. citizen can do is to speak up as a nonbeliever, atheist, freethinker. A 2006 study by the U of Minn found that all the "out" groups (blacks, gays, Muslims, women) had made huge gains in social acceptance since the 1960s -- except atheists. We're at the bottom of the social totem pole. When I asked Penny Edgell who did this research why there are such ludicrous stereotyping and demonizing of atheists, she suggested it's because many Americans have never knowingly met an atheist. (They have met them, they just don't know it.) Join our "out" campaign: ffrf.org/out/ |
|If you weren't the kick-ass female leader and founder of the FFRF, where else do you think you would be in life? Or what would your ideal alternate career be? Thanks for being an inspiration for us feminist and female atheists! ||I might be involved in another cause (I've been active in abortion rights since a teenager). I think what is happening with fracking is frightening and it's happening right now in Tomah, Wis., where my mother grew up, and is so distressing to her (she will be 86 on Nov. 25). Global warming issues . . . Another option: maybe writing serial mysteries! I have a lot of ideas . . . |
|I've heard about many of the amusing death threats, such as those found on your Facebook page. Are there any that you (and/or Dan) have had to take seriously? ||We don't actually consider death threats amusing :). We consider a lot of the hate mail and calls and crank e-mail amusing. We publish the "best of" in every issue of Freethought Today so ask for a free copy at ffrf.org! We have reported death threats and threats of violence to police and take them seriously. After Obama's first election, the level of violent and hateful emails really increased. There's a lot of ugliness right now in our country under the surface, I guess. |
|Have you ever been directly threatened? In person or online? I imagine some people not taking too kindly to your great work. ||Yes. My mother was actually bodily attacked after a "People Are Talking" episode in Pittsburgh, I think, where she was on representing FFRF as the president, and a great big Catholic woman from the audience (as soon as the lights were off after the show) grabbed her in a chokehold. My father was fortunately there too. He used a crutch for a bad knee, and had to use the crutch to separate this woman who wouldn't let go! I have also taken phone calls, including a death threat one Xmas Eve morning when I was holding my newborn baby. |
|Does Dan Barker leave the cap off the toothpaste? ||I think we both do on occasion. He always puts the toilet seat down, the mark of a real gentleman. |
|You have love being sent to you from Florida Annie (and Dan)! Thanks for all you do. I am interested in starting a non-religious (atheist/agnostic) program to help the homeless and needy, do you have any ideas or recommendations?? :) Thanks. ||There are various options out there, including Dawkins' "nonbelief relief" (altho that's for major crises rather than needy and homeless), ways to donate as a nonbeliever, for instance. I would say working with local frethought and humanist groups to suggest a project like this. Many atheists run charities, and there are also many existing secular charities to support. My mother, Anne Gaylor, has run as a volunteer the Women's Medical Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity which is the longest-lived continuously operating abortion rights charity in the US, helping pay for abortions for more than 20,000 indigent women, mainly in Wisconsin. (We have a lot of indigent women in this state, with Milwaukee having so much need.) This is "pure as ivory soap," all volunteer, 99% of money going for the purpose of helping to pay for an abortion ensuring that poor women can exercise their rights under Roe v Wade. this is a religious issue because it's the stranglehold the Catholic church (and fundies) have on our legislatures that has cut off abortion funding in Wis., federally and in many states. So I would encourage you to learn more about the problem, where there are gaps in providing help, where you could make a difference, and go for it! I have mixed feelings about mixing nonbelief and relief - in the sense that I don't think we should help for bragging rights, like many churches do, but just help because we can and there is need. But it may take that kind of thing to overcome all the ridiculous stereotypes. |
|Are there any in the Congress and Senate who champion church-state separation? ||I'm very sorry to see the defeat of Pete Stark. I think octogenarians and nonagenarians are the best secularists because they grew up in an era when state/church separation was revered, and when it was just taught. There are about 9-10 "usual suspects" who reliably vote NO when the "gotcha" resolutions come up in Congress to "reaffirm" "In God We Trust," etc. But I would say we are lacking a true champion in Congress right now - in terms of someone who willingly wants to make that their signature. Public officials have not caught up with the changing demographics. Like I always say: when are they going to start to woo us - the seculars - 20% of the population? We made a difference in the presidential election, but I guess our vote is taken for granted. |
|Is the suit that the FFRF filed against the IRS for not enforcing taxation of churches who use the pulpit politically have a chance of being successful? What can we do to help? ||I answered the first part earlier (yes). What can you do to help? Support FFRF's legal fund. We are a 501(c)3 educational group so your donation is tax deductible (and won't go for electioneering!). If you are not already a member, could you please become one? We speak with a much more powerful voice, the more who join up. Public officials stand up and take notice the larger a movement you are. Thank you! |
|How should an attorney get involved with the FFRF? ||We keep a listing of attorneys who would like to work with FFRF or our members. We'd love to have you contact our Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert at: [email protected] It's helpful to have a resume and know more about your experience. We even appreciate the non-Establishment Clause specialties - if attorneys want to help on other matters. Thank you. |
|What is the difference between FFRF and American Atheists? Is there any chance of the two organizations uniting? Edit: SSA_Sarah helpfully pointed out that many secular organizations do cooperate through the Secular Coalition of America. However, FFRF does not appear to be a member. Is there a reason for this? ||It is a sign of health that there are many freethought groups out there chipping away at the same problem. Having only 1 monolithic national group would not be a good sign, but a bad one. Different strokes for different folks. FFRF has 2 explicit purposes: to educate the public about nontheism (serving as an umbrella organization for freethinkers - we don't have a litmus test that a member has to call themselves an atheist altho about 75% of our members choose that term - we like to say that we don't care what you call yourself - we all disbelieve in the same god). And we work to keep religion out of government. We're very dedicated to this work, now as of this year employing 4 staff attorneys who do nothing but work on Establishment Clause violations. We've brought more than 60 lawsuits, so I hope our track record speaks for itself. We think it's super that there are different groups - and approaches. We're stronger because of it. |
|Can you take a look at our site www.YouthHumanist.org?! We are two high school atheists and we spent a lonnng time making this and any help from the FFRF would be amazing :) ||I'll try to do that after this comment period is over! Please also take a look at FFRF's student scholarship guidelines. We now have 3 essay competitions for different students, including one for college-bound high school seniors. The guidelines go up every February at our website here:Link to ffrf.org Congratulations on being high school activists! Your generation is going to change the world, I hope. |
|Do you often partner with other organizations, like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, or the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty? What partnerships are the most successful? ||AU has been very supportive of FFRF in terms of amicus briefs. We just settled a victorious joint case with the ACLU of West Virginia. The Baptist Joint Committee signed an amicus brief in our behalf in our Hein case before the Supreme Court (thank you). American Baptists are great on state/church separation. |
|Okay, serious question: I'm a believer in assisted suicide, and the religious fanatics seem to be the main roadblock to that. Are there any cases in the works? Do you anticipate recent developments bringing you to court to defend it? ||I think most activists for death with dignity are nonbelievers, and the barrier is the Catholic Church and other religionists, who talk about "playing God." We're into denial bigtime in this country about death and dying, and there is so much unnecessary suffering. As my mother as always said: one should be allowed to end one's life whole and sound when it has come to a close. Hospice care may be great in some instances but it doesn't cut it. |
|Hi Annie! Thanks for doing this, and congrats and being the winner of the Secular Student Alliance's Freethought Backbone Award. I loved your speech. :) I'm from Wisconsin, and I first heard about FFRF right before I graduated college, through some website that said, "the Madison-based group." I found out about the atheist movement due to FFRF's website, and eventually landed a job at the SSA! So, thanks for that. My question is, how would you encourage people to get involved in the movement and support separation of church and state, particularly younger people? ||One student, one young person, can make a huge difference. I count as my fondest state/church victory ending graduation prayers, a 122-year abuse at the university of Wisconsin-Madison, as a sophomore there. If you are a student at a public college where prayer is going on, make a fuss! FFRF is pleased to write letters of complaint, but administration is more apt to care about YOU - the person paying tuition, whom they are beholden to. FFRF sees so much more activism by students in the last few years that we have given out 3 or 4 times as many Student Activist Awards ($1,000) -- especially to high school activists. By the way, graduation prayer at public high schools is absolutely unconstitutional & there's a Supreme Court decision to back that up, so if you encounter that, let FFRF know right away! We have an online complaint form to report violations: Link to ffrf.org |
|I have been an ffrf member for 2 years, and plan to be the rest of my life. I do believe the money I donate is used prudently, and I thank you for that. I did, however, recently read your letter to the President asking him to refrain from using the phrase "So help me god" when he takes his oath again. I also read commentaries that suggest if the President is a christian, and if this is important to him as such, he should be allowed and encouraged to use the phrase. In short, the complaint about the request is that this will only further stir the hornets nest and perhaps it is best to pick your (our) battles carefully. Response? ||FFRF has always picked this battle. Since we began locally in 76 to date I don't think we've ever missed writing a respectful request to ask each president-elect (or re-elect) to please follow the wording expressly given in the Constitution, instead of adding the religious embroidery of a hand on a bible and "so help me, God." Many people don't realize that the presidential oath is given in full in the Constitution, which means the founders felt pretty strongly about it, and they also expressly used the wording "swear or affirm." If a Xtian pres wants a religious party after the swearing in, fine. I feel it is intellectually dishonest and also disrespectful to, while swearing an oath to uphold our godless constitution, to tamper with it to pander. |
|You are in a particularly good position to observe change in how the legal system handles violations of separation of church and state. Does what you see give you hope? Are things getting better? Do you ever feel like giving up- hopeless? ||I like to quote Dickens & say "It's the best of times . . . it's the worst of times." There's never been a better time to be a freethinker in America (or the world). Now up to 1 in 5 adults, 1-3 young people being nonreligious. This is huge! We are, on the legal level, constrained by a Supreme Court with a 5-4 voting bloc largely hostile to state/church separation (those 5 all being Catholic, with a 6th Catholic fortunately not voting in lockstep). It is always a very bitter blow to lose a lawsuit; it's almost like a physical blow to me. But you lick your wounds and you move forward (Wisconsin's State motto). Persistence is the name of the game (something the religious right has learned) and we can't let them win by default. |
|What do you honestly believe will be the outcome of the current lawsuit with the IRS? I know ideally what we would like to see happen, but what do you think will practically end up as the result of this current action? ||I would repeat that we very honestly intend our lawsuit to make the IRS accountable. Let it prove to us and the public that it is doing its job; if it appoints someone to oversee complaints against church electioneering we will have won. |
|Thank you very much for the work you do. I am interested in the approximate percentages of matters that end up in court versus matters that do not. Also, when agreements are worked out between the FFRF and another party, what binds the other party to the terms of the agreement? Are there many/any instances of 're-offending' (so to speak)? ||Very few end up in court - we just don't have the means to do that! We could take a new case to court every day if we did. But we have hundreds of victories every year without going to court - I just learned today, for instance, that one of our attorneys, Patrick Elliott, stopped a village in Illinois from putting up its annual lit CROSS on a water tower! Way to go, Patrick. We have so many victories we have a hard time keeping our non-litigation victories updated, but you can get an idea here:Link to ffrf.org |
|What is nontheism? ||Nontheism means being without a belief in theism, the supernatural or transcendent realm. Nontheism is not a belief itself, it is the lack of a belief. |
|1 - Does FFRF have standing for such a suit? 2 - Is the definition of electioneering clear? 3 - If the suit is decided in your (our!) favor, how do you think things will change? If not? I listen to your podcast and I love you guys. ||Yes, we believe FFRF clearly has standing. We are a 501(c)(3) which obeys the Tax Code, so we and other secular 501(c)(3)s are being treated differently, churches preferentially. You can read our legal Complaint here for more details: Link to bit.ly |
|In the long term, do you think it would be more beneficial to enforce the church electioneering ban or to tax church revenues and assets and put a cap on donations to churches. Would changing tax loopholes for churches adversely affect other non-profits such as FFRF, AHA, Beyond Belief Foundation, etc.? ||I was just rereading James Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance," in which he warns about drives not to tax churches! and the amassing of coffers and property by religion. (1817) I once transcribed a handwritten manuscript fragment by Elizabeth Cady Stanton where she was campaigning for suffrage in the West and decried the growing number of churches everywhere, and the move to take them off the tax rolls. We need to go back and study the history of this. What other 501(c)(3)s do that churches are exempted from is file Form 990, an annual report accounting for our money. Churches should have to do that, and they should have to actually file for tax exempt status. Currently it's just automatic - no onerous filing fee like the other nonprofits must file. If they PROVED they were truly charitable, etc., that would be a step in the right direction. They get so much credit for things we taxpayers get billed for! |
|What would you recommend to someone considering a career in freethought activism? ||Be a freethought activist. It's not something you can really hire someone to do. |
|Hello from an FFRF member and heathens greetings! i joined after seeing an interview that you did w/ Laura Ingraham on the OReilly Factor. you were so great... calm, rational, objective, while she was trying to provoke you. for some reason you kind of remind me of Ann Druyan, am I just imagining that or do you or the FFRF have some connection with her? ||My goodness, that's a compliment! Annie Druyan was very gracious and accepted a posthumous award in Carl Sagan's honor at one of our FFRF conventions. We've enjoyed interviewing her on Freethought Radio. |
|How many members? ||FFRF has more than 19,000 members -- thank you to the more than 100 new members who joined within 24 hours after we filed our lawsuit against the IRS! Unfortunately our website went down, so those of you who couldn't get thru, come and visit FFRF.ORG again. We'd be glad to sign you up as members, or send a complimentary issue of our newspaper! |
|Thank you for taking on the IRS & Billy Graham. Just because he's a feeble old man doesn't mean he's harmless. ||We don't feel this is anything personal against Billy Graham, but he has done a lot of harm to the Establishment Clause. He's the guy who suggested the National Day of Prayer legislation, for instance, and he's had quite a record of encouraging war, hasn't he? By the way if you've never read the beautiful federal court ruling against the NDP (we lost standing at the appeals court level), I encourage you to. You can find Judge Crabb's ruling here (with a lot of history about Graham): Link to ffrf.org |
|I'd just like to say "thank you" for Freethought Today. Everyone involved does a great job in letting members know of victories and ongoing cases. I always get a kick out of reading the Black Collar Crime Blotter and fan mail, as well. ||Thank you - our editor Bill Dunn is hard at work on the next Black Collar Crime Blotter. Part of what we like to do with Freethought Today is not only share victories but to be sure our members see what we're doing with their dues - accountability! |
|Okay, fun question: If you could be any God, which god would you be (you can also make up and describe your own god and religion). ||I don't warm to any of them, sorry. When I was little, I think I understood the ancient Egyptian feeling of worship toward cats, however! I still admire them, tempered with an understanding of what they've done to the bird population, but I admire from afar, because to my sorrow, cats trigger allergic asthma now! |
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