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You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s
desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with
the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks
according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Part of this verse (*Der Vater der Juden ist der Teufel* = The Father of
the Jews is the Devil) from John was posted on road signs in some German
also that Luther’s anti-Judaic tract is called “On the Jews and Their
Lies.” Thus, there is a clear continuous portrayal of Jews as liars in
Christian history *from John to Hitler*.
Materialism and the value of life
Weikart’s assault on evolutionary theory is part of a larger assault on
“materialism” that permeates creationist literature. According to
creationists, the idea that life originates from purely physico-chemical
processes leads to the devaluation of human life. That materialistic
world-view, argue creationists, is why we have abortion, among other ills,
in modern society.
Yet, the opposite may be more often the case. Creationists often have a
pneumatocentric view of life that can devalue the human body. A
pneumatocentric view of life, which is unique to religion, means that the
welfare and salvation of the non-material soul has priority over bodily
well-being. We find a classic expression of this idea in Matthew 10:28:
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather
fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Likewise, the author of 1 Corinthians 5:8 advises this punishment for a
congregation member who has sinned: “you are to deliver this man to Satan
for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day
of the Lord Jesus.” Indeed, the Muslim hijackers who flung themselves into
the World Trade Center on 9-11 cared little for their bodies. It was their
souls that they wanted to preserve intact.
Abortion as a soul-saving machine
A pneumatocentric view of life can logically result in the advocacy of
abortion. The reason is that many creationists believe that fetuses and
those who die in infancy go directly to heaven. For example, Louis T.
Talbot (1889-1976), a former chancellor of Biola College, a creationist
mecca, answers a question concerning the destiny of those who die in
infancy as follows:
Yes, all infants, including stillborn babies, and young children who have
not reached the age of accountability at death, go immediately into the
presence of God. 
That would mean that abortion should result in a 100% salvation rate for
fetuses who are aborted. Abortion would also eliminate completely the risk
of sending aborted fetuses to an eternal torture in hell. So, by this
logic, *creationists should be for abortion, not against it*.
In fact, Reuben A. Torrey (1856-1928), a famous creationist, nearly comes
to this conclusion when explaining why killing Canaanite children was
Even today I could almost wish that all the babies born into families of
wicked influence might be slain in infancy, were it not for the hope that
some concerned Christian will carry to them the saving gospel of the Son of
Yet, even this wish is illogical if all dead infants go directly to heaven.
Torrey substitutes a risky hope of salvation through the gospel for what is
the certainty of salvation through abortion or infanticide.
If creationists object that it is murder to commit an abortion, then we
need to understand that Exodus 21:22 does not seem to regard the value of a
fetus as equal to that of an adult. If a fetus is lost by an accidental
human action, only a fine is imposed, whereas adults killed accidentally
may require life for life (Numbers 35:22-34).
Yet, let’s suppose that creationists do not support abortion to save souls
because they deem it murder to perform abortions. But even if abortion be
regarded as murder, the fact remains that one abortion doctor could send a
thousand souls to heaven in his lifetime. One still would gain 1000 souls
for every doctor lost because of performing abortions. Abortion would still
be a better method of saving souls than what anti-abortionists favor now
(let the children grow up and hope they convert). The economics of
soul-saving favor abortion no matter how we calculate it.
By the same token, a materialist view of life may be somatocentric1 year ago • 1 note
Faithful readers know that, when it comes to feminists who struggle with
their own internalized misogyny, the spinster aunt is forbearance itself.
But I just have to say I am goddam astonished by some of the comments on
the Meghan McCain
And I’ve survived not only the Great Hummer Wars of Aught-Six, but also
Fucktardgate, Concentration-Camp-As-A-Metaphor-For-Public-School-Gate, Foie
Grasgate, and of course dear old Cuntalinagate, to name but a few, so when
a blog comment astonishes me, that’s saying something.
If you’re one of the drive-by blamers who skips the comments section —
perhaps because you justifiably fear encountering sentences that begin with
lowercase letters — you have not been privy to the interesting result of a
study I didn’t even know I was conducting. That is: something about
McCain’s photo [click
the backstory] induced some otherwise reasonable women — women who
self-select as advanced patriarchy-blamers — to take their latent sexism
out for a tiptoe through the tulips.
Having analyzed the raw data, the Spinstitute for the Study of Feminine
Odor’s preliminary findings are these: an acute sensitivity of the viewer
to messages encoded in pornography has led to a sort of confusion, or
unresolved conflict, between patriarchal mores concerning the implicit
nature of women, and the antifeminist implications of femininity performed
at or near pornographic levels.
In other words, a small subset of blamers — at times deploying rhetoric
which is indistinguishable from that of Dude Nation — has apparently
determined that McCain’s potential to benefit from her position on a
pornulational continuum justifies sex-based castigation. That this
castigation is ostensibly offered as a critique of patriarchy speaks to the
confusion to which I previously alluded.
These findings were surprising, as I had more or less expected some more or
less universal analysis from a radical feminist viewpoint, an analysis
covering the social and political factors that form the armature of a
matrix of femininity in which all women’s behavior — including wardrobe,
grooming, and facial expression — is rigidly monitored and restricted.
Such are the vagaries of blaming.
Excerpts of some of these comments follow. Nearly all of these comments
also contain mitigating “I also blame the patriarchy!” remarks, making for
a bizarre juxtaposition of sublimated patriarchy-blaming and subconscious,
knee-jerk misogyny. Click the handy links for full context.
– “[H]er breasts look really uncomfortably smashed together and up. it
looks to me like she has big breasts for her frame and she was sitting
around the apartment and thought they looked good in her new Wonderbra and
decided to show off on Twitter a little bit.”
– “Here’s the thing- of course the object of blame is the legions of
twitter people, but we can’t just give McCain a “pass” on intent because
she is female. This is a “sexy” picture. That she, of her own volition,
posted. Tank top or no tank top, the facial expression and tilt of the head
says it all. And there is NO POINT to the picture, no context whatsoever,
no article that it illustrates- it is just a picture of Megan McCain. I can
only think that she put the picture up because she happened to take it,
happened to think it made her look pretty, and put it up because she wanted
POSITIVE feedback from her friends, essentially, praise about how pretty
she is.” [here
– “Looks to me like the requisite lips out, head tilted downward but eyes
up’ boob showin’ crap teenage girls post on myspace all day long. A joke,
perhaps? Or just business as usual. How old is she anyway?”
– “[H]ow is it not okay to comment on her breasts? all I was saying was
this looks very uncomfortable. lighten up.”
– “Liking the idea of McCain doing some chores around the joint. Whichever
joint you like.”
– “Megan [sic] has been making the rounds trying to start a career as
important-to-listen-to commentator and editorialist on every show and
outlet that would have her. This isn’t all about losing the shit at the
sight of tatas. It is also about the counter-point of her spilling out of
her top with her attempt to make a career as having more to offer than
nepotism and requisite partriarchy-pleasing cute blondeness.”
Well. These authors seem to be placing a pretty high premium on McCain’s
intent. And they seem pretty comfortable in asserting an infallible
familiarity with McCain’s innermost nature, for they have somehow divined
this intent precisely. Maybe they have access to 8th-dimension
vortex-portals through which they may mind-meld with Internet
personalities. They assert, peering through their vortex-portals into the
mind of Meghan McCain, not just that her intent was to titillate, but — and
here is the critical jump — that this odious species of intent (slutism!)
releases them from their oath of feminist solidarity.
You know how when a rapist is prosecuted, and the slutty intent of the
victim is so acutely divined by the defense (‘she didn’t fight back hard
enough; she must have wanted it,’ etc) it may be used as a psychbomb to
dehumanize her to the jury? It’s like that.
Or take women who post self-portraits on the Internet. Say we get our hands
on one of those vortex-portals, so we know without a doubt that their
intent is to titillate. Does it logically follow that they then *desire* a
torrent of sex-based hate speech? Meanwhile, do even the feminists buy the
whole women-are-masochists myth and just sit idly by while misogynists rip
the titillators to shreds?
Anyway, intent, schmintent. I would urge the reader to recall how little
intent has to do with anything. Particularly with the experience of the end
user. The *result* is all that matters. Your boyfriend — if you haven’t
taken my advice and dumped him yet — possibly loves you, but when he farts
in bed and flaps the covers, who gives a flip about his intent? Do you not
gag and think him a Philistine?
Which, before all you fart-flappers get lathered up, is my little metaphor
for the metaphorical odor that metaphorically drifts, unbidden, from the
condition of male privilege into the metaphorical nostrils of the oppressed.
The authors of the quoted remarks will no doubt complain that I have
misinterpreted them, and protest that they really *do*blame the patriarchy.
No doubt I have, and no doubt they do. I mock them not. Far from it. Their
responses are understandable. As an Internet feminist who has long
advocated that women cast a jaundiced eye upon sexual manipulation as a
means to empowerfulness, I concur that it sucks torpedo-turds that
antifeminist capitulators walk in our midst.
I submit that there is a line between (a) a critical analysis of the
performance of femininity and (b) personal attacks that intone the doctrine
of Dude Nation. The whiff of “she asked for it” wafting from the subtext in
these comments is fucking gnarly, and cannot be interpreted as anything
other than the sacred writ of rape culture. It is impossible to read that
stuff and *not* come to the conclusion that patriarchal standards have
significantly contributed to this antipathy toward McCain (and her
perceived manipulative bodaciosity) at the expense of discourse on the
Which larger issue is this: women are the sex class, no exceptions.
“She asked for it” is not a legitimate argument for a sex-based beatdown,
not in real life and most definitely not on Savage Death Island.
Savage Death Island, for those who are new, is my whimsical name for an
imaginary post-revolutionary society in which women enjoy the same personal
bodily sovereignty and human status as anybody else. Because you know what?
The way things stand now, a female *worm* has more autonomy than a female