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Go to: Tennessee antievolution bill passes the House

Edouard Pernod's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by Edouard Pernod

I grew up and went to high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My Biology teacher in my PUBLIC school in 1994, "Coach" Jim Lovell, started our biology class by turning his teacher's edition of the textbook to the evolution chapter, and then proceeded to wrap electrical tape around that chapter. He then said to the class "I won't be teaching this, because I know man didn't come from no monkey."

Nothing has changed in Tennessee. I left that place when I was 18 because I was tired of seeing willful ignorance placed on a pedestal. There are a lot of wonderful, generous, intelligent people down there who are fighting a brave fight against the ignorant, and I have a lot of respect for them. They don't fit the "roadkill eating inbred redneck" stereotype that I see is popular here, and parroting such stereotypes doesn't make us look very good. But there are some amazingly ignorant nuts down there, so I totally understand where the stereotype comes from.

The religious totalitarians have a stranglehold on the political process and the schools in TN, and as far as I can tell that isn't changing anytime soon. They still have two high schools in the state named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, so that tells you all you need to know about Tennessee. It saddens me that in 2011 we still have such backwards anti-scientific rubbish polluting the minds of young people. I hope the kids in schools there encounter professors that teach them how Evolution is actually one of the most solid theories in the history of all scientific theories, rather than the jackass who "taught" my biology class.

Mon, 11 Apr 2011 03:47:33 UTC | #613835

Go to: Miss Manners And the Big C

Edouard Pernod's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Edouard Pernod

It's so refreshing to see Hitchens approach this difficult topic as he approaches everything else, with intellect, piercing wit, stern words, and simultaneously revealing emotion and compassion. Just as with everything else he has written, his writing about cancer have made me think about things that had not occurred to me before. What a brilliant man. I spend a lot of time around people who are dying from or living with cancer, and I don't pretend to understand what they're going through, because each person's suffering is wholly their own. But they do have my sympathy and wishes for recovery. While it is sad to me that Hitchens is suffering, and that he may not have as many days left as we would all wish him to have, I simultaneously feel exhilarated that I was able to meet him (in 2003 at a debate over the Iraq war) and that I am fortunate to live in the time period in which he is living and making such poignant observations about so many important things.

While he is too humble to rank himself among great minds like Jefferson and Paine, I have no qualms about putting him squarely in the same class as those brilliant men.

And while it's not likely, I'll still hope that Hitchens falls into that tiny bracket that inexplicably goes into remission and survives the disease, because even though unlikely, it does happen.

Fri, 12 Nov 2010 01:19:59 UTC | #546114

Go to: Francis Collins prays for Hitchens

Edouard Pernod's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by Edouard Pernod

I love this quote posted by somebody on the washington post website: "Matthew 6: 5 Jesus says,

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the Pharisees. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men.”

Mon, 27 Sep 2010 11:55:04 UTC | #525599

Go to: Francis Collins prays for Hitchens

Edouard Pernod's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by Edouard Pernod

Yet more proof that prayer is total bullshit, at best a placebo and at worst a socially acceptable but nonetheless obnoxious attempt to proselytize. If one really believes that prayer is directly talking to god, then why is it necessary to make sure everyone is aware that you are praying? Does god only listen if you tell everyone else that you're praying?

Mon, 27 Sep 2010 11:36:50 UTC | #525587

Go to: America Has Disgraced Itself

Edouard Pernod's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Edouard Pernod

As it so happens, because real estate is such a hot commodity in Manhattan (that's where I live), no one will even know the mosque is there. It's going to be on the 4th floor of a building near the site, I believe. It's not like it's going to be some huge temple that says "Death To The Infidel, Yay Jihad" on the door. And yet here we have these squawking right wingers who routinely ridicule NYC, including many who have never set foot here, upset about the mere idea of a rather tolerant inter-faith non-jihadist place of religion renting out the 4th floor of a building that they couldn't find on a map.

The real reason this is all such a tiff of course is exactly because of what Marc Country rightly said in comment #7. The vultures who call themselves journalists are turning what was a small smoldering pile of kindling into a raging forest fire by using incendiary language to describe the debate over it (notice how they are all calling Obama's even-handed rational approach to the topic "furious backtracking"?). They're further throwing fuel on the fire by repeating this damn story over and over and over, giving every last twit who wants to hold a press conference air time and thus perpetually keeping this anti-constitutionalist movement on the airwaves and in print 24-7, prolonging and inflaming the dispute. I wish something else controversial would happen so the press could beat that into the ground instead of this nonsense. What virtually none of the media here is reporting (with the exception of National Public Radio) is that a poll of the same people who think the Mosque shouldn't be built also asked them if the Constitution allowed for a mosque to be built anywhere, including ground zero, and the overwhelming majority of them said Yes, it did.

That should be case closed right there, but unfortunately the public scumbag journalists are all too eager to help the other public scumbag politicians turn this issue that is easily resolved by the Constitution into a wildfire hysteria.

Thu, 19 Aug 2010 12:39:53 UTC | #502405

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