Boy, do I have egg on my face!

After I just made fun of the absurdity of Chris Mooneys ‘building bridges with antivaxers’ or ‘ladders to heaven’ or ‘rope swings to Creationists’ or whatever strategy, Mooney is named a Templeton Foundation ‘fellow’.

Like most of you, my initial response was “What a douche.”

But then I realized– This is THE answer to my prayers.

All these years I have been so goddamn frustrated with the level of stupidity coming out of religious institutions regarding HIV-1.

But there was nothing I could do about it because Im not nice and Im a stoopid scientest tat dunt commoonikates gud.

Now that The Master Science Communicator and Bridge Engineer is in A Position of Power, Mooney can solve all of my problems!!!!!

The GameMaster Pope will start telling everyone to use condoms to stop the spread of HIV-1!

Fundamentalist Christians in the US will stop trying to kill HIV(+) homosexuals in Africa!

Fundamentalist Christians will stop holding up Anti-HIV funding because it might go towards family planning clinics or needle exchange programs!


Fundamentalist Christians will stop promoting their failed ‘abstinence only’ anti-HIV plan, recognizing that their ‘moral authority’ has limited real-world applications.

Fundamentalist Muslims will stop killing HIV-1 advocates in Africa!

The Red Sea will part, manna will fall from the heavens, bridges will be built between the real world and lunatics, now that Chris Mooney is a Templeton Fellow!

He can now show us all how its done!

*grins like a Cheshire cat and waits*

Comments

  1. #1 Kristine
    February 26, 2010

    I’ll grab the chocolate-covered popcorn.

  2. #2 Jared
    February 26, 2010

    I must admit that I started giggling when I read this…

    I wonder when Mooney will realize that the bridges he’s trying to build are only grounded on one side…

  3. #3 Screechy Monkey
    February 26, 2010

    “I wonder when Mooney will realize that the bridges he’s trying to build are only grounded on one side…”

    The bridge builder doesn’t mind as long as he’s getting paid.

  4. #4 mandrellian
    February 26, 2010

    Mooney + Templeton = punchline.

  5. #5 Uncle Glenny
    February 26, 2010

    Ah, bridges. (the video therein is pretty cool.)

  6. #6 Gabriel Hanna
    February 26, 2010

    You’ve got a weird typo up there, Abbie–you’ve got “fundamentalist Christians in the US” trying to kill “homosexuals in Africa”.

    You clearly MEANT to say that “fundamentalist Christian AFRICANS” are trying to kill homosexuals in Africa.

    Africans are not children or pets. They are human beings who make moral choices. Nobody in the US is making them do anything, and I doubt you can find one US Christian organization who has had anything to do with killing homosexuals in Africa.

    This is too much like Discoveroids blaming Hitler and Communism on atheists and Darwin.

  7. #7 Mike the Mad Biologist
    February 26, 2010

    Groucho Marx: “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

    Just saying.

  8. #8 Spooky
    February 26, 2010

    “He can now show us all how its done!”

    *crickets*

  9. #9 ERV
    February 26, 2010

    Gabriel Hanna– I doubt you can find one US Christian organization who has had anything to do with killing homosexuals in Africa.
    Oh youre totally right. See, The Family was just building bridges with Ugandan politicians.

    **WINK!!!**

  10. #10 Gabriel Hanna
    February 26, 2010

    Abbie, I didn’t think it was like you to take refuge in conspiracy theories.

    Homosexuals in Africa are killed by Christians and Muslims alike, and always have been as long as anyone can remember.

    What contacts does “the Family” have with Robert Mugabe, who says that homsexuality is unAfrican, a practice used by whites and a legacy of colonialism? He’s been talking like this since at least 1995:

    “It degrades human dignity. It’s unnatural, and there is no question ever of allowing these people to behave worse than dogs and pigs. If dogs and pigs do not do it, why must human beings? We have our own culture, and we must re-dedicate ourselves to our traditional values that make us human beings. … What we are being persuaded to accept is sub-animal behavior and we will never allow it here. If you see people parading themselves as Lesbians and Gays, arrest them and hand them over to the police!”

    Are you really trying to say that Africans kill gays because American fundamentalist brainwash them into doing so?

  11. #11 Gabriel Hanna
    February 26, 2010

    http://allafrica.com/stories/200806120906.html

    According to reports of President Jammeh’s comments quoted by HRW, he gave homosexuals 24 hours to leave the country and threatened to seek out and arrest gays and expel them from their homes. According to the BBC the President also vowed to “cut off the head” of any homosexual, and to impose stricter laws banning homosexuality.

    The Gambian newspaper the Daily Observer quoted him as saying: “We are in a Muslim dominated country and I will not and shall never accept such individuals [homosexuals] in this country.”

    On 16 May, the day after the President’s speech, Gambian police arrested two men from Senegal, apparently on suspicion of being homosexuals.

    “People in the under-cover gay and lesbian community are terrified,” said HRW’s Long. “These statements drive them further under cover – this just intensifies the climate of fear.”

    The long-term impact will depend on how civil society reacts, according to Long. “What happened in Zimbabwe for instance, is instructive. Mugabe demonised gay people there in 1994 and…eventually the same kind of tactics of stigma and hatred that were used against lesbian and gays, graduated into a broader attack on everyone’s human rights.”

  12. #12 Gabriel Hanna
    February 26, 2010

    It’s been going on all over Africa–how is it reasonable to blame it on one group of American Christians?

    Even if you could show that some Americans went over there and encouraged them to KILL gay people–and nothing you’ve linked to shows anything remotely like that–how do you explain why African governments are so eager to do it? Jesus rays?

    Are Africans children to you, that they can’t do anything evil unless white people told them to?

  13. #13 Cuttlefish
    February 26, 2010

    Dammit! I want a Templeton! I have kids in college! Ok, so I can’t kiss ass like Mooney, but I can do it in iambic pentameter–does that count for nothing?

    A man with a spine made of jell-o
    With a streak on his back of pure yellow
    Said that science and god
    Coexisted. How odd.
    But they made him a Templeton Fellow.

  14. #14 jaranath
    February 26, 2010

    Not that it makes his bridge-building any more or less valid, but I’m calling it: Within three years, Mooney will announce his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Close, Personal Savior, citing the horrible, horrible treatment he was given by mean nasty atheists and the nice, kind checkstreatment he was given by loving, richcaring Christians as a major factor in his conversion.

    That, and a pretty waterfall.

  15. #15 oh bother
    February 26, 2010

    Doo dah doo dah

    Of course, you said “Killing Homosexuals” and not “advocating for the severe criminalization of homosexuality with penalties up to and including forfeiture of all property, death, and hell, let’s just throw in posthumous dismemberment.”

    I guess, in your view, if one or an organization is only encouraging a society to hunt down and kill a segment of its population with Stazi tactics but one is not actually tying the noose or ratting out one’s neighbor then clearly one is just carrying water for those ideals and can’t possibly be responsible for the consequences, right?

    If you don’t understand the highly questionable position of a bunch of white guys who are super embarrassed that they used to take it up the ass and want everybody else to join in the self-hatred, that their traveling to an impoverished, unstable African country and participating in some rabble-rousing of the locals towards some highly disgusting and retrograde behavior that is clearly just a form of the worst kind of scapegoating, either you are a morally repugnant individual, you are naive, or you’re a mental deficient.

    I guess in your view it’s totally moral to proselytize one’s belief in the basic non-human status of homosexuals until Michael Bussee goes all Kurtz and starts taking assassination squads into the night clubs, eating gay brains, and, I think you get the point, namely, your request as posed, is posed in a cowardly and underhanded way, and I think that sucks and you should be called out on your peevish callousness to what is clearly the case of U.S. based special interest groups encouraging the extermination of an an entire cohort of people in foreign lands. The end.

  16. #16 Gabriel Hanna
    February 26, 2010

    “advocating for the severe criminalization of homosexuality with penalties up to and including forfeiture of all property, death, and hell, let’s just throw in posthumous dismemberment.”

    Not that you’ve cited any evidence in support, but nearly 40 African countries criminalize homosexuality–including all the Muslim ones. They didn’t learn it from Americans. They couldn’t have. They’ve been doing it for decades or centuries in some cases.

    If you don’t understand the highly questionable position of a bunch of white guys who are super embarrassed that they used to take it up the ass and want everybody else to join in the self-hatred, that their traveling to an impoverished, unstable African country and participating in some rabble-rousing of the locals towards some highly disgusting and retrograde behavior that is clearly just a form of the worst kind of scapegoating, either you are a morally repugnant individual, you are naive, or you’re a mental deficient.

    Can you even even find Uganda on the map? Do you know how long they’ve been killing gays there? Do you understand that in the neighboring countries to Ugand they’ve been passing the same laws and doing the same things with no Americans being involved?

    But I must be the mental deficient. Got it.

    From 1999, jackass:

    President Museveni of Uganda has ordered that homosexuals in Uganda be arrested and charged, a state-owned newspaper has reported.

    “I have told the Criminal Investigations Department to look for homosexuals, lock them up and charge them,” the New Vision quoted the president as saying.

    His comments came at the opening of a meeting on reproductive health.

    “God created Adam and Eve,” he said. “I did not see God creating man and man.”

    President Museveni’s comments come two weeks after the widely reported gay marriage of two men in the capital, Kampala.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/460893.stm

  17. #17 Christopher Petroni
    February 26, 2010

    Gabriel.

    Yes, homosexuality has been criminilized in much of Africa for a long time. So what?

    Does that change the fact that fundamentalist groups in America have been doing their best to fan these flames of hatred even hotter? Does that really absolve them of any culpability in the witch-hunt against gays in Africa? Just because a house has been burning for decades doesn’t excuse someone who pours gas on it.

  18. #18 jaranath
    February 26, 2010

    Gabriel, you protest too much, and you are being VERY disingenuous. We know damn well Africa has had a longstanding problem with hatred and persecution of gays. To suggest we don’t, and that our complaints about the role of American evangelicals in the most recent anti-gay developments is paternalistic, is thoroughly dishonest.

    Are you seriously going to claim that the gaggle of evangelicals who are now so furiously distancing their recent visits from this crap had NOTHING to do with it?

    I know damn well Africans are perfectly capable of doing this on their own, and that they have been. I’m sure most–though probably not all–of the evangelicals did not advocate murder, even off the record. That in no way excuses their anti-gay stances nor their role as cheerleaders in this mess. Nor is this the first time many American Christians have used faith to support, enable and commit crimes against humanity. I don’t give a DAMN about those Christians who stood against them, other than to shower them with praise and hold them as examples; their work does nothing to excuse their brethren’s.

  19. #19 Gabriel Hanna
    February 26, 2010

    Does that change the fact that fundamentalist groups in America have been doing their best to fan these flames of hatred even hotter? Does that really absolve them of any culpability in the witch-hunt against gays in Africa? Just because a house has been burning for decades doesn’t excuse someone who pours gas on it.

    I’m sorry, there isn’t any evidence that what you claim is happening is actually happening.

    There are Christian fundamentalists in America, and Christian fundamentalists in Africa, but the gay-killing is going in Africa.

    Saying that gays can stop being gay if they want to, or saying that gays sin by being gay, is simply not the same thing as killing gays.

    You can allege that American fundamentalists are secretly urging Africans to do this, but you can’t prove it. Even if you could, that doesn’t give you the right to lump all Christian fundamentalists together and hold them somehow collectively responsible, when the people doing the actual evil are in another CONTINENT and have a long history of doing those things. That’s the same thing Christian fundamentalist activists do to gays and atheists–the “gay agenda”, the “atheist agenda”, right? Well, you’re doing it to them.

    I’m not going to embrace feces-flinging tactics like this just because the targets are people I disagree with.

  20. #20 Gabriel Hanna
    February 26, 2010

    Gabriel, you protest too much, and you are being VERY disingenuous.

    Come now, I’ve been an atheist as long as Abbie’s been alive.

    Are you seriously going to claim that the gaggle of evangelicals who are now so furiously distancing their recent visits from this crap had NOTHING to do with it?

    They visited Uganda, yes. They didn’t teach Ugandans to be homophobic, and they certainly didn’t pass the bill, and there’s no evidence that they even knew what the Ugandans were going to do, much less approved it.

    I’m sure most–though probably not all–of the evangelicals did not advocate murder, even off the record.

    That’s big of you. I’m sure you’ve never advocated child molestation, even off the record.

    That in no way excuses their anti-gay stances nor their role as cheerleaders in this mess.

    Cheerleaders for what? You have no evidence that they approved what was going on and you even said they’re embarrassed by it.

    Nor is this the first time many American Christians have used faith to support, enable and commit crimes against humanity.

    Japanese Shinto, Indian Hindus, African Muslims–you can put any people and religion into that sentence and get the same result. What on earth is the point of saying that?

  21. #21 Blind Squirrel
    February 26, 2010

    Yea! for Cuttlefish!

    BS

  22. #22 Christopher Petroni
    February 26, 2010

    The strawmen are piling up, Gabriel. I never claimed that Christian fundamentalists were intentionally encouraging violence against gays, nor did I suggest that all Americans fundies played a role. I said that American fundagelicals are culpable for the role they have played in adding fuel to the fire of anti-gay sentiment in Africa, most visibly in Uganda. You did not answer this point.

  23. #23 Doc Bill
    February 26, 2010

    I like my waterfalls shaken, not stirred.

  24. #24 Phoenix Woman
    February 26, 2010

    Ahem:

    From http://www.talk2action.org/story/2009/12/9/113914/328

    The Ugandan branch of a US-based evangelical group called “College of Prayer” played, as a new talk To Action report details, a major and little noticed role organizing and inspiring legislators behind the pending Anti Homosexuality Bill due to come before Uganda’s parliament early in 2010. Homosexuality is already legally a crime in Uganda that can lead to lifetime prison sentences, but the new bill would mandate the death penalty for homosexual acts and critics have called it “genocidal” and charged that the bill could require the execution of HIV positive Ugandan citizens. As the College of Prayer website describes, the group is now organizing in Canada’s parliament.

    You may now apologize, Gabriel.

  25. #25 jaranath
    February 26, 2010

    It’s pretty clear we have different concepts of responsibility, Gabriel. I disagree with yours, but whatever. But you’re still misrepresenting my position. I know they probably didn’t know what the Ugandans intended to do. I think the public backpedaling was quite convincing. And yet despite acknowledging my observation that they’re embarrassed, you continue to pretend there’s nothing to be embarrassed for. You keep on stabbing that strawman.

    As for this:

    “What on earth is the point of saying that?”

    Golly, gee, I dunno. Maybe ’cause they should stop doing it? What’s so hard to grasp about that? Oh, I forgot…strawmen again. I’m supposed to be saying ALL American Christians do that, or that ONLY American ones do. Or am I just not allowed to challenge the established, powerful subset of their community that does?

  26. #26 Rorschach
    February 27, 2010

    Gabriel Hanna,

    please do try to keep up and inform yourself before you post BS on the internet, the connection between esp Senator Imhofe, the Family and this legislation is well documented.

  27. #28 BGT
    February 27, 2010

    I must say that GH falls into the boringly familiar “methinks she does protest too much”.

    of course it doesn’t matter whether or not GH is a he or a she, “its” arguments are horribly stupid and quite close to evil.

    nite nite all.

  28. #29 reggie
    February 27, 2010

    Might it be that Gabriel Hanna is the troll that will guard Mooney’s bridge?

  29. #30 Alan
    February 27, 2010

    I’m an African – white in case people think that makes a difference. Yes, Africans are quite capable of doing some really stupid stuff all on our own, without any help. Usually because we got crappy schooling, and are brought up in an environment of religious literalism (doesn’t matter which one).

    But, speaking for myself, I’m much happier when Americans/Europeans, whatever, spend their energies attacking their own enablers of stupid African stuff, than on saying – without any real understanding of why we do stupid stuff in the first place – that we should sort ourselves out.

    Obviously it’s important that we wake up to the fact that we’re embarrassing ourselves at the global dinner-table. But the first way you can do that is to shut up the American at our elbow who keeps saying, “We in America really admire the stupid stuff you do.”

  30. #31 'Tis Himself
    February 27, 2010

    Why is anyone surprised about Mooney becoming a Templeton Fellow? If you’re going to be an accomodationist you might as well be paid for it.

  31. #32 SLC
    February 27, 2010

    As they say, folks on this blog ar on PZs are having a fine old time making fun of Mr. Mooney but I’m sure he will cry all the way to the bank.

  32. #33 Caravelle
    February 27, 2010

    I doubt you can find one US Christian organization who has had anything to do with killing homosexuals in Africa.

    Except for, y’know the Family and its role in the Ugandan anti-gay law thingy.

    I’m in two minds about this : given the nature of the list isolating the US involvement in that issue does erase the fact it’s basically an Ugandan internal matter and does seem to deny them agency.

    On the other hand, in the context of covering the issue (as opposed to mentioning it in a list) I find it perfectly normal that a US-based blog would focus on US involvement. And given the list is made of links to old blog posts ERV made, this could just reflect the fact that she only blogged about the US fundamentalists’ involvement in the first place.

  33. #34 Phillip IV
    February 27, 2010

    Mooney is named a Templeton Foundation ‘fellow’.

    Silly Templeton Foundation. They misspelled ‘felon’.

  34. #35 Martin
    February 27, 2010

    What happened to the other half of the MooneyTits’ toothpaste-twins dynamic duo? Doesn’t she become a Templeton fellow (fellowette?) or are women barred from such a lofty position because their brains may overheat?

  35. #36 The Chimp's Raging
    February 27, 2010

    Martin – you beat me to it.

    I note that neither Zuska nor Isis have chosen to comment on the obvious SEXISM of not also awarding a fellowship to Sheril.

    Oh, the injustice!!!

  36. #37 Sili
    February 27, 2010

    I wonder why it’s taken me till now to realise how appropriate a metaphor bridges are.

  37. #38 Prometheus
    February 27, 2010

    Doesn’t she become a Templeton fellow (fellowette?)

    Let’s just go neutral and call them “Templeton Fellates”.

    Then we can at least pretend Fat Jack Templeton is making decisions based on some sort of merit.

  38. #39 Blake Stacey
    February 27, 2010

    Let’s just go neutral and call them “Templeton Fellates”.

    [spit take]

  39. #40 2nd Edition
    March 1, 2010

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind building some bridges with the Antivax-wacks. That way as they’re crossing, we blow the bridges up. May not the be the most rational idea, but it would make for some interesting news. And while we’re at it, let’s also push the ladders over and grease up the rope swings.

  40. #41 Helan
    March 1, 2010

    Thank you very much

  41. #42 SLC
    March 6, 2010

    Apparently, Ms. Kirshenbaum is moving on to the Peoples’ Republic of Austin, Texas.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/03/05/the-evolution-of-the-intersection/

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