Pharyngula

Oh, joy. Senator Tom Harkin will appear in a video message at the Reason Rally. While he may be a lifelong Catholic, as he declares in the announcement, and while he is one of the biggest supporters of acupuncture, chiropracty, herbal and homeopathic ‘healing’, and all the alt med bullshit he can fling millions of federal funds at, we’re apparently supposed to grovel in gratitude that a sitting senator deigns to patronize us atheists.

Why?

This is a man who takes pride in being affiliated with a patriarchal, hierarchical, medieval institution that oppresses women, celebrates poverty, wallows in its own wealth and privilege, and has actively disseminated pedophiles into communities all around the world…and has worked hard to protect and defend these child rapists. This is an organization that is currently fighting for the right to refuse life-saving care to women, that even opposes making contraception available to men and women, that endorses discrimination against gay couples.

This is a man who pushed through the formation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative ‘Medicine’, a gigantic boondoggle that sucks federal research dollars out of the hands of qualified scientists studying real phenomena and into the hands of quacks and con artists peddling bogus therapies. This is a man who so poorly understands science that, when his pet quackeries all failed when examined, declared his disappointment because he said NCCAM was supposed to “validate alternative approaches”, and instead was “disproving things rather than seeking out and approving things.”

Yeah. That Tom Harkin.

Was Deepak Chopra busy on 24 March? Did Oprah have a hair appointment? Maybe it’s not too late to sign up John Edward — he could channel Ingersoll and Russell and Sagan for us, although of course we’d have to be content with him guessing at their words one letter at a time. Aww, heck, let’s go all the way: the Phelps clan is going to be there picketing anyway, let’s give one of them a speaker’s slot right after Nate Phelps.

You know, I’ve been working on my 15 minute talk for the event, and I’m kind of peeved that now I have to toss in some stuff sniping at this dumbass video Harkin is phoning in…which is scheduled to be shown two hours after me, which makes it hard to address. I’m sandwiched in at 1:40, in between Jamila Bey (yay!) and…

Bill Maher?

WTF, man. W. T. F. Yeah, I know he’s said some great pro-atheist stuff, but I’m planning to promote science and reason, and that anti-vax/anti-medicine stuff ought to be a big red flag at a Reason Rally.

Dave Silverman is going to hate me.

(Also on FtB)