Up-Down Links

I’ve originally envisioned Abstract Nonsense as focusing on cultural political issues like religion, abortion, contraception, feminism, racism, and even war (especially the I/P conflict). The posts about health care and unemployment insurance are a nice fringe benefit; on the Political Compass, I probably consider the vertical axis three or four times as important as the horizontal one.

In honor of that, today’s link posts concentrates exclusively on up-down issues, especially overtly cultural ones like birth control.

Gordo’s US News links and Ann’s Weekly Feminist Reader write about anti-AIDS policy. Ann links to an article in TAP that notes that Uganda is a good case study for the success of an anti-AIDS policy based on a combination of abstinence and condom use and the failure of a policy that emphasizes only abstinence. Gordo links to an unrelated article about conservative Christians who want to cut off funds to anti-AIDS programs that talk about condom use.

Any conservative Christian readers should head to Oncle Psycho and learn 281 ways to irritate an atheist. For examples,

51) If a plane crashes killing 300 passengers and crew, but one little girl survives with only third-degree burns, tell him that this miracle proves the existence of God.

52) Insist that Noah’s Ark and the Shroud of Turin are real.

53) …and tell him about the special on FOX where you saw it.

Jill notes that nobody in the mainstream or even alternative media talked about a suicide bombing in Iowa three months ago. The neo-conservatives are right: the media entirely ignores the threat fanatics who blow people up in some backward god’s name pose to Western society. Entire classes of people are being intimidated, and nobody cares because of the politically correct, pro-appeasement establishment. If only people started talking more about anti-choice terrorism in that language…

Unfortunately, the only people who attack political correctness in the media are those who are eager to adopt Nazi solutions to Muslim immigration. Remember how I said the US had less racism than Europe? I may have spoken too soon.

A Gallup poll this summer of more than 1,000 Americans showed that 39 percent were in favor of requiring Muslims in the United States, including American citizens, to carry special identification.

Roughly a quarter of those polled said they would not want to live next door to a Muslim and a third thought that Muslims in the United States sympathized with al Qaeda, the extremist group behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

Since I’m not so big as Amanda, I don’t have a crack photoshop squad that can produce something like this, so I have to ask publicly: Gordo, could you photoshop a Holocaust photo to have a green crescent instead of a yellow star?

Hat-tip to Brent: Alonzo Fyfe talks about strategies to promote secularism. He explains that the problem with people who attack Dawkins and Harris for being too outspoken is that they suppress the assumption that the drawback of the outspokenness is that Christians will oppress atheists even more.

I hear many who describe attempts to organize atheists as being like “herding cats.” Actually, I would argue that atheists are very easily herded. We simply need to look at the way they have been herded away from political and social activism. Most atheists have well learned the lesson acquired through 12 years of psychological abuse in the school systems and hide their atheism in fear and same

Alonzo’s style is more analytic than empirical, so he leaves it at that, without mentioning some of the most compelling evidence that it’s true. The percentage of Americans who are not religious was 15% in 2001, and is rising. In 2006, 11% of all voters were not religious, up from 10% in 2004, even though non-religious Americans are disproportionately likely to be white, highly educated, and rich, all groups that have higher than average voter turnout (though non-religious people are also disproportionately likely to be young, a low-turnout demographic).

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