Skepchick Quickies, 2.28


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. Nicotine can also assist in warding off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Smoking, of course, isn’t the best way to get it into your system though, but the drug nicotine, in and of itself, is not dangerous.

  2. I generally liked the Salon interview, and Rodriguez makes some very good points about church and sexuality. But then he went like: “Some religions are the way they are because they’re male; if they could be ‘feminized,’ then they would be more tolerant…”

  3. Nicotine most assuredly is dangerous.

    From Wikipedia

    The LD50 of nicotine is 50 mg/kg for rats and 3 mg/kg for mice. 40–60 mg (0.5-1.0 mg/kg) can be a lethal dosage for adult humans.[21][22] This designates nicotine as an extremely deadly poison.

  4. After a 20-hour non-stop driving marathon, I was supa-tired and not thinking clearly. I had a dream. I honestly thought that the fecal transplant thing was in that dream.

    Needless to say, I’m feeling terribly weirded out right now.

  5. I didn’t agree with every little thing Richard Rodriguez said in the Salon article…. but he makes some magnificent points. Thank you.

  6. @llewelly: Neither did I when I first read it. Still not sure I do. I think it may be the idea of a TV scriptwriter with a very tight deadline, constipation and a fifth of Scotch in his/her bloodstream.

    Hah. I said “do!” :-p

    I still think that if it is true, it’s a technique looking for … I dunno, a decent burial? Instant amnesia?

  7. @Tina, I agree. He makes some very cogent points. The question is whether anyone out there is listening.

    “They are insisting that they have a role to play in the general society as moral guardians, when what we have seen in the recent past is just the opposite. I mean, it’s one thing for the churches to insist on their right to define the sacrament of marriage for their own members. But it’s quite another for them to insist that they have a right to define the relationships of people outside their communities. That’s really what’s most troubling about Proposition 8. It was a deliberate civic intrusion by the churches.”

    Quite right. Churches have always arrogated to themselves the “right” of civic intrusion. This is because most cultures have tolerated, if not encouraged, the interference of churches in their civic affairs. This is changing, and the churches now rightly fear the loss of their questionable “right” to do so.

    They also rightly fear that a sizable majority of people are no longer listening to them and are thinking for themselves. This is why churches hate and fear (two sides of the same coin) openly freethinking, educated, skeptical people. When people think for themselves, they tend to challenge the received wisdom and see through the religious “woo.” Skeptics ask awkward and hard-to-answer questions of those in the church power structure and force them to defend their stances on issues. This can result in upheaval in the church, as more people openly doubt and realize that their church leaders don’t know a whole lot more than anyone else does.

    Churches do have the right to be the moral guardians of their members, assuming those members have joined the church voluntarily and are free to leave if they no longer agree. Churches do not have the right to assume moral guardianship over society. That is for the citizens of the society to assume – It’s part of the birthright of citizenship.

  8. The interview with Rodriguez was great. The gay rights movement does have a lot in common with the women’s rights movement. I think that in some senses the gay rights movement has even larger implications for our society–it challenges traditional concepts of masculinity more than the fight for women’s rights ever could. This is sorely needed. It’s becoming acceptable for women to do all manner of things that men do; it is still not acceptable for men to do many things that women do.

    Since men–let’s admit it–control many more things than women, I think this has the potential to change quite a bit in our world.

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