Skepchick Quickies 8.4

  • In Church vs. Neighbors, bells begin the fight – “The neighbors said the bells were just too loud. The bishop said that if you silenced the bells, you silenced the voice of God.”
  • More Scientology members come forward with accounts of abuse – “They are stepping forward — from Dallas and Denver, Portland, Las Vegas, Montana — talking about what happened, to them and their friends, during their years in the Church of Scientology.”
  • Christian Civic League is still upset at the homos – First they gloat about getting enough signatures to bring Maine gay marriage to ballot. Then they bitch about teh gayz getting too much money, even though the anti-equality movement has received large amounts of money from such groups as NOM and Focus on the Family.
  • Oetzi the accupuncturist? – Some cool new info about how Oetzi (the iceman mummy) got his tattoos and some more speculation about how they may mark accupuncture points.  From Emory.


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Muahahaha, its all part of our gay agenda!

    Stage 1: Become an intergral part of society

    Stage 2: Win acceptance by the people

    Stage 3: Perfect human cloning

    Stage 4: Indoctrinate the children into the homosexual culture

    Stage 5: Eliminate sex!

    Our plan is working so better than our organizer, Elton John, ever could have imagined! In just a few years, our gay troops will march into the captials of your world, and topple your governments, and the Queen, Elton, and his clones, will reign supreme!

    Its PERFECT, SHEAR GENIUS! Nothing can stop us now!

  2. As a follower of the Church of Rock n’ Roll, I recently discovered that my gods insist that all their true believers blast AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells” out of their stereos every 30 minutes from 7am to 9pm, 7 days a week. Yesterday, when the infidels demanded that we turn it down, our Reverent Bishop Brian Johnson replied, “Hey, Rock n’ Roll ain’t noise pollution”

  3. maybe polution will make males able to reproduce, or make everybody in the future will be hermaphrodites.
    sparkling tattoo crystals!! i want some.
    im absolutely getting mummified when i diez.
    computerized church bells?! losers. i would think they should have let them ring the bell but only if it was physically a person ringing a bell. people are so god- damn lazy. oh sorry. church bells are not that bad. kinda pleasant actually.

  4. There has been a long-standing feud in DC over a church where people double-park during church services, often parking in front of neighborhood residents, trapping them in their parking spots.

    The church’s response to neighborhood complaints has been “too bad”. So much for universal Christian love.

  5. @Amanda – A tiny complaint, but your Oezti link links to the second part of the article.

    @TheCzech: WWJDP: Who Would Jesus Double-Park? Sounds like the congregation could use a sermon on how you should be not be an asshole unto your neighbor. That’s got to be in the bible somewhere, right?

  6. Well, it seems that now god *has* civil rights, but no obligations.

    I’d sue the crap out of him, but I’m sure he’ll* just send his lawers.

    * I said “hell” !!!

  7. @infinitemonkey: Yes, I got that, but I don’t think it works even as satire, because even the anti-gay movement is pretty aware that they can’t get rid of sex, especially amongst gays. In fact, the anti-gay movement is 100% focused on gay sex, and not gay relationships.

    Now, if you had said:

    5. Have gay sex everywhere, with everyone, including your children!

    it would have worked :P

  8. Wait, I thought the gay agenda was to visit India and bring back beautiful beaded and crystal-ed shirts and saris for everyone? Oh wait, maybe that was just ON my gay friend’s agenda… Sigh, world domination is so perplexing!

    Does God really approve of computer-operated bell sounds? Isn’t that akin to a graven image? A toll on the hour, I can understand, but even the fire department silences it’s sirens and horns when calls come in overnight! God knows, people are trying to sleep!

    Dear Mr. Bahr, the only reason Oetzi might ever have used acupuncture (because that’s the only possible conclusion to be drawn from his tattoos) is because he didn’t have access to vaccines and antibiotics. Der.

    Finally, bravo to the former Scientologists who are brave enough to come forward, knowing full well what they’re in for as they try to defect…

  9. My response to the church bells is similar to @Imrryr. I would like the closest neighbor, who’s property abuts the church property, to get very loud speakers, place them near the property line and facing the church, and play Black Sabbath* very loudly from 11:00 to 12:00 every Sunday morning. After all, since we know the church leaders are applying their golden rule, we know that this is the kind of behavior that they want from their neighbors.

    *Maybe some Metallica too, but only the good stuff from the 80s.

    I am a Hedge

  10. on the Oetzi thing, I note that they acupuncture marking hypothesis comes from an acupuncturist… not anybody charged with studying him objectively.

  11. I thought that Voltaire’s “When You’re Evil” would be an awesome song to blast at the church every half hour.

  12. @Im a Hedge: I would take that one step further. Hook that sound system up to a sound activated switch, and a timer. As soon as the bells kick on, the system (turned up to 11) belts out the tunes for a set time period.
    If the music doesn’t work, I might add some audio books, say some Hitchens or Orwell.

  13. @Imrryr:

    And yes, post-Black Album Metallica would be too cruel.

    It’s not the cruelty of it that concerns me. I am visualizing myself in the situation and going on the assumption that I would be hearing the music also, so I want it to be something that I would enjoy as well as being something that would be maximally disturbing to the congregation. ‘Later’ Metallica (I would include the Black Album) is just boring to me. I don’t care to get into arguments with people about this, as it’s a matter of taste and personal preference. I also don’t go for calling artists “sell outs” because they change their style and/or become hugely popular. In the case of Metallica, they found a sound and an image that was appealing to a much larger audience. It also happened to move them in a direction that I didn’t personally enjoy. I don’t hold it against them, I just would have liked them to continue doing more music that I enjoy.

    I think Metallica clearly peaked with Master of Puppets. …And Justice for All had great potential, containing some of their most complex and challenging songs, but the singing style doesn’t appeal to me and the mixing is horrible. There is no bass – you simply cannot hear a bass guitar track on the album. The production qualities improved dramatically with the Black Album (and there’s audible bass on it), but the complexity and intensity of the songs went way down. I pretty much stopped following their career after that, aside from occasionally hearing them on the radio, or at a friend’s place.

    Their latest album, Death Magnetic, sounds like it has good pretty good songs on it (if you like that kind of thing), but unfortunately it’s unlistenable due to horrible mixing and/or mastering (the mastering engineer blames the mixing engineer, and vice versa). The band obnoxiously claims that this is the sound they wanted, the same as they claimed for Justice.

    Thus ends my treatise on the career of Metallica.

    I am a Hedge

  14. @MathMike:

    The problem I see with having it triggered by the sound of the bell is that I get the impression the church folks aren’t actually there most of the times that the bell is sounding. I would want to limit it to times when there is a gathering at the church, which I think customarily happens Sunday mornings. Many churches have other meetings throughout the week, and those could be targeted as well. As a bonus, AA and NA etc groups also often meet at churches, and they may enjoy some good musical entertainment for their meetings.

    Maybe a motion sensor aimed at the parking lot?

    I am a Hedge

  15. @Amanda: Ah, but the police wouldn’t tow them and the local politicians tend to defend the church. This is ironic since most of the offenders come from outside the District and the neighborhood residents are constituents.

    There is also a precedent in DC of relaxing parking restrictions on Sunday morning. Most of the time, no one is hurt because a lot of the offending churches aren’t in residential areas. This is is an exception.

    I haven’t heard anything about this in a long time. I wonder if anything changed…

  16. Was anyone else extremely annoyed with the writing style of the article about the church bells?

  17. @TheCzech:

    I am having a more difficult time thinking of a response to this situation that would appropriate, ethical, and legal. I think blasting Black Sabbath at the bell-ringing church is all three. I think in the case of someone parking and blocking my exit from the driveway, it would be appropriate and ethical to attempt to exit my driveway as normal. This would result in my hitting the offending car, perhaps multiple times. I don’t think this would go over well legally, however.

    I am a Hedge

  18. @Im a Hedge: I suppose I should stand up for the Black Album now, but I won’t. If I liked the album that much I would own it. It just felt a little unfair to lump it in the same pile as ReLoad and St. Anger (brrrr!). I can listen to those songs when they come up on my MP3 player, but I find that I play the 80’s stuff far more often because I prefer the complexity and intensity you mentioned. Simply put: Ride the Lightning and Master for life!

  19. @marilove:
    Just wait, I’m slowly winding the conversation in the direction of Weird Al (who happens to have a new song out today).

    It’s like this:
    church –> Black Sabbath –> Metallica –> Weird Al –> profit

    I am a Hedge

  20. Since AC/DC’s ‘Hell’s Bells’ has that handy little intro with the gong, it might be possible to sync it with the end of the church’s bells. Their bells stop, AC/DC comes in, song begins. It’s like a mix-tape for god!

  21. I just finished reading the Scientology article and through the whole thing, I kept wondering about something. Setting aside the alleged abuse these people are exposed to because of an insane leader, what would possess someone to believe in that crock to begin with? I don’t know the exact doctrines of that cult (and don’t tell me it’s anything else) but you have to question the sanity of anyone who voluntarily joins a group like that, don’t you? Aren’t they partly to blame for allowing anyone to treat them like that? I am not a big fan of Dr. Phil but I did come away from watching his show with one little tidbit I have always remembered, “You teach people how to treat you”. If I was one of those folks in that group, and if that Miscavige guy ever layed a hand on me, I would beat the living shit out of him until he cried and begged me to stop. I would change his fucking world in about 30 seconds. These people are like spouses who live in an abusive houshold and put up with it for years thinking they have no other choice. Bullshit! nobody has ever or will ever earn the right to treat ME like that, I don’t understand why anyone else would ever tolerate it.

  22. @Denver7M: It should be that easy but it isn’t. When you have been convinced that you aren’t worth anything you will do anything to feel worthwhile. You will blame yourself for everything that goes wrong whether or not it is your fault. There are a lot of books out there that try to explain the mind set.

  23. @zorazen: As a longtime Phoenix resident, I have come to expect very little from the Arizona Republic. It seemed mediocre by their standards to me. Unfortunately, for several years now the AR has been Phoenix’s only local paper.

  24. @Steve: Well obviously gay agendas are lavender. Or is it rainbow?

    Talk of some unitary gay agenda reminds me of an FBI attempt in the ’80s to get libraries to monitor the kinds of documents patrons with eastern European sounding names wanted. All the librarians the FBI talked with refused to participate, so they tried to find out what Soviet-run organization was influencing all these librarians. The only organization in common to all those librarians was the American Library Association. I don’t know whether the FBI agents bothered to read the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights to find out just why the librarians refused to participate (violating privacy having a chilling effect equivalent to censorship).

  25. Monty Python tackled the problem of Bells over three decades ago. Close your eyes and listen, the images are irrelevant and the accompanying text is inaccurate.

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