Jun 05 2007

GodbagWatch ’07: Church of England totes the company barge

C of E head of education The Rev Jan Ainsworth says that “state juvy warehouses might wish to brainwash their defenseless inmates with the myth of creationism in science class. Why? Because cognitive dysfunctionals have different ways of looking at bald-faced lies promulgated by delusional old dudes.”

No wait, that was the Twistulator’s automated translation. Crap, where did I put those notes … ah, here we are. What The Rev Jan Ainsworth actually said was, “State schools could teach the theory of intelligent design in science lessons.”

Jesus fucking Christ, does she kiss her mother with that mouth? Amazingly, her torrent of obscenity against Truth and Beauty did not cause The Rev Jan Ainsworth’s obstreperal lobe to explode; I speculate that she doesn’t even have one. She claims to be not all that into intelligent design herself, but justifies her spineless capitulation to alienating patriarchal forces of anti-enlightenment by suggesting that teaching this ‘theory’ would be ‘a recognition that there are different ways of looking at the evidence.”

‘Theory’ is the new ‘persistent delusion.’ ‘Evidence’ is the new ‘pernicious hogwash translated into 17th century English from spurious antiquitated texts carved into rocks by barbarian mystics’.

The Rev Twisty Faster suggests that state schools should brainwash the kiddies with the myth of creationism never, because although The Rev Jan Ainsworth is correct in that there certainly are different ways of looking at mass hallucinations and prevarications, the fact that these figments are the objects of a multiplicity of viewpoints is hardly a reason to inflict them on students studying science.


Skip to comment form

  1. B. Dagger Lee

    I just got myself ordained at the online organization below. You get a nice little certificate you can print out. Anyone want to get married online? I’m a rogue minister. I marry dog couples and person/dog couples too. I do not marry person/cat couples because I have my moral limits.


    Yrs, the Reverend B. Dagger Lee

  2. The Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    That’s the Reverend B. Dagger.

  3. curiousgyrl

    I’m seeing new possibilities for the IBTP fund if we’re going to start collecting Revs…I’m thinking Blamer’s First Annual Revival Tour

  4. Orange

    Maybe biology class should also present the alternative view that the rectum is not only a useful excretory tube, but is also a handy place to store contraband. What? If some drug mules do that, then it’s important to teach it, no?

    And physics class. One theory is that gravitational forces pull things toward the earth’s surface. One might also posit that the Almighty (Spaghetti Monster, god figure, what-have-you) is pushing things down from the sky. I think this alternative should be discussed in the textbooks, too. Just because scientists and small children can observe gravity in action doesn’t mean that it involves force pulling from within the earth. Who can prove that someone’s not pushing from above?

    Discussions of science in the media might also present the viewpoint–valid! no viewpoint is invalid!–that anti-science godbags are plotting to destroy the earth with a cosmic landslide of strawberry Jell-o. What? Can you prove they’re not scheming together via invisible brain waves? Better to discuss it fairly.

  5. Twisty

    Rev BDL, do the dogs have to promise to obey? Because in that case, although I am opposed in principle to marriage, I might make an exception. Of course, how do you establish consent?

  6. delphyne

    I remember the days when you didn’t have to believe in God to be a minister in the C of E. Now even they have to kow-tow to the fundamentalists.

    I blame Tony Blair for this one. He’s the one agreed with state-funded religious schools being allowed to teach this nonsense.

  7. E


    Classic stuff.

  8. The Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    I’m about to open up my marriage shop over at the message board under ‘godbaggery’. The participants write their own vows. I do not see as to where ‘consent’ enters into it at all. You may marry a dead person or inanimate object if you wish. I suggest the vow contain something like the following: “If you agree with this vow-wow, please remain silent.”

    yrs, the Obtusely Reverend B. Dagger Lee

  9. Bubbas' Nightmare

    “Have you heard the rumor? Choco ration’s going up! Double-plus good, eh?”

    You say anything often and loud enough, everyone starts to believe.

  10. Zora

    I propose that we call the creationists what they are, anti-evolutionists.

    It’s not like they want a sampling of creation myths piled up to counter the theory of evolution. Then they’d see just how silly their beliefs really are.

    Science has got some hoopla theory about positive and negative charges creating thunder & lightning, but I know that it’s Thor with his battle axe!

  11. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    The Mormons believe in baptizing the dead. So marrying dogs is not so far a stretch, really.

  12. Kristina

    I think all this pushing back with logic and rational discussion is an unsuccessful strategy. Whenever someone argues with me that we should teach creationism in science class, I say, “Great! Right after we include the Comparative Religions class!” As Twisty said, they don’t want ALL creation myths included, or even most of them. They just want ONE creation myth taught: one certain creation myth from one certain book.

    It is why I have no patience for people who whine that colleges are “bastions of liberalism.” First, have you been to college recently? Obviously not. Second, you’re just whining because you want your crack at brainwashing students. Oh, look. Your hypocrisy is showing!

  13. Flamethorn

    Dagger: can you marry me to my two girlfriends and their gf and bf?

  14. pippa

    Well I never! I know this very woman. Her husband is our local vicar. I never thought I’d see the day that someone I know personally would catch the Twisty eye! It’s thrilling, I can tell you. And I can categorically confirm your speculation regarding the existence of her obstreperal lobe. IBTP.

  15. Jerry

    What does the Rev. B. Dagger have against cats? Is it their “dom” tendencies, or is it something else?

  16. Antelope

    Yes, but how did the future Twisty HQ make it through that twister?

    Have you had a chance to check yet?

    I hope everything’s okay out there.

  17. Twisty

    I mentioned it in the other thread, Antelope, but the bunkhouse remains intact. A few of the nicer trees were not so lucky.

  18. Repenting

    For some mysterious reason, it bothers me that U.S. schools continuously debate whether or not to include the theory “big white guy in the sky gets bored, creates tiny version of himself” next to the current logical models involving amino acids, ribosomes and proteins.

    Also, if a god created the earth, then who created that god? It STILL doesn’t make sense. Viva la Twistolution!

  19. Boadicea wannabe

    Yes, which creation myth shall we choose? The Babylon Creation with Marduk, Tiamat, et.al? Or shall we go with the Sumerian liturgies? Those are fairly woman-centric. How about the Native American myths? African? This could be fun, although it should be (as someone else mentioned) in a comparative religions class as opposed to a hard science class.

  20. TinaH

    I propose that we call the creationists what they are, anti-evolutionists.

    I see your “anti-evolutionists” and raise you “the moronic asshats.”

  21. B. Dagger Lee

    Flamethorn: You betcha! Hie thee to my Marriage Shop on the IBTP Message Board under Godbag Blaming.

    Jerry: I will marry a cat to a cat, or a cat to a dog, but I will not marry a person to a cat, for that is abomination. See Leviticus. Get some other immmoral preacher to do it. You may marry a shellfish, however, if you want.

  22. Rev Dr in thebewilderness

    Dear Rev B Dagger,
    I shall join you in the godbaggery message board.

  23. The Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    Goddamnit! I keep forgetting my vocation’s honorific.

  24. Cunning Allusionment?

    The only I good I can possibly imagine coming out of forcing science teachers to talk about creationism is that it gives them a good reason to talk about what science is. For some reason, science teachers don’t really spend much time talking about the fact that “science” is defined by theories and experiments using a particular methodology. Creationism vs. evolution will give teachers a perfect example of what does use the scientific method, and what doesn’t.

    Unfortunately, most public school science teachers are themselves asshats.

  25. Coathangrrr

    Of course, how do you establish consent?

    One bark for yes, two barks for no.


  26. Fhiona

    I don’t really understand this, as one of the most senior figures in the C of E recently called creationism/intelligent design ” an insult to the intelligence God gave us”. Religious schools in the Uk are different to those in the US, they have to teach the same curriculum as the rest of the country, are subject to the same inspections, standards etc, and are regularly top of the league tables. I do not image that any of the middle class professionals who send their kids to religious schools would actually allow this crap to happen! I certainly wouldn’t (my kids are at a Catholic school).

  27. The Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    Coathangrr, until you get off your lazy ass and get ordained, I’m afraid you’ll have to defer to me and the Rev. Dr. inthe thebewilderness on theological dogma.

    One of the rules of Godbaggery is that silence equals consent.

  28. Sara -er- Rev. Sara

    Rev. BDL, not for the first time, you have inspired me. Thus I have followed in your footsteps and become ordained as well. I always wanted to, only what with the having to believe in something specific and the having to finish a degree thing, I just could never find the wherewithal. Thanks to you and the ULC, it is as though scales have been lifted from my eyes. (The drops from CVS may have helped with that, too.)

    At some point I plan to consecrate my studio as the new Holy Chapel of the Interminable Arguments and Endless Niggling Questions, and hold small, intimate weddings on my balcony (but no funerals, not there, not unless people want their ashes interred in my tomato pots). Sadly, I just don’t have time to do that today. I shall watch the progress of your e-congregation over on the boards with interest, however.

    Meanwhile, know ye all that the sun did come from behind a cloud the very moment I received my ordination confirmation e-mail. Really, I swear!

  29. Sara -er- Rev. Sara

    Oh, and more on topic —

    “Jesus fucking Christ, does she kiss her mother with that mouth?”

    Twisty, I completely love that you wrote that. Ha!

  30. PhysioProf

    “I propose that we call the creationists what they are, anti-evolutionists.”

    From a rhetorical standpoint, this is probably not a good idea.

    The term “evolutionist” is never used by anyone except creationists themselves, and they use it as a way of framing acceptance of the reality of biological evolution as just another ideology. This frame supports their scheme to fool people into thinking that biological evolution and creationism are both just “matters of opinion” and, therefore, equally appropriate to teach in the public schools.

    Creationists use the terms “Darwinism” and “Darwinist” for the same reason–to make it seem like accepting the reality of biological evolution is just another ideology, and therefore on an even footing with their own. People who study biological evolution call themselves evolutionary biologists, and never Darwinists or evolutionists.

    In my opinion, it is best to call these people creationists, as use of that term makes it clear that they are driven by a particular ideology, one that is totally fucking ludicrous.

  31. The Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    Sara-er-Rev Sara, bringing people to my Lord of the Vacuum is my new vocation. After I was ordained, the Lord spoke, or rather the Lord sang the Zippity-do-dah song. And then told me some other stuff.

  32. Flash

    Had an argument with some C of E & Catholic godbaggers today. I reported that when a 12-year-old child asked a clergyman visiting her school, “Why do we have to die?”, he replied, “Because death is a punishment for sin.” I said this was wrong. They said I was wrong, to attempt to censor said clergyman. They’re all barmy.

  33. TinaH

    PhysioProf sees my “the moronic asshats” and raises me to

    “Creationists” and “totally fucking ludicrous.”

    Forgive my irreverence, it’s either that or I have to bang people’s heads into innocent brick walls. And no brick wall deserves that.

    I fold.

  34. PhysioProf

    Darn. I was hoping you would raise me back.

  35. Angie

    Reverend, I misread your earlier comment as “…my vocation’s horrific”. Tee hee.

  36. Coathangrrr


    Coathangrr, until you get off your lazy ass and get ordained, I’m afraid you’ll have to defer to me and the Rev. Dr. inthe thebewilderness on theological dogma.

    One of the rules of Godbaggery is that silence equals consent.

    I will have you know that I possess the finest religious titles from reverend(universal church of life) to High Priest Sargent of The Radar (Church of the Subgenius) and you shall not question my religious bonifides or interpretations.

    Not that you should question any religious bonifides or interpretations.

  37. Pope Eek

    My church is the best. All us discordians are popes if they want to be. Or lay claim to whatever silly title you like if you wish to be more inventive. It’s a religion disguised as a joke disguised as a religion. Or a joke disguised as a religion disguised as a joke! (And goddess-centered, at that.)

    The only rules involve partaking of hot-dog buns on certain days of the week. And no one cares if you follow them. Hail Eris!

  38. Pope Eek

    Bah, Coathangrr, the Subgenius are clearly patriarchal. Not only is their icon a man, he’s a fifties dad pipe-smoking icon. (Non-smiley indication of lack of seriousness goes here.)

  39. kathy a

    never did i think i would see the day when an IBTP thread was dominated by ordained ministers. all i can say is, go forth and do good.

  40. jc.

    Just saw some clips of the republican presidential hopefuls proclaiming their belief in a christian godguy(s). And there once again proud confirmation of arogant ignorance and evil on any and all issues facing humanity. And their proud refusal to learn any lessons at all from the last 6 years, let alone from several hundred thousand years of practice.
    Today is one of those days where I feel that democracy is a lousy idea which is doomed by the sheer unchanging (or perhaps increasing?) overwhelming volume of enfranchised idiots.
    I hope I feel better tomorrow.
    Somedays the only thing I can cling to is that dogs like us.

  41. Coathangrrr

    Bah, Coathangrr, the Subgenius are clearly patriarchal. Not only is their icon a man, he’s a fifties dad pipe-smoking icon. (Non-smiley indication of lack of seriousness goes here.)

    Well, clearly. I was just clarifying my religio-patiarchal bonifides as it relates to canine consent.

    P.S. As if the title High Priest Sargent of the Radar isn’t patriarchal enough.

  42. goblinbee

    Antoinette Niebieszczanski: “The Mormons believe in baptizing the dead.”

    And ya better watch out!
    ‘Cuz they’re gonna git YOU!

    And they won’t wait for consent, either. They think they have to baptize anyone who has ever been spawned. Right now they’re still making their way through the “B”s, I suppose (“Baudelaire…Beethoven…Bukowski…”). But what about all those people who died before recorded history?

    Signing off,

    your own Mo-mo agent in the field

  43. Catherine Martell

    ‘Theory’ is the new “persistent delusion.” ‘Evidence’ is the new ‘pernicious hogwash translated into 17th century English from spurious antiquitated texts carved into rocks by barbarian mystics’.


    Bubba’s Nightmare has already correctly noted that this is double-plus-good, and I note that the C of E’s “education department” is evidently analogous to Orwell’s Ministry of Truth (responsible for lies), Ministry of Peace (responsible for war), Ministry of Plenty (responsible for rationing) and Ministry of Love (responsible for torture).

  44. Kelda

    Twisty once again gets to the heart of the matter – ‘spineless capitulation’ is a central tenet of Anglicanism.

  45. Loosely Twisted

    This is why I so loved Dogma, the movie.. Chris Rock plays one of the angels and makes sure to explain that he would rather people had a good “idea” instead of a “belief” because Ideas are more apt to change then a belief.

    I agree whole heartedly.

    Now, how am I going to de-program my poor kids?

  46. Valerie

    In the interests of fairness we should also teach the theory that the world rests on the back of a turtle being carried around by four elephants (or whatever). I’m sure someone, somewhere, has some evidence of this.

  47. Mar Iguana

    “And their proud refusal to learn any lessons at all from the last 6 years, let alone from several hundred thousand years of practice.” jc.

    It’s been more like several thousand, not several hundred thousand, years. Pardon the nit-pick but I hate giving the assholes any more than they’ve already stolen. It implies patriarchy has existed for as long as humans have existed, making it just the unfortunate human condition.

    I don’t believe that for a second. Patriarchy’s only been around for a fraction of the approximately hundred thousand years anatomically modern homo sapiens have existed. Again, I urge Blamers to read Gerda Lerner’s The Creation Of Patriarchy.

  48. speedbudget

    goblinbee–They won’t get to you if you’re Jewish! When Jewish families learned that the MoMos were baptizing family members that died in the Holocaust, the protest was strong and lingering. And so the MoMos now do not baptize those of Jewish lineage. However, the rest of us still have to worry about them.

  49. Jezebella

    goblinbee, I nearly spewed coffee on the keyboard, imagining what Bukowski would have to say if he knew the Mo’s would be baptizing him posthumously.

  50. Twisty

    I wrote a post about this Mormon post-mortem baptism a couple of years ago, speculating on how the Holocaust victims were getting on in Mormon Heaven with Hitler and Eva Braun, who were also posthumously claimed.

  51. rootlesscosmo

    “In the interests of fairness we should also teach the theory that the world rests on the back of a turtle…”

    This also disposes of the “who created the Creator?” argument, since, as someone pointed out when asked what the turtle rests on, it’s turtles all the way down.

  52. the Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    I favor Orange’s theory upthread, that gravity can be explained by the divine pushing down on us. I think the Lord of Vacuums is also sucking our minds out of our heads at the same time.

    It’s the first law of Push-me, Pull-you.

  53. Calabama

    Actually, speedbudget, the Mormons are still trolling for dead Jews, according to the postscript on this page, by the fellow who discovered the practice and pressured the church to sign an agreement to release the posthumous “Mormons” from the holy roster and quit the ghoul shit. Too bad they couldn’t stick to it — all those tortured souls are just too tempting a harvest, I guess.

  54. Calabama

    Sorry for the mangled quotation marks and apostrophes; not sure how that happened.

  55. chingona

    What I find really shocking about Twisty’s Mormon baptism post is that there are NO COMMENTS. Not a single one. And that was a mere two years ago. Oh, how the world changes.

    (If it’s just a technical glitch that causes the comments not to show up on old posts, then, well, nevermind.)

  56. Twisty

    Yes, it was a simpler, gentler time back in Aught-5; nobody commented on that, or any other post, until one day when I published a you’re-fucking-kidding-me diatribe on the D-Kos Pie Fight. After that I got swamped with like 6 readers a day.

  57. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    I think I started reading IBTP on a regular basis when you posted a little gem about the movie “My Fair Lady”. Oh, and another with a photo of Japanese fetish shoes. It could be the fault of my swiss-cheese memory, but I seem to remember a huge dust-up over the shoes.

    But your musings became a serious threat to my productivity at work after I read the tale of how you flipped off Lance Armstrong on the hill country backroads.

  58. curiousgyrl

    For me it was love at first escolar, aka snake mackerel. That was the best post ever.

  59. Bitch, Esquire

    goblinbee asked, “But what about all those people who died before recorded history?”

    Thank you – that seriously bugs me!

    And, it suddenly reminds me of a Spider Robinson novel titled Mindkiller, I think, that involved an incomplete World Mind, b/c of the lack of the people who’d died before the Mind came into existence. Something like that.

    We’ll save ’em even after they’re dead! It’s so perfectly missionary. So “we know what’s best”. Why, why, it’s almost patriarchal.

    (That’s Rev. Bitch, Esq., btw, of the Universal Church Triumphant of the Apathetic Agnostic, ordained, lo, these many years ago.)

  60. Springy

    Rootlesscosmo, do you know where “turtles all the way down” comes from? It’s in Clifford Geertz’s “The Interpretation of Culture” but he doesn’t say who said it. I have been trying to find out because, nerdishly, I love the Great A’Tuin.

  61. goblinbee

    Twisty: “I wrote a post about this Mormon post-mortem baptism a couple of years ago…”

    Thanks for passing along this gem! LOVE the photo. It reminds me that when I was minding my own business at age 14 or 15, my mom got all excited about this special opportunity for me. I felt backed into a corner. I knew I couldn’t pass a bishop’s interview (needed for a temple recommend) without lying, which I didn’t intend to do. So, this opportunity passed me by, but not without first subjecting me to the humiliating experience of being asked personal questions by a white, male, almost-complete-stranger authority figure. (Why did I not refuse to go? Why?) My mom didn’t say anything when I failed to get my entry ticket; I always wondered what exactly the bishop told her.

  62. mearl

    I won’t bother getting ordained, since I have enough duties already as Emperor. Observe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiIPFzolD58

    Oh well. I will instead be polishing up my Holy Hook in the event that any of our ministers acquire a Papal Wedgie. However, I can’t guarantee that I can make it down from Canada to pull them all out. Not until I get a passport, anyways.

    I look forward to rolling in the aisles while The Reverend B. Dagger sings it. (Rubbing my claws together in anticipation of what “it” might turn out to be. Any thoughts, Reverend?)

  63. mearl

    (In the clip, you have to watch until you see me…I’m the one on the bed in the silk negligee. Enjoy!)

  64. rootlesscosmo

    Springy, I didn’t know it was in Geertz, or if I did, I forgot–the line just stuck in my memory. Sorry I can’t help with the source. If it’s any consolation, a friend (now deceased) used to argue that the atomic theory of matter was falsified by cream cheese, which obviously doesn’t have any spaces in it.

  65. Orange

    I have such an antipathy to religion, alas, I don’t even want to get myself ordained in the fun mocking-religion way. I do think it would be a swell idea for Her Holiness the B. Dagger to start baptizing Mormons into her faith, however. Might be good to have a tenet upending the old multiple-wives-for-one-man practice. Maybe make the Mormon souls all get married to dogs?

    I heard a BBC Newshour report on the recent Republican candidate debate. Out of the 10 or so Republicans, apparently three do not believe in evolution! I’m not sure Dubya would go that far–or would he? Oh, how the British must enjoy this sort of story. It’s one thing for the Church of England to piss on science–it is a religion, after all. But for men who want to be president of the United States to make no bones about thinking evolution is hogwash? This pains me.

    New motto for the G.O.P.: “It’s assholes all the way down.”

  66. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Yes, Orange, but even assholes fulfill a useful purpose.

  67. Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    Regarding “turtles all the way down,” I feel like I read this story somewhere and it was about an elderly woman talking to Bertrand Russell, or Charles Darwin or someone like that.

    Elderly Woman: I wanted to tell you about a mistake you made in your lecture.

    Eminent Victorian: Ma’am?

    Elderly Woman: Yes, you see the world rests on the back of a turtle.

    Eminent Victorian: And what, ma’am, does the turtle stand upon?

    Elderly Woman: Ah! You see, sir, it’s turtles all the way down.

    Something like that.

    Orange, another great idea. Perhaps dead Mormon souls should be cleansed by marriage to dead rabbit souls? Or moths. I’ll see what the Lord Vacuum says on this point.

  68. rootlesscosmo

    Springy, Rev. BDL, and everybody: I searched Wikipedia and found this:


    Note in particular

    A version of the story also appears in Clifford Geertz’s, “Thick Description: Towards an Interpretive Theory of Culture,” in his 1973 book The Interpretation of Culture, with the scientist and old woman replaced by an Englishman and an Indian respectively.

    It turns out this isn’t a story about infinite regression or cosmology or religion at all; it’s a clubby, preening white-sahib patriarchal anecdote about the silliness of the Lower Orders.

  69. Springy

    (Previous post got stuck in moderation.)

    Thanks a lot, Rootlesscosmo! I had a suspicion that it might be Oxford dons sneering at the natives over port and second desserts.

  70. Flamethorn

    And there’s Pratchett’s classic rebuttal: Under the turle? Turtles swim, it’s what they’re for.

  71. Cathy

    It implies patriarchy has existed for as long as humans have existed, making it just the unfortunate human condition.

    I don’t believe that for a second. Patriarchy’s only been around for a fraction of the approximately hundred thousand years anatomically modern homo sapiens have existed. Again, I urge Blamers to read Gerda Lerner’s The Creation Of Patriarchy.

    Mar Iguana, I haven’t read The Creation of Patriarchy, but I will. If you are still reading this could you please explain? To me, it seems that it has always existed, because men have always been stronger (physically) than women. I see in most other species the similarly lousy treatment of females by males (especially chickens). Exceptions include ocelots, penguins, seahorses, and black widow spiders. It seems like the unfortunate condition not just for humans, but for most animals.

    This is why I don’t believe in a “goddess.” If there is a god, it must be either genderless or male – no female goddess would allow males to treat females so badly.

    I’ll consider the possibility that Patriarchy did not exist before agriculture (“Mankind’s Biggest Mistake”). I hope to find some evidence.

Comments have been disabled.