Religious Exemptions for Piety & Profit*

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Even though the contraception mandate has been established and validated in the courts for years, a bunch of loud-mouthed bishops bitched about it, and the bored news media decided to run with the wedge issue football all last week. And naturally Obama caved, offering up some cockamamie compromise where the insurance companies cover the contraception obligations instead of the religious employers. If we had single-payer healthcare, instead of the byzantine employer-funded health insurance system we’re stuck with, this wouldn’t even be an issue, and everyone would be happy.*

The point’s been made everywhere, but in case you missed it, when churches function as employers to the general public, not just those of their faith, they should abide by the same obligations as any employer. I say “should” because last month the Supreme Court blasted a unanimous loophole through employee rights with the ministerial exception.

*Not literally. Insurance industry toadies, and the perpetually miserable would still be sad.

Educating the Obvious

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The inspiration for this strip is this recent court ruling. That article features some great quotes from the teacher in question, James Corbett, such as “When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth.”

But unlike Corbett, I’m not actually anti-religion, just anti-know-nothings whose faith crumbles at the mere thought of anything beyond a literal interpretation of their ancient book of choice. And they’re bringing this country down into a stupid-hole we’ll never escape from. To see how far we’ve already fallen, check out this informative graph from Tony Piro.

And the latest Krugman op-ed details the terrifying reality of the Republicans being the anti-facts party, from science, to economics, to pretty much any fact a nerd has saw fit to put on Wikipedia.

Hawking’s Correction

Stephen Hawking got a bunch of dum-dums upset earlier this week by saying that heaven is a “fairy story” for people who are afraid to die. I’m not sure why he limited it to just heaven, since every religion was invented for the same reason.

This has created a predictable backlash from religious luminaries, such as Kirk Cameron, famous banana enthusiast.

Free Speech Free-for-All

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I suspect if the Westboro publicity whores were advocating atheism in their signature abrasive style, instead of homophobic religious drivel, more of the Supremes would’ve joined Alito in the dissenting opinion.

It should go without saying that I believe anybody, even stupid shitheads, can say anything they want, including inciting others to violence.

Next Week: Parental Devices

Saint Unkle Steve

There has to be a long lost Apostle who was really into abusing children. The Catholic Church was willing to slack on the whole fish on Friday thing as modern lifestyles changed, but they remain sticklers for the whole protecting-rapists thing.

Matt Bors has more on the subject.

If pope hat is not already a euphemism for a sex act, we should put our filthy thinking caps on.

I know the Pope’s a German Nazi, but it’s too much fun to say that line from the Alka Seltzer commercial.

Breakfast of Scumbags

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I’m not equating Jay Leno’s dick move to Pat Robertson’s vile nutjobbery about the earthquake in Haiti, but both things got me mad last week. I can multitask and compartmentalize my anger.

Obviously, Haiti is important, and who’s hosting what late night chat show isn’t. I don’t have much to say about Haiti, since I enjoy making jokes and there’s nothing funny about human suffering and the collapse of an entire nation.

If you can help out more than you already have, my pal and colleague Ruben Bolling has offered up his talents for a worthy cause. Check it out.

Now on to The Tonight Show. If you’re a fan of absurd comedy, and you’re reading this, so you probably are, you know the whole deal and are solidly in Coco’s Corner. Those who aren’t already, just watch this clip and you will be:

Jay’s 2004 Announcement

Jay Leno is a hack and a liar. The only things that bring him joy are telling jokes that put old folks to sleep and fucking the exhaust pipes of steam-powered old-timey cars with his freakish chin.

I’d give Conan another lengthy handjob on my blog, but I did that less than a year ago when he left Late Night. His Tonight Show suffered from a terrible lead in, The Jay Leno Show, and way too many boring celebrity guests taking up valuable comedy time. If NBC had any class, they would have let Conan retool the show over the Olympics hiatus before shitcanning him and losing tens of millions of dollars. But that is too much to expect from the same network that ran a fucking The Office clip show last night.

It’s going to be a while before Conan emerges from his contractual deep-freeze, but wherever he ends up, he’s going to be hilarious. And I’ll be watching. (And gunning for a job on the writing staff.)

I can’t talk about this whole late night debacle without mentioning David Letterman, who invented late night comedy that is actually funny. He has been mean, hilarious, and sincere for decades, especially throughout this whole mess.

And now that I mentioned Letterman, I have to acknowledge Stewart and Colbert. They’re all great, and it sucks that their shows all air in the same one hour block. I can’t DVR or Hulu all of ’em and still have time to dick around with this comic strip.

Next Week: Corporate Persons

Godlessness is on the Rise. Hallelujah!

Religious affiliation in Massachusetts dropped sharply over the past 20 years. Particularly striking is the shrinking Catholic and growing nonreligious populations.

Seems like my fellow potato-eaters are finally wising up:

Silk said the study found that Irish-Americans, along with people of Jewish ancestry and Asian-Americans, are disproportionately represented among those who report no religious affiliation.

The study also found that America as a whole is becoming less Christian, and that Vermont is the least religious, with 34% of its residents not at all concerned with magic and ghosts. Vermont keeps getting cooler and cooler. They make bricks of awesome cheese, great beer that you can drink in their state campgrounds, Howard Dean, and they’re number one when it comes to reason.

I’d move there if it wasn’t so goddamn cold 7 months out of the year.