Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Caves and Christianists

You know, the Christianists are nowhere near as pervasive as they would have us believe.

For decades now, the Ivory Madonna and her friends have been touring caves and caverns. It's just a thing we do. We just recently got back from Mammoth Caves National Park, and we've been to caves all over this fine nation. In particular, we've visited just about every cave complex in the Shenandoah Valley, VA -- the heart of God's Country. [Just as a footnote, we no longer go to Virginia, due to the hateful anti-gay laws.]

Now, all cave tours include the obligatory information about how the caves formed: water seeping through stone, dissolving minerals, acting over millions of years to carve out huge open spaces and deposit beautiful formations.

In all this time, never -- not once -- have we heard anyone in the audience object that the Bible says the world is only 6,000 years old. Not once have we heard a Christianist (or any other brand of religious nut) say anything to challenge the guide's scientific explanation of the natural wonders about us.

Several explanations spring to mind. Perhaps Christianists just don't go on cave tours. That's hardly likely, though...why would they give up a chance to witness the glory of their god's creation? (Or are they all afraid to leave their homes and go traveling?)

Perhaps there are plenty of Christianists on these tours, but they are all so ashamed of their ridiculous beliefs that they keep quiet in mixed company. That's a comforting thought...but they certainly aren't shy about spouting their nonsense on the national airwaves.

Or perhaps there are so few Christianists in the general population that one is unlikely to run into any, even in a lifetime of tour groups. The Ivory Madonna likes this explanation the best.

In any case, it appears that the Christianists are neither numerous enough nor brave enough to contradict a harmless tour why do the rest of us take them so seriously?


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.
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Monday, September 17, 2007


Apparently, "pedophilia sex offenders cannot be cured and their behavior cannot be controlled."

Apparently, "The homosexual activist movement and organized pedophiles are linked together by a common goal: To gain access to children for seduction into homosexuality."

Apparently, "there's just no reliable evidence to claim that Homosexuality is anything but a choice" and can be cured.

It's like a tidy little illogic problem:

1. Pedophiles are born that way and can't be cured.
2. Gays are pedophiles.
3. Therefore, gays are born that way and can't be cured.
4. Except gays aren't born that way and can be cured.
5. Gays are pedophiles.
6. Therefore, pedophiles aren't born that way and can be cured.
7. Except pedophiles are born that way and can't be cured....

At about this point in any good Star Trek episode, the android's head explodes.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Full Moon

It has long been believed that the full moon has an influence on human behavior.

The Ivory Madonna is firmly convinced, and not all the statistics in the world will change her mind. A lifetime of observation has left no doubt in her mind.

For a period of two weeks before and after each full moon, human beings behave like stark, raving lunatics.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

All-Purpose Religious News Story

The following is offered as a time-saver for harried reporters. Just fill in the appropriate blanks.


A melee broke out last week in [city], after a group of fundamentalist [name of religion] young people set a fire outside a celebrated [artwork] that portrays [religious figure] as [attribute].

The [work]’s content has led to threats against the work and its creator. In the latest, a group of young people torched [person, place, or thing]. [Officials] intervened and as many as [number] people joined the fight, according to news reports.

[Name of work] toured [place] widely after it premiered in [city] in [year]. At times, [name of artist] was given police protection from the resulting threats. [Portion of work] was damaged/destroyed in [year] by a protester wielding [weapon].

[Religious leader] has denounced [artist] and [work] and called for [punishment]. All across [portion of world], protests have sprung up calling for [punishment] for [artist] and [dire fate] for [work], leaving [number] dead and/or injured.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

People Aren't Rational

It's something the Ivory Madonna constatntly has to remind herself...people aren't rational.

Take religious believers (please!) We keep wanting them to make sense. We say things like, "According to your own beliefs, if you are against abortion then you should also be agaisnt the death penalty" or "Your own scriptures tell you that all unbelievers should be put to death, how can you believe that?"

It doesn't work that way. Religious belief isn't consistent and doesn't make sense. Religious believers don't study their scripture and beliefs in order to decide their opinions -- they form their opinions first, then cherry-pick among their scriptures and beliefs to justify those opinions. Anything in the scripture or the beliefs that contradicts their opinions...they just ignore. Or rationalize away.

Take free market forces. We keep wanting to assume that people will make rational decisions in the free market...and that over time, the decisions people make will lead to a better life for all.

It doesn't work that way. Unleaded gasoline is a great example. A few decades ago, lead poisoning was epidemic among children, largely due to lead in gasoline. Unleaded gasoline was safer, but more expensive. But is was clear that we would all be better off if we moved to unleaded gasoline.

Did consumers make the rational decision, and buy unleaded gas even though it cost more? Did market forces drive leaded gasoline away?

You know it didn't happen that way. Government regulation forced leaded gasoline off the market. If we'd relied on market forces to do the job, leaded gas would still be everywhere, and we'd be into the second or third generation of brain-damaged adults. (Hmmm...has anyone investigated lead exposure and the Bush family?)

Yes, individual people can behave rationally and make rational decisions, and should be encouraged to do so. But it's not our default state -- and we should stop assuming it is.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

He Died Doing What He Loved

It's a phrase common in obituaries: "He died doing what he loved."

Not to pick on any particular person or occupation, but it's often said of sports figures, daredevils, and soldiers.

As if dying while doing something you love is somehow noble, or at least admirable.

No disrespect, but that's total hooey.

Anyone who dies of a drug overdose "died doing what he loved." A psycho sniper shot down in mid-rampage "died doing what he loved." Suicide bombers "die doing what they love." Mohammad Atta "died doing what he loved."

If you die while doing something careless, stupid, or downright immoral, whether or not you loved that thing doesn't make it any less careless, stupid, or immoral. And if you don't die from it, the fact that you loved it still doesn't change things.

Perhaps we are conditioned to believe that "doing what you love" is basically a good thing, and that takes some of the sting out of death. And in some cosmic sense, maybe dying while doing something you love is better than dying while doing something you hate (but we also speak of death coming as a blessed release from pain, so perhaps not...)

Or maybe, when contemplating death, we are desperate to find something...anything...positive to say.

Personally, I think I'd rather be remembered with the words, "She lived doing what she loved. And it was something worthwhile."


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

Friday, February 23, 2007


More and more, the Ivory Madonna is describing herself as a "non-theist." She prefers this term to "atheist," and here's why.

Ask an atheist if god (or gods) exist, and the atheist will treat the question as one worthy of serious consideration. The answer is "no," but the question is entertained.

Ask a non-theist the same question, and the non-theist won't even admit that the question is worthy of consideration.

Perhaps an analogy will help.

Let's consider Frodo Baggins, hero of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. This plucky little Hobbit bore the One Ring all the way to Mordor and into the fires of Mount Doom, thereby saving the world. Afterward, he went into the West, to live happily ever after with the Elves and Valar.

Imagine running into someone who calls himself a Frodoist. This person is convinced that Frodo exists. Ask him, "Does Frodo exist?" and his answer will be an enthusiastic "yes!"

A Frodo-agnostic is not sure if Frodo exists or not. Asked "Does Frodo exist?" the Frodo-Agnostic answers, "I'm not sure."

An a-Frodoist is sure Frodo doesn't exist. Asked "Does Frodo exist?" the a-Frodoist answers, "No, I'm certain that Frodo does not exist."

A non-Frodoist (which describes just about all of us), when asked "Does Frodo exist?" answers, "What an idiotic question! It's a great story, but if you have to ask whether Frodo actually exists, you are either (a) a very small child, or (b) out of your flipping mind."

The Ivory Madonna trusts that you get the point.

No one is a Frodoist, Frodo-agnostic, or a-Frodist. We are all non-Frodoists. (The Ivory Madonna leaves out a very few True believers.) Similarly, we are all non-Rhett-Butlerists, non-Bugs-Bunnyists, and non-Zhivagoists.

In the same way, the Ivory Madonna is a non-theist.

Like The Lord of the Rings, the whole God/Bible/Jehovah/Jesus thing is a story. Also true of the Koran, the Greek and Norse myths, Hindu mythology, etc. One can enjoy, appreciate, and critique all or parts of these tales as literature.

But when it comes to the point of seriously asking whether god (or gods) are real...well, you have the mentality of either (a) a very small child or (b) a flipping idiot.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Idiots Against Cancer Vaccine

According to this story, Texas Governor Rick Perry "issued an order Friday making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer."

The article goes on to say that "Perry sidestepped opposition in the Legislature from conservatives and parents' rights groups who fear such a requirement would condone premarital sex and interfere with the way Texans raise their children."

Excuse me?

For more than half a century we have been anxiously awaiting a cure for cancer. Okay, technically this is a vaccine, not a cure, but the Ivory Madonna is not about to quibble over technicalities.

We have a cure for cancer. And there are idiots who are against it.

We don't have food pills, we don't have flying cars, but we now have a fucking cure for cancer. And these nitwits oppose it.

If these fools don't want to belong to the 21st Century, the Ivory Madonna sees no reason that they should be brought into it, kicking and screaming. Let them stay in an antiquated, primitive world that doesn't include such scientific wonders as a cure for cancer.

But why should those fools be allowed to take innocent little girls with them? And not just their own little girls, the way Christian Scientists and the Amish do...these fools want everyone's little girls to stay in the dark ages. They're not content to let their own little girls die of cancer -- they want to prevent everyone's little girls from getting the vaccine.

That's not just's criminal.

Listen, all of you who are against the vaccine -- go back to your primitive, pre-Millennial world. Be like the Amish...withdraw from the technological society you hate so much, leave the rest of us to enjoy our medical progress and cures for cancer. We promise we won't ever pollute your bodies with the treatments and cures that 21st-century medicine brings us.

But don't force the rest of us to live in the dark ages with you. And don't take our little girls.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.