Utah Film Critics Association

Best Picture

1. Gravity
2. 12 Years a Slave

Best Director
1. Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
2. Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)

Best Actor
1. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
2. Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)

Best Actress
1. Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Colour)
2. Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

(thanks, Paddy!)

Best Supporting Actor
1. Bill Nighy (About Time)
2. Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)

Best Supporting Actress
1. Scarlett Johansson (Her)
2. Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

Best Original Screenplay
1. Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright (The World’s End)
2. Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Way, Way Back)

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater (Before Midnight)
2. John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)

Best Cinematography
1. Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)
2. Bruno Delbonnel (Inside Llewyn Davis)

Best Animated Feature
1. Frozen
2. From Up on Poppy Hill
The Wind Rises

Best Non-English Language Feature
1. Blue Is the Warmest Colour
2. The Past

162 Comments on this Post

  1. I can’t help, but to wonder why Jared Leto didn’t win and it’s probably because of some … reason (Utah)!

    Oh well, at least Gravity and Frozen won. Next!

  2. Those original screenplay wins are AMAZING!!!!

  3. They made sure to reward Michael Fassbender though.

    “ ‘And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.’ That’s scripture.” – Edwin Epps, quoting from the Bible.

  4. Bryce Forestieri

    Which makes all the 12 YEARS A SLAVE from more diverse states equally meaningless. All groupthink. Somehow the critical acclaim for GRAVITY is now suspect and the critical acclaim for 12 YEARS A SLAVE is the right human attitude. This is going to be a long season.

  5. Bryce Forestieri

    I welcome Utah to the cool kids club. We only like movies that make us look cool. Team superficial.

  6. If I can’t joke about Utah, then who should I joke about?

  7. Bryce Forestieri

    I guess if Utah would have gone with BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR or INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS instead of the “Best Picture rival” their demographics would not need to be cited.

  8. But hey, ok. Racial demographics aside. Seriously, congratulations to Gravity for winning the hearts of critics in the 3rd most conservative state in the country. Utah, ranked 42nd in education. Congratulations.

    Utah No. 1 in online porn subscriptions

    Nobody ever said Utah citizens don’t enjoy lesbians. Just not in their own families. Just so long as they don’t try to marry each other.

  9. Bryce Forestieri

    Never mind. I’m taking a break on the whole subject. I’m increasingly becoming the troll this season.

  10. Christophe

    Well, they did vote for Blue is The Warmest Color in Best Actress and Best Foreign Film! So they do like lesbians, which is not so surprising in a state where polygamy is still practiced (go Utah!!!), yet they aren’t so fond of transvestites…

  11. You’re not a troll at all. But I’m joking, Bryce. Utah makes itself an easy target to joke about. Mormon attitudes about black people and gay people are not a secret.

    We know everybody in Utah is not alike, though. For example, 2% of Utah residents are black.

    If Utah wants to be regarded differently, then more people in Utah need to act differently. There are states where I would never set foot. Utah is one of those states.

    Why should I pretend as if I have huge respect for Utah’s cultural opinions?

  12. Bryce Forestieri

    I hear ya, and you don’t. It’s just me being over-protective of the movies I like. I just felt an attitude that awarding GRAVITY means dissing 12 YEARS A SLAVE. I’m not naive, and I know some people are not going to like 12 YEARS because they are racists. Plain and simple. I just don’t think any awards for GRAVITY in particular deserve an asterisk based on that assumption. But you were joking and I went overboard. Tends to happen.

  13. Bryce Forestieri

    OT: I wrote a pseudo-review of AMERICAN HUSTLES Just my disorganized thoughts really, but it was damn long post. The website was having some issues yesterdays so I lost it. *sigh* lol

    So I’d like to summarize. The movie aims for classic and admire the ambition and bravery but never feels like one. Go for the acting, stay for some of the best stuff David O. Russell has delivered since THREE KINGS. It’s all true about Lawrence she’s the show stopper and she’s incredible, but I’d nominate Amy Adams over her (in Supporting) she’s not lead. Character is not under-written or let down by the film. She’s just not the lead, but boy is she great.I bet she’d be splitting the notices with Lawrence is he weren’t being campaigned in lead. It’s an ensemble piece. MVP is Bradley cooper who, to my mind, owns the movie –it’s the best he’s ever been. Needs less about “the plan” and more of Russell’s unique situation humor and character attention. No, the movie should not be longer.

  14. Bill Nighy is kind of a surprise win in BSA category.

    I haven’t heard much else about his performance from other groups . . . but I’m glad for him.

    He’s one of my favorite actors. I always thought he should have received a supporting nod in “Notes on a Scandal”. His betrayed husband scenes with Cate Blanchett were riveting in that movie.

  15. The Utah critics are hardly dissing 12 Years by naming it 2nd best of the year out of 200 possibilities.

    But yes it makes me raise one eyebrow an 1/8 of an inch when the most conservative state in the country doesn’t have any room in the inn for either actor from Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey and Leto have been named more and more often these past few days and now suddenly Utah never heard of ‘em. So is it wrong to remark on that? Or if it’s ok to joke about how the Mormon critics fail to see what’s so special about the Big Gay AIDS movie, is it crazy to think 3 or 4 of the Utah critics might have a blind spot about 12 Years too? And how many Utah critics are there? How many votes would it take to swing a win or a loss?

    Isn’t this why regional critics groups exist? To express the regional identity, to show us their regional differences, to make their regional declarations? They want to say, “We’re not San Francisco; we’re Utah.”

    So alright then. We see you, Utah. You got my attention, Utah. Utah is making it’s voice heard. And I hear it. And what I hear does not surprise me because it sounds like Utah always sounds: predictably uptight and uneasy about some things. I never said it’s racist. All I see are some critics who aren’t moved by the gay movie and black movies to the same degree I am.

    Hey, listen, Bryce, take heart. We should not doubt that there are members of the Academy who have the same attitudes and aversions and preferences that Utah critics have shown today.

    This is how we form our impressions of people and places, yes? By observing the choices they make. That’s why these groups in various cities and states exist. To demonstrate their taste. To tell us what they like and to tell us what they like not so much.

    Silly to pretend those preferences don’t reflect attitudes. It’s not about racism or homophobia. It’s maybe just that they aren’t touched by the gay movie or the slavery movie. They’re touched by the sci-fi movie and the time-travel movie instead. So ok, now we know one more thing about Utah, based on a handful of Utah residents telling us what touches them and what touches them not so much.

  16. As a member of the UFCA, I’d like to say you guys make me laugh. Thanks for the chuckles.

  17. Jimmy: I’m not laughing. I’m not going to laugh off the Utah critics. Neither can I laugh off the way Utah as a state acts, reacts or behaves. I can’t laugh at the way Utah conducts its affairs and tries to interfere in the affairs of other states. Utah isn’t funny to me at all. It’s strange. It’s one of the strangest states in the country. The country would be better off if people in Utah would stop acting like serious concerns like gay rights are laughable.

  18. timebandit

    You and your “group” make us laugh to Jimmy! Thanks.

  19. As a member of the UFCA I can say that both Leto and McConaughey were on our official final voting ballot. The final ballot is compiled by everyone’s preliminary ballots. So we didn’t forget about them. Both of them received their share of votes during the final process. They just didn’t win. No secret agenda.

  20. Scott Renshaw

    How convenient to assume “you only like/don’t like [x] because …” Bad-faith arguments do save a lot of thinkin’ time.

  21. Utah Film Critics “Ass.” That last word intentional? Just askin’. Been to Salt Lake City lately & what a beautiful town, gonna go back there someday when Sundance is happening at Park City. And great wins for Gravity!

  22. Ryan Adams is My Hero

    It never ceases to amuse me when people like ryan hate on people for hating people.

    or be judgemental about people for being judgemental

    or be pissed about generalizations being made, and in so doing generalize an entire state.

    you’re hilarious dude!! the less funny you’re trying to be, the harder I laugh.

  23. Time does not permit a point-by-point takedown of all the assumptions made on this board about Utah and its critics’ group (of which I am a proud member). Let me just leave you with this fact: The 2005 movie of the year, according to the Utah Film Critics Association, was “Brokeback Mountain.”

  24. When 12 Years wins picture…this site’s headlines include words like “dominate” and “sweep”. But when gravity wins picture and director…it’s just the name of the critics association. Hmm..

    Also, Utah is an easy target because of it’s conservatism. But for a conservative state, it just became the 18th state to allow gay marriage. Just saying.

  25. SLC is one of the most liberal places and Park City has Sundance brought to you by bleeding heart liberal, Robert Redford. Gross generalizations remain gross.

  26. I logged on to echo what Sean said. Utah gave Brokeback Mountain Best Picture. Almost everybody else did back in 2005, it was the Academy that screwed Brokeback, not Utah. And it was the Academy that screwed 4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days, while Utah just gave 2 major awards to Blue. Its the Academy that’s homophobic, not the Utah Critics.

  27. Ryan and Sasha can’t do Oscar punditry without getting upset by imaginary issues. Every awards season, year after year, these two get pissed about something and go mental. For your own mental state, you two should really think about doing something else.

  28. Notenoughtime

    Ryan? Where’s Ryan? You there buddy?

  29. http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/u.s.-district-judge-rules-utah-ban-on-marriage-equality-unconstitutional

    The way I’m credited in the post makes it look like I’m responsible for Sandra Bullock’s second place credit. And that’s because I am.

  30. I said plainly right up front that “we know everybody in Utah is not alike” so it’s up to the people who think differently to make a difference. Utah will continue to try drag the country down until you do.

    I hope Utah critics and anybody else who’s proud to say “We’re not responsible for the rest of Utah” make half as much effort to change the worst of Utah as you do trying to distance yourself from it.

  31. I’m not upset. Just calling it like it I see it.

  32. JPNS Viewer

    The Recent Comments sidebar on the right side has just caught my attention.

    Usually, we have got five slots there.
    And two of them look like this [for comparison]:
    “[username] on Utah Film Critics Ass.”
    “[username] on Nevada Film Critics Association Awards”

    Not sure if it was supposed to be hilarious, though. But I got a good laugh at it already [lol]. Well, sorry for another piece of un-useless info.

    I guess UFCA’s not gonna get Xmas/New Year cards from someone around here this year almost for sure . . . . But at least baby got back. : )

  33. it was the Academy that screwed Brokeback, not Utah.

    I’ll try to remember to mention again sometime what the Academy did that year — if you missed the other 500 times I’ve brought it up.

  34. “bleeding heart liberal, Robert Redford. Gross generalizations remain gross.”
    ^
    All those words look cute crammed together like that.

    There was a serious move to boycott Sundance in 2008, the year the Mormon Church campaigned for Prop 8 in California. Utah had deservedly earned a reputation as a “hate state.” It threatened the entire billion-dollar Utah tourist industry.

    People talked about what they thought about Utah and change took place in Utah. That’s how change happens.

  35. SLC is one of the most liberal places

    4 years ago Utah cops issued a citation to a gay couple for holding hands in Salt Lake City. That made news nationwide because it’s strange.

  36. Another movie site subitled the Utah critics’ choices this way:
    “A single win for circuit hog 12 Years a Slave”

    The guy who wrote that took some flak for it. Bloggers have a personalities, like everybody else.

  37. I agree: Utah has some pretty scenery.

  38. Richard Bonaduce

    As another member of the UFCA, what is seriously sad here is that none of you making such personal comments about us actually knows any of us at all.
    We are not the representatives of Utah As A State, nor will answer for everything that – in your opinion — Utah Gets Wrong. We are the Utah Film Critics Association, and that is all; an interesting, if incomplete, cross section of folks who happen to currently live in Utah. Many of the UFCA members are not Mormon, much less from the state of Utah originally (Jimmy is from Georgia; I’m from Pennsylvania). And yet somehow, with no inquiry made to us personally, we must all be racist homophobic Utahans since we didn’t support your taste in movies. There seems to be no wondering how close the call was, or why some critics had credible issues with any of the movies, whether they “won” or not.
    No matter; advertise your own prejudices about an entire state of people and enjoy your extra bit of internet traffic while it lasts. We will continue to watch movies; hate them, love them, commiserate about them and come to a consensus every year. A consensus that is usually is a mixed bag that may or may not satisfy all of the individual members, like we have for years. We will continue to do so in an appreciation of film, and we will reward those we deem appropriate based on merit; and not because of racism, homophobia, or the need to generate undeserved internet traffic.
    Good luck in your future endeavors.

  39. And yet somehow, with no inquiry made to us personally, we must all be racist homophobic Utahans since we didn’t support your taste in movies.

    Unless you read what I wrote at the top of this page 7 hours ago:

    It’s not about racism or homophobia. It’s maybe just that they aren’t touched by the gay movie or the slavery movie. They’re touched by the sci-fi movie and the time-travel movie instead.

    You don’t need to “make inquiries” to see what I think. You just have to read.

  40. “There seems to be no wondering how close the call was”

    That’s implicit in the point I’m making.

    Want me to make it explicit? No problem. You have Mormon critics in your group. Yes, I do wonder how many of your Mormon critics voted for somebody other than Jared Leto.

    Want me to make an inquiry? Alright. How many Mormon critics voted for an actor other than Jared Leto? Let’s hear the breakdown, Richard.

    We can all plainly see that 12 Years a Slave came in 2nd. I posted that fact. Yes, I do wonder how many Mormon critics didn’t vote for it. I’m curious.

    You seem to want us to know some of your members were moved by 12 Years and others, less so. That’s obvious. Yes, you’re right. I wonder what difference, if any, the Mormon critics in your group made in the outcome.

  41. Well, I like what the Utah critics came up with (and seem to every year). In every category this year, there’s more than one deserving recipient, especially at this level, so the more the wealth is spread around, the better.

    As far as Utah politics are concerned – do you really think that many rednecks belong to their film critics circle? I doubt many even go to the thee-aye-ter, what with Duck Dynasty on the tee vee an all.

  42. Sasha Stone

    Ryan and Sasha can’t do Oscar punditry without getting upset by imaginary issues. Every awards season, year after year, these two get pissed about something and go mental. For your own mental state, you two should really think about doing something else.

    Oh look, someone crawled out from a rock over at the forums. What you think is imaginary really isn’t if you opened your eyes even a little bit. The stats don’t lie. There is no imaginary issue – there is the status quo, which never changes. Do you have any idea how long the Jim Crow laws were even in effect until anyone did anything about them? How long our own government turned a blind eye when black students were bullied and murdered for simply trying to attend white schools? That was my childhood, okay, in my lifetime. Do you think change came about by people sitting on their hands and doing nothing, saying nothing? No one else in my entire line of work will even talk about race because readers get so bent out of shape about it. White people getting offended and all of that. Really? So if you think Ryan and I are making something of nothing you are kindly invited to go read elsewhere. Trust me, all you’ll get are people who don’t give a damn. Here, we kind of do.

  43. Sasha Stone

    As a member of the UFCA, I’d like to say you guys make me laugh. Thanks for the chuckles.

    The thing about your group that I found funny was your Best Actress pick. You know, just saying.

  44. MikeScott28

    Absolutely awesome to see Bill Nighy given Supporting for About Time. I adored that film. It’s so underrated and he was great in it.

    And yay for Adele Exarchopoulos. Very well-deserved.

  45. Every critic is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

  46. Because I could not stop for Death—
    He kindly stopped for me—
    The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
    And Immortality.

    5 We slowly drove—He knew no haste
    And I had put away
    My labor and my leisure too,
    For His Civility—

    We passed the School, where Children strove
    10 At Recess—in the Ring
    We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain—
    We passed the Setting Sun—

    Or rather—He passed Us—
    The Dews drew quivering and chill—
    15 For only Gossamer, my Gown—
    My Tippet—only Tulle—

    We paused before a House that seemed
    A Swelling of the Ground—
    The Roof was scarcely visible—
    20 The Cornice—in the Ground—

    Since then—’tis Centuries—and yet
    Feels shorter than the Day
    I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
    Were toward Eternity—

  47. It’s so great that awards daily exists. I don’t know what I’d do if it didn’t exist. I know I respect Oscar punditry above all things. I mean, my god, Oscar punditry. Oscar punditry. Oscar punditry. I spend my time in the old forums because people are really smart there. Real Oscar pundits. You know? But gosh, Ryan and Sasha – there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you guys. All of your hard work! Maybe someday when I’m a famous Oscar pundit I will pay you back somehow.

  48. I’ve been pretty discouraged reading this whole thread. Picks for awards should focus solely on the awards, not some bullshit stat Utah does or doesn’t currently hold. There is racism in every.single.state. Every state. That’s not going to change. Some of the most liberal states have the most violence but is that going to make me psychoanalyze the Chicago critics or the NY critics for their picks? If I happen to move to Utah and happen to get a job as a film critic, I hope the choices I make for best picture and best actor isn’t met with laughs or mockery due to undeveloped people that happen to live in the same boundaries as I do.

    I love going to Park City for Sundance, I love my suburban town near Philly. Why can’t…we be friends? Ebony, ivory, living in perfect harmony. Okay I’m done. Love you all and be in the holiday mode!

  49. Should I drop in every 2 or 3 hours to remind everybody I never used the word racist?

    People feel affinity for different stories for different reasons. People with 2 black friends are going to have different attitudes than people with 50 black friends. Anybody is free to believe that’s not so. I’m free to believe it is, and that it might be a factor in our individual perceptions.

    My own father would not go see 12 Years a Slave with me. If by some miracle my father were ever to see 10 new movies a year and he made a list of them, 12 Years a Slave would not be on it. And he’d be goddamned sure I knew the reason why. Because he believes, [quote] “What’s the reason for wanting to drag all that up again? Movies and shows like that just make the races have hard feelings toward each other.” For a whole different set of sad reasons my father wouldn’t be caught dead seeing Dallas Buyers Club.

    My dad is an extreme example of someone whose crap taste in movies is directly affected by his strange religious and social beliefs. Yes, there are people like that everywhere, Kane. I happen to believe more people with strange bigoted beliefs live in Utah than live in New York. That’s why I don’t suspect any Mormon critics in Manhattan have influenced the outcome of the NYFCC picks. But I’m not going to pretend that there are no Mormon film critics in Utah and I’m not going to pretend that I can “get along in harmony” with Mormons who believe I’m going to hell.

    heck, I don’t even get along with my own father, so why should I cut Mormons a break and hope that they’re the “good” Mormons who don’t see gay people this way:

    The Mormon Church will not bow to popular opinion that asserts because ‘they were born that way’, gays and lesbians should be permitted to live a homosexual lifestyle. The Mormon Church does not accept biological determination for same-sex attraction. The factors contributing to attraction are complex; it cannot be pinpointed to solely genetics or environment. But whether it is ‘natural’ or not, it is written in the Book of Mormon that the natural man is an enemy to God (Mosiah 3:19). It is a fundamental doctrine of the Mormon faith and the proper use of our moral agency to overcome the natural man and tame our appetites and passions. The tendency toward homosexuality is sometimes unfairly stigmatized but in Mormon doctrine is not treated any different than adultery, fornication, or any other sinful act. The natural tendency toward sin is no excuse. There are genetic theories for tendencies toward most anything, but the disposition toward any wrongdoing does not justify it or make it less sinful.

    While we’re on the subject of what Mormons think of my tendencies, who the heck is Mosiah? I discover that he was King of the Nephites, an ancient race of white people who came to America in 600 BC and at least three of the Nephites were immortal. On further reflection I come to my own conclusion that none of them existed. Mosiah is a nonexistent king who never said anything so how about stop using his using his nonexistent opinion to make gay people feel bad about being gay.

    If you’re a Mormon critic and you don’t care much for Dallas Buyers Club then I’m going to wonder if somebody is pulling Mosiah out of his ass as part of his system of beliefs and sympathies and preferences, and I’m going to know that critic has something in common with my father. My father wouldn’t vote for Jared Leto for the same reason Ernest Borgnine wouldn’t vote for Heath Ledger — they never saw those faggoty movies and if they did, they’d hate them.

    So yeah, it would be great to imagine there are no Mormon movielovers who feel the same way. Go ahead and imagine that if it gives you a happy sensation of peace and harmony. I’ll be over here imagining another possibility.

  50. I HAVE no life but this,
    To lead it here;
    Nor any death, but lest
    Dispelled from there;

    Nor tie to earths to come, 5
    Nor action new,
    Except through this extent,
    The realm of you.

  51. FATHER, I bring thee not myself,—
    That were the little load;
    I bring thee the imperial heart
    I had not strength to hold.

    The heart I cherished in my own 5
    Till mine too heavy grew,
    Yet strangest, heavier since it went,
    Is it too large for you?

  52. Richard Bonaduce
    December 20, 2013
    “As another member of the UFCA, what is seriously sad here is that none of you making such personal comments about us actually knows any of us at all.
    We are not the representatives of Utah As A State, nor will answer for everything that – in your opinion — Utah Gets Wrong. We are the Utah Film Critics Association, and that is all; an interesting, if incomplete, cross section of folks who happen to currently live in Utah. Many of the UFCA members are not Mormon, much less from the state of Utah originally (Jimmy is from Georgia; I’m from Pennsylvania). And yet somehow, with no inquiry made to us personally, we must all be racist homophobic Utahans since we didn’t support your taste in movies. There seems to be no wondering how close the call was, or why some critics had credible issues with any of the movies, whether they “won” or not.
    No matter; advertise your own prejudices about an entire state of people and enjoy your extra bit of internet traffic while it lasts. We will continue to watch movies; hate them, love them, commiserate about them and come to a consensus every year. A consensus that is usually is a mixed bag that may or may not satisfy all of the individual members, like we have for years. We will continue to do so in an appreciation of film, and we will reward those we deem appropriate based on merit; and not because of racism, homophobia, or the need to generate undeserved internet traffic.
    Good luck in your future endeavors.”

    I’m glad you posted your thoughts. This whole thread of comments is a damn shame, and completely bizarre. Because Jared Leto and ’12 Years’ lost… Wow. P.S.: I myself am gay and from California, before wild accusations are made about me as well… I just think it’s ridiculous to cry foul of a whole state all because a critics group didn’t agree that Jared Leto gave the best performance by an actor in a supporting role.

  53. I just think it’s ridiculous to cry foul of a whole state

    That would be ridiculous. But what I did instead of that was bring up the matter of Utah’s Mormon population to see if I could tease out any proof that some of the Utah critics are Mormon. Because I had no idea. I was just wondering.

    I’m glad Richard Bonaduce stopped by too, so he could tell us for sure, “Many of the UFCA members are not Mormon” — so that means some of the UFCA are Mormon.

    See my comment above to understand why I was curious about that.

    Mosiah thinks the natural man is the enemy of God. Wonder what Mosiah thinks of Jared Leto’s Rayon?

    I bet Mosiah would really enjoy the time-travel movie tho.

    The Mormon Church will not bow to popular opinion that asserts because ‘they were born that way’, gays and lesbians should be permitted to live a homosexual lifestyle.

    Let’s cut all the foggy prevaricating haze of “popular opinion” out of that sentence. Here’s what it plainly says:

    The Mormon Church asserts that gays and lesbians should not be permitted to live a homosexual lifestyle.

    I don’t care if the Utah critics have but ONE SINGLE Mormon critic who believes that way. If that person is voting for the year’s best movies then I have less confidence in that group’s tally of votes in respect to a movie about AIDS.

    Somebody on this page said something about the Utah Critics being a very small group. I figured as much. That’s important to know. Because even one strange voter* in a small group will have more effect than he would have on a larger group where judgmental religious attitudes are more likely to be outnumbered.

    *(by ‘strange voter’ I mean anyone brought up to believe gay people should not be permitted to live a homosexual lifestyle).

  54. Whew, a controversial thread in which I wasn’t involved.

    I think . . . I’ll keep it that way!

  55. Ryan. Back pedaling.

  56. Read my first long comment I wrote 12 hours ago. There’s no backpedaling dude. If anything I’m digging in and saying what I mean more forcefully than ever. Only a sheer idiot would think I ever believed all the Utah critics are racists or all of them are Mormons. Jesus Christ. I speculate about the movie preferences of a few Mormons who say I violate the laws of God, and turns out it’s me who’s the big bully.

  57. You know what would be cool. If some of these critics who are coming here to testify: “Dont blame me, I’m not even a Mormon!” would drag along one of their Mormon critic pals to assure us that they as Mormons approve of gay people. Because, if nothing else, it would be great to feel validated by someone who bases his world view of “natural men” and “enemies of God” and whatnot on quotes from that ancient American white immortal dude, King Mosiah from 2600 years ago, who never existed.

  58. My life closed twice before its close;
    It yet remains to see
    If Immortality unveil
    A third event to me,

    So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
    As these that twice befell.
    Parting is all we know of heaven,
    And all we need of hell.

    J,
    That’s the only Emily Dickinson that I ever had to memorize in school. Besides her general awesomeness, why is she here? (Just curious to know.)

  59. Emily Dickinson shows up wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat, she’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, she’ll be there. She’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. She’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready, and when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build, and bloggers are stirring up a ruckus – she’ll be there, too.

  60. Now Tom Joad is sorta here, too. Who’s next?

  61. Al Robinson

    Joke: I’ve been to Salt Lake City’s…. airport.

    Just sayin’. :-)

    But yes, I would agree that not everyone in Utah is a mormon, just like there are liberals. And yes, Utah has some beautiful scenery.

  62. I’ll be random, too . . . the science oven! “Bring something into this house that’s going to take all the nutrition out of our food, and then light our house on fire? Thank God for me.” Line of the year!

  63. Al Robinson

    These comments remind me of this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM0toaRF1BQ

  64. I don’t yet know what else I’ll find American Hustle is able to do but as soon as I saw that clip and heard her delivery of that line I began to clear a spot someplace in my Top 20 List.

  65. why does Bill Maher have to be such a meanie? :(

  66. I don’t usually emote one way or the other in the theater seat, but child, I fell out.

    All religions contain some silliness, and maybe some religions contain more than others, but atheism can’t explain everything either. Maybe the most rational thing would be: There’s some higher power; the end.

  67. but atheism can’t explain everything either

    I guess. I skipped atheist class the day they tried to explain everything.

    I don’t even call myself atheist, agnostic, buddhist, christian or any of that.

    One nice feature of atheism is that it doesn’t come with a dubious book full of rules telling people they better obey or else burn in a lake of fire for all eternity. That’s a rotten threat to poke in our faces for the 80+ years we spend trying to live a good life.

    unless the ‘lake of fire’ is the Sun enlarging and engulfing the solar system a billion years from now so all the atoms in my body better straighten up and fly right so my molecules can somehow travel to a safer more comfortable galaxy before that inevitably does happen. uh-oh, brb, gonna go pray for awhile.

  68. Isn’t not even trying to explain or understand everything kind of blah? Prayer doesn’t do much for me, but it seems to be of value to a lot of people, so I wouldn’t want to mock them for it. I don’t go for the whole hellfire thing. I like to think that God (or whatever) has the capacity to forgive everybody, even Hitler or Charles Manson. They’d just get lesser quality seats in heaven or their eternal orgasm would be less intense. I don’t know, damnit!

  69. Isn’t not even trying to explain or understand everything kind of blah?

    I don’t want to know everything about everything till we get to Eternal Paradise University. Where douches like Hitler and Manson have to be roommates at a frat house.

  70. Well, you’ve found some common ground with religious zealots in the desire for ultimate vengeance. Granted, your respective lists of who deserves it and why aren’t exactly the same.

  71. But for a conservative state, it just became the 18th state to allow gay marriage. Just saying.

    Yes, and how did that happen? Because a Federal Court yesterday had to overturn a voter-approved 2004 amendment to the Utah Constitution — voted upon by the residents of Utah themselves — that instituted a STATE CONSTITUTIONAL BAN on same-sex marriage.

    A Federal Judge threw that out yesterday, and the fine citizens of Utah are flipping out on the letters to the editor of every state newspaper. The Utah Attorney General instantly filed an appeal and is trying to block marriage licenses in a fit of panic.

    Just 28% of Utah residents approve of same-sex marriage, so bravo to them. But the rest of the 72% of the population is losing their wad today, wailing that the sky is falling thanks to an “activist judge” — so yeah, nice going Utah. Welcome to gay marriage. Get used it, and get used to it fast.

    The coolest thing about this judge overturning Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage is now this sets a legal precedent for judges to abolish similar bans in all the conservative states where they were enacted.

    You’ll recall these state by state “same-sex marriage bans” in 2004 were the GOP’s big secret weapon to get fundamentalists to the polls in 2004 to reelect Bush. And now they’re all going to fall like dominoes. BOOM. Done.

  72. Good on Utah for picking Adele Exarchopoulos. Pretty French youngin’ who gets naked or not, she delivered one of the best performances of the year. Devastating stuff.

  73. I’m glad to have stayed out of the gay rights and Utah parts of this thread. I’ll dip in a toe — extremely gingerly.

    The Utah case sets a precedent in layman’s terms, but of course, no other states’ courts are legally bound to follow it. It does provide some “cover” for them, should they choose to go along.
    Courts aren’t always the best way to get things done. Even many of Roe’s supporters agree that the opinion’s reasoning leaves a lot to be desired. When the ACA went before SCOTUS, they wisely decided that the Commerce Clause wouldn’t be able to uphold it, so they went with the tax power. That’s legally sound, except that the law wasn’t written that way, nor had it been “sold” that way. The law had had not a single vote to spare. Would Manchin or Begich (or any of several others) have voted for it as a tax? Likely not, which means that the ACA wouldn’t have been before SCOTUS in the first place.

  74. no other states’ courts are legally bound to follow it. It does provide some “cover” for them, should they choose to go along.

    Naturally no other state courts are bound by yesterday’s decision. In fact we can certainly expect every state that added a bumper-sticker constitutional amendment by voter decree in 2004 to resist any challenge the same way Utah has done. But the Utah decision was handed down from level of a Federal court. This sends a strong message to every state banning same-sex marriage that their gimmick amendments do stand up to reasonable scrutiny.

    Since each subsequent challenge will be decided at the Federal Court level, it sets the stage for a series of Federal rulings using Utah as precedent. Each of these state amendments are going to fail to hold water like the flimsy sandbags they are. There’s no legal sense to them. They were never anything but fundamentalist election-year bait: “Let’s all take a church bus to go vote against the fags! And while we’re at it, pull that dang lever for George W! Then it’s off to Cracker Barrel to celebrate how we stomped those sissys.”

    Courts aren’t always the best way to get things done.

    When it comes to overturning unconstitutional constitutional amendments, courts are pretty much the ONLY way to get things done.

    I’m not going to argue the ACA with you, Tony. That case has been already been argued and the law upheld. Yes, the defeated side continues its cascading nervous breakdown, but now there’s affordable psychiatric treatment for that, for anyone with sense enough to sign up.

    ===

    Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska finally repealed their anti-interracial-marriage laws in the mid-1960s, 3 or 4 years before the South was forced to repeal similar laws under the Supreme Court ruling of 1967.

  75. I’d prefer not to argue the ACA, but no law is ever truly “settled.” Thank goodness, too, or we’d still have Plessy.
    The forced expansion of Medicaid went down already, and the forced coverage of contraceptives may soon follow. Ultimately the ACA will be doomed by reality, not the courts; a flawed business model can’t survive.
    “Affordable psychiatric treatment?” First you pay high premiums, then you pay towards meeting high deductibles. Not so affordable to many.

  76. Courts aren’t always the best way to get things done.

    Perhaps, but if the other two branches of government are dropping the ball, they sometimes are the ONLY way to get things done. No less a founding father than James Madison recognized that the courts should be the ultimate arbiter of constitutional questions. “If every constitutional question were to be decided by public political bargaining, the Constitution would be reduced to a battleground of competing factions, political passion and partisan spirit.”

    When the ACA went before SCOTUS, they wisely decided that the Commerce Clause wouldn’t be able to uphold it, so they went with the tax power. That’s legally sound, except that the law wasn’t written that way, nor had it been “sold” that way. The law had had not a single vote to spare. Would Manchin or Begich (or any of several others) have voted for it as a tax? Likely not, which means that the ACA wouldn’t have been before SCOTUS in the first place.

    Four justices were willing to uphold the individual mandate using the Commerce Clause. Joining with Roberts on his interpretation of the mandate as falling under Congress’s taxing power to form a majority was pragmatism.

    Yes, the ACA wasn’t sold that way due to political optics. But that’s really irrelevant now. SCOTUS upheld it. Republicans had the 4 months after NFIB v Sebellius was decided, a presidential election to make their case. And they lost. Handily.

  77. “Affordable psychiatric treatment?” First you pay high premiums, then you pay towards meeting high deductibles. Not so affordable to many.

    Anyone who needs psychiatric care will now be able to get it — and they’ll be able to afford it, since premiums and plans and subsidies are based on individual means.

    Of course one might argue that anybody can already get psychiatric care for free under the Republican plan — all a mentally ill individual needs to do to begin his free treatment is go out and get arrested and convicted for committing some insane crime.

  78. ^Recent polls show that if the public knew now what had been kept from them in 2012, Romney (far from an ideal candidate) would defeat Obama.

  79. Nice job, Marshall.

  80. Means-tested deductibles?!

  81. I just have one question, as dinnertime approaches: If SCOTUS mandates gay marriage, will you still ridicule those religions that don’t perform those ceremonies within their churches/synagogues/mosques?

  82. And polls are a snapshot in time and space. During the shutdown the public strongly opposed GOP efforts to hold the government hostage just to defund/delay the ACA. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if they feel differently due to the very problematic launch of HealthCare.gov.

    Public opinion can quickly shift from month to month. One thing is pretty clear though – even if Obama and the ACA have low approval ratings now, the public still doesn’t think too highly of Congressional Republicans or the Tea Party either.

  83. will you still ridicule those religions that don’t perform those ceremonies within their churches/synagogues/mosques?

    I’m not ridiculing Mormon Church for that reason. Refusal to perform marriage ceremonies in a temple doesn’t bother me. If I wanted to marry a guy, the last place on earth I’d want to do would be in a church, of any denomination.

    What bothers me is how the Mormon Church has tried to make it impossible for gay couples to get married anywhere at all. You can’t understand how sick that is, Tony?

    I’m not ridiculing Mormons and I really resent you piling on by saying so. I quote Mormon publications and scripture they use to try to oppress people, things I believe to be absurdities like Mosiah and the immortal ancient white people of 600 BC America. A belief like that speaks for itself.

  84. And polls are a snapshot in time and space.

    Most random people off the street are barely informed enough to respond to a poll. Ask people if they like the idea of an Affordable Health Care Act. and most will say, “Yes, sounds awesome.” Ask them if they like the idea of Obamacare and half of the very same people say, “NO! Not interested.”

    Kentucky is a huge success story for the ACA. You won’t find any newspaper ads or TV commercials calling it Obamacare though. It’s called Kynect and it’s going to help hundreds of thousands of families.

    A middle-aged man in a red golf shirt shuffles up to a small folding table with gold trim, in a booth adorned with a flotilla of helium balloons, where government workers at the Kentucky State Fair are hawking the virtues of Kynect, the state’s health benefit exchange established by Obamacare.

    The man is impressed. “This beats Obamacare I hope,” he mutters to one of the workers.

    “Do I burst his bubble?” wonders Reina Diaz-Dempsey, overseeing the operation. She doesn’t. If he signs up, it’s a win-win, whether he knows he’s been ensnared by Obamacare or not.

    Ensnared, that is, into finally having access to health care in a state ranked 45th by the Commonwealth Fund.

    Meanwhile in Republican-dominated states like Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and more, the GOP has manufactured a “coverage gap” ensuring that millions of their residents will needlessly be left without health insurance next year.

  85. (Why, oh why, did I not resist the urge to peek in right before chow?!) Why are the enrollments so low in Oregon and Hawaii? What percentage of Kentucky’s enrollees are not Medicaid? What percentage are paying full freight? I’m always dismayed that while most Republicans see Democrats as good people with bad ideas, most Democrats see Republicans as bad people with bad ideas.

  86. You know I don’t think you’re a bad person, Tony. What do your other Democrat friends think of you? The ones who have to deal with you face to face? Not sure what my Republican friends think of me. You’d know better than I would since you’re the only one.

  87. Can’t answer your other questions off the top of my head. We sometimes have to accept the fact that there are some things about America that only Snowden and Putin will ever know.

  88. What percentage of Kentucky’s enrollees are not Medicaid?

    Last I read, Kentucky’s ACA enrollees were about 75% Medicaid, 25% private insurance. A wide gap to be sure, but definitely not as wide as other states like Maryland, where the proportions are more like 95% Medicaid, 5% private. And 40% of those enrolling in the Bluegrass state are also under 35 – a very promising number.

    I’m always dismayed that while most Republicans see Democrats as good people with bad ideas, most Democrats see Republicans as bad people with bad ideas.

    Funny, I’m pretty sure that’s how most Democrats actually feel about Republicans as well – good people with bad ideas. Shoe on the other foot and all.

  89. I found that too, just now. You’re quick on the draw, Marshall. That margin will get closer over the next few weeks. There are over 30,000 Kentucky residents who have registered, found out they qualify for a health plan, but enrollment is pending while they decide which plan they want. It’s never easy to choose between regular and extra crispy.

  90. I view most politicians (all parties) as idealistic turning to the dark side trying to get their own agenda done. Though it’s just a show I think House of Cards is probably accurate in showing what politicians will do to get ahead (I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine). I view the common man (of any political preference) giving too much faith in their own party due to a vast dislike of the other. Too many people have their blinders on.

  91. Screw my diet! Extra crispy, hiyo :)

  92. I would never belong to a party that would have me as a member. I’m a registered independent; mostly conservative. I’ve never voted for a Democrat for POTUS, but I have for other offices.

    I don’t find it very hard to be friends with people with different political views. Politics is one small piece of a person (or at least it ought to be). If we disagree without being disagreeable, it’s all good. I don’t call ‘em f****** morons or evil scum. They don’t call me a f****** moron or evil scum. If they did, then the friendship is probably doomed.

    Even the “best” of those figures will lead to more printing of money and/or more taxes.

  93. The problem is that some people who do belong to specific religions want the teachings to change. If the teachings don’t change, they’d prefer to attack and destroy the religions, rather than find one that matches their viewpoint or start their own.

  94. Or maybe this: Followers of a religion should not be shamed for wanting to see the teachings of their religion grow and evolve with the times as societies mature. Churches should not be afraid of change, they should be flexible and embrace it.

    I don’t actually see many instances of followers attacking their own religion or destroying them.

    I see a bible that has an old testament full of some great stuff and also full of some bullshit horrors. Why cling to the horrible parts? There’s a new testament that often directly contradicts the old testament. Why cling to both. Why pretend the all horrible old stuff has to be utilized? If the church is a figurative “house” then why build a new house on top of it if you’re going to try to make the holy water run through all the old rotten plumbing of hate and intolerance before it comes out the shiny new the faucet of love and harmony?

    Churches can change without being destroyed. It rejuvenates them and makes them relevant to new generations.. Latin Mass, thing of the past. 20 years ago “dark-skinned people are cursed” — now that’s not mentioned out loud, but why isn’t it more loudly condemned as wrong.

    So no, Tony. I don’t think the problem is people wanting religion to change. The problem is religions that refuse to.

  95. I’m not touching the Mormon “dark-skinned” thing with a ten foot pole! It’s hard enough to defend the Catholic Church in the wake of its protection of pedophile priests. Being a member of that church does mean accepting that the authority structure is top-down. As much as one might want to make some changes, I accept as part of membership that I’m not in a democracy. OTOH, those to whom much authority has been given should at least be able to deal forthrightly and quickly with stuff like pedophile priests. Good priests do exist. They had even more opportunity with me than with your average Catholic kid, and I was much cuter as a child than as an adult. No one ever touched me.

  96. “Good priests do exist.”

    Now there’s a controversial declaration. You’re hard to argue with this morning. I concede!

  97. by the way, (have we gone off topic yet) here’s one of the best articles I’ve seen that explains the Federal Court ruling in Utah far beyond my attempts yesterday to bluff with legalese that I fully understood it. Sorry about forcing you to look at this source, but I got Peggy Noonan juice all over me a couple of weeks ago at your urging so you can stand a little ThinkProgress, can’t you?

    I’m especially fond of this passage

    Plaintiffs also argued that citizens voted for Amendment 3 “out of a dislike of gay and lesbian individuals,” and Shelby stopped short of agreeing with this, because “it is impossible to determine what was in the mind of each individual voter.”

  98. Good priests do exist, good pastors do exist. The pastor that married us about 2 months ago, Frank Schaefer, was recently defrocked. He is an incredibly good man who has been fighting for equality in the church.

  99. That was the plaintiffs’ weakest argument, and Shelby was very astute in recognizing it.
    If the law were easy, we’d only have jury trials (to determine the facts of cases) with barely a need for judges. This judge seemed much more prepared than the state’s attorneys. After the recent SCOTUS decision, it would have been tough anyway.
    I’ve acquired more of a libertarian streak over the years, so I’m basically on your side on non-religious marriage. I don’t see harm to a third party (which explains why I can’t get on board with Roe).

  100. Why was he defrocked, Kane?

  101. Good gosh you guys. All this good news about good priests is wonderful. Please continue with the testimonials. I have no objection at all.

    Should I state publicly that I never had any doubt about that? I’m afraid if I don’t another movie site will blast me with the headline RYAN ADAMS REFUSES TO ADMIT GOOD PRIESTS EXIST

  102. In all honesty, I have huge respect for defrocked priests. I might even like them better than the frocked ones.

  103. Ryan,
    I’m not trying to put you in the position of speaking for all gay people. I was just wondering if you watched SNL last night. There was a Christmas Carol skit in which the young Scrooge (Jimmy Fallon) basically pranced around, because, shock, he was gay, but hadn’t realized it. Are you offended by that stereotype? Would GLAAD speak out about it, if Fallon were not a gay friendly celeb?

  104. C’mon, Ryan. The perception is out there that the percentage of bad priests is very large. One bad priest is one too many, but it’s not at the epidemic levels some think it is.

    Heh, heh, but are you sure? “A cock in a frock on a rock” doesn’t have as much appeal?

  105. SNL on DVR. Havent watched it yet.

  106. I can however verify that I have witnessed actual gay people prancing about. Prancing about is a thing many gay people have done. I neither condone nor condemn it. Many of my closest acquaintances have been known to be sporatically prone to prancing about.

  107. What the frock is with this “c’mon Ryan”? I am getting really weirded out by the feeling that I need to stand up and adamantly say what we all know to be true : The very vast majority of priests are very vastly good men. A very small fraction are “bad.” Stop it.

  108. “I neither condone nor condemn it.”

    Very well said. Too much manufactured outrage these days. What was so bad about Katy Perry’s recent geisha costume? She didn’t tape her eyes or something like that. The bad thing was the song “Unconditionally.”

  109. I missed that. I missed the whole geisha thing altogether.

  110. OK, I will! Sheesh. :-)

  111. You missed it? Hey, I’m the conservative, the one who’s expected to miss out on the happenings in pop culture.

  112. Dammit, now watch twitter go nuts with news that Ryan has a laisse-faire attitude toward leaving Father Shenanigans alone.

  113. Before I go to bed, I’ll tie together the legal stuff and Katy Perry with a (lame) joke: I’m gonna sue Katy Perry for support for the five years I would have lived with her if she had asked me. (rimshot)

  114. I’ve seen a glimpse of that performance now. I guess I missed the moment when a costume on a performer is wrong unless the wearer can provide proof through ancestry dotcom that he or she has a hereditary right to wear it. Will Russell Crowe have to give back his Gladiator Oscar?

  115. Shoulda been in bed, but watched a little more of the SNL episode. They did a parody using PCD’s “Buttons” video. Yeah, it was kinda funny, but it’s not 2006 anymore!!!

  116. Why are you awake all night anyways?

  117. I dunno. I was born this way, hey! (Better than SNL; only a 2011 reference).
    I’ll drift off to sleep while thinking that they take away the Oscar from Crowe, but give it to me, because I have the heritage! G’night, g’morning, g’whenever.

  118. Ryan, I wasn’t saying “hey you should know that…” I was merely agreeing, like, “Yes indeed there are good priests.” Sorry for the confusion.

    Tony, Frank was defrocked the other day after a 30 day suspension. He officiated his son’s wedding to another man in Massachusetts maybe 6 years ago and a disgruntled member of his Methodist congregation dug up the certificate and took it to the “church authorities”. Since 3 of his 4 kids are gay he said he can’t promise he wouldn’t officiate a gay wedding again. And they wanted him to denounce his son’s marriage. About a month ago he was on The View, news outlets, yada yada. He’s my personal hero. Minutes before we walked to the alter he turned to me and said, “This may be my last wedding.” Since the trial was about a week after my wedding it turned out to be true, at least as a Methodist pastor.

  119. Great story. Great man.

  120. I remember reading about him when the story first broke. (I clearly did not remember his name.)

    Congrats on your recent wedding, Kane. (Good on ya, mate, for still having the energy to type.)

  121. Buford T Justice

    I actually like and respect the Mormons , even if in a broader sense the whole God thing is nothing more than wishfull thinking …having met and known many Mormon folk I find them principled and trustworthy
    After having a wide and sometimes bizarre range of experiences , while using the blood splattered pages of History as a reference point it’s quite clear to me that if God had never existed it would be surely necessary to ”invent God ” …secularism may well work in the rairified air of a university , but in the real world of the great unwashed it is sadly lacking ; we humans are sinfull creatures who need to ”fear the Lord or fear the Law ” , both preferably and any experienced policeman would agree with me
    Atheism may well work in theory , but in actual practice can eventually lead to a dangerous demoralizing or even nihilism
    As a practical example , if someone was to owe me a large ammount of money , generally speaking , I would sleep better at night if I felt they felt themselves accountable to a rightious and moral God instead of the shifting sands and ”situational ethics ” of secularism

  122. One doesn’t have to be religious to be a nice person, but I gotta say that Mormons generally make very good neighbors.

  123. I do truly believe Mormon communities make for nice neighborhoods (see? I can do blind faith sometimes), though it surely helps enhance a sense of familial cohesion when residents are relatively homogenized. Not that anyone would risk coming across coarse by pointing out the actual percentages. Awesome looking street in Big Love. I’d be leery of moving to Mountain Meadows though. (srry, too soon?)

  124. Buford T Justice, I’ve really been enjoying and admiring your comments the past few days. Your opinions are expressed with a refreshing upfront frankness we can all appreciate.

    I won’t even dispute your speculation that atheism is gateway to nihilism. I won’t bristle at what seems to be your assumption or suspicion that atheists might be likelier thieves than Christians.

    I don’t take speculation, assumption or even suspicion personally — not when there’s no apparent malice intended nor any harm done. I respect that you have a gut feeling and you’re not timid about sharing it.

    I understand that type of writing because I try to write the same way.

    I also know I’m probably really oversimplifying what you meant when I rephrase it in my own words. That’s usually something I try to avoid doing. Hope you forgive me for drawing a parallel between your style and mine, and for putting you under any spotlight to illustrate a different angle on misinterpretations of my own offhand remarks the past few days.

    I can’t speak for atheists because I don’t call myself one. I can’t speak for Christians even though as was brought up as one.

    Just really want to say thanks for demonstrating how it ought to be ok to make controversial and provocative remarks without having our asses chewed out.

    After all we’re not hurling insults or making hurtful accusations. We’re just wondering and raising casual concerns. You picked a better group to accidentally disparage. I doubt if you’re going to see enraged defenders of atheism descend on you with pitchforks for wondering if a lot of atheists are felons. Much smarter than me wondering if fundamentalist Mormons were brought up being taught to harbor any prejudice or intolerance.

    For one thing, acquaintances and associates of atheists don’t storm in to assure us that they’re not atheists. And friends of atheists don’t flare up in outrage if anyone dares to wonder if atheist attitudes might possibly be reflected in atheist behavior.

    Basically I guess nobody gets defensive angrily about atheism, possibly because (unlike Mormonism) there’s no clue to any underlying inherent bias or any demonstrable evidence of damaging hate that Atheism ever inflicted for anyone to get defensive about.

  125. “any experienced policeman would agree with me Atheism may well work in theory, but in actual practice can eventually lead to a dangerous demoralizing or even nihilism”

    Speaking for myself, an “experienced policeman” is not the first person I’d turn to if I needed an expert opinion about the value of religious restraints, ethical threats or racial moral authority. #FruitvaleStation

    Really interesting comment though, as always. Carry on!

  126. I don’t want to be the only non-Mormon in a community in Utah — I smoke too many cigarettes and drink too much coffee for that. I like a good mix of folks, and they’re generally so nice that they’re a welcome addition to any community.

    Religion can add a second level of deterrence against bad behavior. If one is an atheist, “bad” behavior can only mess up a few decades on earth. If one is religious, “bad” behavior can mess up this life and the next.

  127. OT: As time goes by, I’m more and more convinced that if it were possible, Jimmy Fallon would like to *BE* Justin Timberlake.

  128. The Assimilation of Justin Timberlake by the Coward Jimmy Fallon

  129. If one is religious, “bad” behavior can mess up this life and the next.

    Also if one is religious, The Spanish Inquisition, The Salem Witch Trials, the Crusades and the Taliban, but never mind all that. Less shoplifting! Because we know only atheists ever shoplift.

    No doubt a huge percentage of atheists commit murder compared to the tiny percentage of murderers who were raised Christian. Or maybe there’s a little doubt? Anyone have the stats on that? Anybody besides Saint Peter?

  130. I don’t want to be the only non-Mormon in a community in Utah

    Fantastic sitcom premise though.

  131. (I think my comment got eaten.)

    “The Assimilation of Justin Timberlake by the Coward Jimmy Fallon”
    Nicely done!

    On the margins, a potential murderer who believes in eternal damnation might refrain.

  132. Isn’t that show already on ABC — “The Neighbors?”
    :-)

  133. (“Suburgatory” fits almost as well.)

  134. Religion can add a second level of deterrence against bad behavior. … If one is religious, “bad” behavior can mess up this life and the next.

    Been watching this discussion for the past 48+ hrs and Tony’s remark is the perfect description of all that is off about religion.

    Religion will focus on what happens to the “sinner”, never on what happens to the victim. Religion removes the personal moral code that prevents us from wanting to harm others and replaces it with system of threats and punishments for those who stray.

    This not only leads to the enforcement horrors listed by Ryan, but also, when the religious control weakens or becomes corrupt, to the exploitation of others we see on Wall Street, against the environment, and social prejudice.

    Religion likes to advertise that it creates goodness in people when, in fact, it replaces thoughtful personal responsibility with codes that can be manipulated.

    The intention was good, but the execution impossible to maintain because it concentrates on corralling self-interest instead of simple internal moral goodness and respect for others. And when it becomes entangled in government, it becomes a horror show.

    Good people are that way not because of established religion, but in spite of it.

  135. ^ I’ll take a “perfect,” even for the wrong reason(s). :-)

  136. I’m no fan of theocracies, but any and all secular governments can be and are manipulated, too. What other options are there? Anarchy?
    (Anarchy might work if all people were “perfect” or robots.)

  137. Easier to replace secular, issue-based govts that aren’t convoluted by a society’s perceived moral code (and the minor detail of the threat of eternal damnation that some actually believe)

    It was perfect (and for the right reason) – you distilled it down to the essence, Tony. Enforced external morality vs internal.

  138. Even better, thanks, Steve! (My reading comprehension falters during panic attacks. Sigh.)

  139. “a potential murderer who believes in eternal damnation might refrain.” Maybe. Or else a murderer hears God’s voice in his head telling him to refuse to let thousands of little children and dinosaurs onto the ark. Because all the other drowned babies on Earth were evil.

  140. Sreve50. Thanks for arguing the case better than i did. (grrr). As a footnote, when a Christian does wrong, he’s a “lapsed” Christian or he “strayed”. But if a Muslim or atheist does wrong then they’re just regular predictably godless atheists. So the Christians dont even have to take responsibility for their bad apples.

  141. Recently I was looking at Guercino’s “Woman Taken in Adultery,” and it got me thinking about the Bible passage and how it contains two useful messages, but only the first one gets much attention. The “let he that is without sin cast the first stone” gets the hype, usually to score — valid — points against the fundamentalists. The next part, when she’s told “go, and sin no more” is virtually ignored.

  142. (Ryan, please change my “too” to “two.” Gracias. Hasta la pasta.)

  143. You guys, im going to be outvof town all day. Hard to check in on mobile.

    Also, something is wrong with the spam filter. Its letting spam slip through and falsely accusing loyal readers of being spam. I’ll try to rescue as many comments as i can but ti be safe, make clipboard copies of anything lengthy and important you write.

  144. So that’s why my “comment is awaiting moderation”. (As will I for tyhe next week and a half)

  145. I noticed that, Ryan. I’ll be AFK for awhile anyway, and I seldom write anything important!

  146. Buford T Justice

    Firstly , let me introduce my nomme de guerre ”Buford T Justice ”; it’s just a name I picked that has remained in my memory bank for years after watching the movie ”smokey and the bandit ” about 30 years ago
    It’s none other than the redneck Sheriff who’s always after the bandit and his hilarious iconic moment when he turns to his gormless son and said , with perfect timing ”There’s no way , just no way that you came from my loins ; when we get back home I’m gonna punch your mamma right in her mouth ” !

    Burt Reynolds father actually was a police chief in Florida and Buford T justice a real policeman of the classic redneck variety

  147. Buford T Justice

    I well remember back in the late 1980’s when atheism was not in vogue in America ,and me being of an iconoclast persuasion thought it necessary to join the American Atheist Society to meet and communicate with likeminded folks ….however , it quickly became clear that Dr Madlyn O’hare and family/friends were of a militant , angry and somewhat corrosive, disposition and that atheism as a world view was sadly lacking in optimism , goodwill and was , generally speaking , ”unable to bring out the better angels of our nature ”to use a Lincolnesque term ….it may well of been the most accurate view of the world around us , but it became clear to me that it was naturally stale and pessimistic

    About 10 years later , in a rather sinister , but not totally surprising turn of events , I watched on CNN when it was announced that Dr O ‘Hare , her son and step daughter had been kidnapped , made to empty their safety deposit boxes of $400,000 in gold coins , then brutally tortured , murdered , dismembered and their bodies buried on a ranch in W Texas ….their killers were previous employees at the the A A S….indeed , atheism can make very confident murderers

    The movie that presents the best case for the promotion of ”God ”is none other than the wise and intuitive ”Crimes and Misdomeaners ” by the great Woody Allen …in my opinion , no better movie exists as to why if God never existed it would be necessary to invent God !

    ”’Man is indeed wolf to man ” …there are some very dark corners in the human mind where our cruel and primitive ancesters often dwell …a true and ironic ”Darwin Award ” is when you convince someone that the universe really does have a secular explanation , with no need of a God or father figuer and then they opportunistically try and victimise you ….believe me , from bitter experience , it really does happen !

  148. Buford T Justice

    In actual fact it is Juda/Christianity that has created the moral framework and ethical scaffolding of the Western World ; it is this Christianity that has put the moral ”true north ” on the moral compass and given us our values
    However , as the West speeds ever increasingly into post moderism,that moral compass , a millenium in the making , is increasingly becoming de-magnitised of it’s moral ”true north ” by secularism and moral relativism and we , as a civilisation are becoming lost and demoralised as a forlorne ship on a storm tossed sea ; indeed , marooned and cast adrift in an archipeligo of existential despair …the human mind craves order and meaning and you could say that it is ”hardwired” to believe in a God , regardless if God ever existed ..it is , in my opinion , necessary to invent that God , or as Winston Churchill once wisely noted when talking about the necessary and skillful use of propaganda during wartime ” when truth is destructive it may be necessary to protect it with a bodyguard of lies ”

  149. Wow wow… Merry Christmas! What a macabre tale, Mr Justice.

    (ATTN: Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling)

    (What if all 20 of the state and metropolitan critics awards we posted had a discussion page this active?)

  150. Buford T Justice

    But before I am accused of being some religious nut or fellow traveller it’s only fair and proper to point out that I am a ”read between the lines ” type of fellow …for example , it’s a well kept secret among some historians , especially military historians and experts in warefare , that the best way to read the Bible or any other ancient texts is carefully ”between the lines ”

    For example , crucifixion was usually a three day process where the victim eventually dies of exhaustion and blood loss , but it’s common knowlege that the ”Messiah ”was only up there for one single day ; while it’s true that after being whipped badly and nailed up there he would be in no fit state to run a marathon , but being close to death and appearing dead in not quite the same as actually being a corpse …he wasn’t dead, for christsake !
    We humans are resiliant creatures and after almost every battle in History some of the the dead are resurected , badly hurt , but with prompt care are sometimes able to recover

    As I’ve always said , the ”Life of Brian ” is in many ways alot closer to the truth than the actual Bible …indeed it must of been one of the all time hilarious moments of antiquity when that gentle soul staggered out of that tomb , more dead than alive , covered in blood , white as a sheet ,looking like a burnt out Hippy and then pronounced the immortal words ..”Rejoice , I have arisen !’ ‘…that poor Roman soldier on guard duty must of literally seen a GGGGGGGHOST and then high tailed it out of there , leaving the Messiah dazed and confused , while mumbling to himself ” But was it something I ate ” ?

    However , it has surely crossed the mind of any historical detective as to why he didn’t hang around very long (no pun intended ) before ”ascending to Heaven ”….well , it wouldn’t of taken very long for word to get back to the Romans that the rabble rouser they had recently crucified was now waltzing around the Judean hills claiming to be none other than the ”Son of God ” !….being practical people , they would have sent out an armed patrol with express orders to ” Get that Holy fool and this time make sure he’d dead …or you’ll be hanging up on the cross with him ” !…..ooooh sobering words indeed ?

    That gentle soul was probably intoxicated by his own resurrection , but in moments of sober reflexion probably had second thoughts, wisely noting that if those Romans had merely made a mistake , they would never make it twice !…he didn’t ascend to Heaven , but merely ascended to Lebanon or Syria ; he got the hell out of Dodge while he still could , but after all , who could blame him ?…hanging up on that cross all day long in the hot sun and flies would surely sober up even the most religiously intoxicated

    And the rest , as they say is merely History ….history does indeed quite often pivot and turn on the most mundane , ridiculous , or even hilarious events ….”Always look on the bright side of Life ” !

  151. Buford T Justice

    Well alright , so I’m taking historical liberties by claiming that he changed his name and ascended to Syria ; in all probability , he lived for a few days , maybe even a week , before succumbing to blood poisoning and was then quietly buried by his most loyal disciples who then told his increduous supporters that the ”Messiah had indeed ascended to Heaven ”…but the point is that he lived long enough to spark off a ”cult of resurection ” among primitive , ignorant , superstitious ,Mediterranean peasants …he also , fortunately , had a true beliver in the Apostle Paul , with a first class mind , who almost single handedly turning an obscure mystery cult into a major religion…way to go dude , way to facking go !

  152. (Odd; no trouble posting on other threads; it’s Guercino’s fault, never mind that he’s dead!)

  153. [i dont know what happened to quarantine this comment, tony. found two duplicates, so many that raised a red flag. i was driving at night and couldnt play with phone,]

    [Tony, Steve50 — a couple of your one-line remarks got lost in the spam pile, but I found them. They’re up there now, several steps above.]

  154. “go, and sin no more”

    In modern translations of the Bible that verse reads: “Go and sin no more. As if.”

  155. I did save this post from many hours ago that didn’t get rescued. (It’s not every day that I name-drop Guercino.)

    Recently I was looking at Guercino’s “Woman Taken in Adultery,” and it got me thinking about the Bible passage and how it contains two useful messages, but only the first one gets much attention. The “let he that is without sin cast the first stone” gets the hype, usually to score — valid — points against the fundamentalists. The next part, when she’s told “go, and sin no more” is virtually ignored.

  156. Is that the translation by Alicia Silverstone?

  157. “Go and sin no more. As if.”

    Is that the Alicia Silverstone version?

  158. Lots of Bible verses dont get quoted much or stitched on needlepoint pillows.
    ISAIAH
    11 I, the LORD, will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their sin. I will crush the arrogance of the proud and the haughtiness of the mighty.
    13 I, the LORD Almighty, will show my fury and fierce anger.
    15 Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword.
    16 Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes.

  159. Eek.
    I should get paid for even trying to clean up that one. Here goes nothing:
    The stuff that’s going on in 15 and 16 isn’t being done by God himself. People will do that stuff to each other, because…
    I can’t do it, and this is another reason why I am not a fundamentalist!

  160. That’s a very good point, Tony. Important distinction. Thanks. That’s such a good point you make, I’m going to act like the point you’re making is part of the point I’m making: Men will do horrendous things and then claim they were just carrying out God’s will.…. “I, the Lord, have dedicated these soldiers for this task.
    Yes, I have called mighty warriors to express my anger.”.. Let’s win this one for the Gipper. Anorther thing, this chapter in Isaiah is all about destroying Babylon… (Iraq)

  161. Verse 11 in its entirety: Isaiah 13:11 “I, the Lord, will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their sin. I will crush the arrogance of the proud and humble the pride of the mighty.” — The Lord takes the Oscars pretty seriously.

  162. Like just about all Catholics, I have no idea where my bibles are.

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