As we do every year on this occasion, we have duly decorated the Palace’s hallowed shrine to PZ Myers, Patron Saint of Perry Street Palace, to celebrate The Great Tentacled One’s successful completion of yet another orbit around our sun. Longtime Loyal Readers will recall that in February of 2011, PZ generously published our silly little screed In Defense of Mockery on his Pharyngula blog—an all-time favorite of ours. The Palace gained Many Tens of Loyal Readers™ that day, for which PZ will always have our undying appreciation and affection. Since then he has continued to be amazingly supportive: PZ cross-posted our Casualties of War; and just this past year he signal boosted Dear Friend: Words Have Meanings—and goaded those pestilent apes of the Forced Birth Brigades to dare come over to the Palace and read it. And Christ, did they ever. Fortunately PZ’s infamous Horde followed, and did what they always do: expertly deployed the heavy artillery in the battles that ensued.
This was also a year that saw PZ finally break ties with longtime BFF Richard Dawkins, though not before a lot of hand-holding, patient explanation and hopeful optimism that in the end proved to be utterly futile and entirely undeserved. It is an extraordinarily difficult thing to write off people you have long admired and with whom you have invested time in a shared purpose. Hell, The Dawk broke my heart; I can only imagine the sting for someone who also considered him a friend. But it mattered, to me at least, that PZ ultimately stood on principle, and did so in the face of an onslaught of petty and nasty attacks from the Great Horsedouche himself and his many misogynist minions.
This is what being an ally looks like.
It has also become our tradition to offer up a smattering of quotes from the Overlord, and here are a few we collected over the last twelve months. Please enjoy, and stick around for the traditional Red Velvet cake & beer celebration.
I don’t target particular religions for bad conclusions — I detest them all for having bad methodologies. –PZ Myers
We try. We really try. But no matter how progressive the state might be, we’re still afflicted with horrible, demented people who run for office. Fortunately, there’s a tell: they always join the Republican party. –PZ Myers
I could do this all day, inventing pseudo-scientific evo-psych rationalizations for why particular stone age tasks shaped brains in a sex-specific manner, but at least I wouldn’t be doing it to somehow magically always fit 21st century Western cultural expectations. But I can’t, because it’s stupid. –PZ Myers
I won’t dignify religious rules with the word “morality”. A true human morality has to be founded on our obligations to one another, rather than to an imaginary figurehead. –PZ Myers
Values? It seems to me that the churches have always been far behind the enlightened members of society, changing only in response to fairly intense pressure to accommodate — see anything to do with race or sex for examples of religion failing and humanist ideals having to first flatten the religious bullshit to get through to people. –PZ Myers
If religion were really about human wellbeing, then the churches would be at the forefront of the struggle for LGBTQ rights, for instance; they’d all be citing the scriptures that say that all human beings are equally deserving of happiness, and that you shouldn’t oppress or harm people for not behaving in private the way you want them to. The problem is that there are no scriptures like that. –PZ Myers
We don’t need love for an invisible man to motivate us; how about instead being motivated by love for the very real human beings around us? How about redirecting that natural desire for service to helping people who need it, rather than trying to please an imaginary creature? Especially when that imaginary creature, by your own holy books, will not be satisfied with anything less than an eternity of servile worship. –PZ Myers
I’m going to have to write off Richard Dawkins now. He’s been eaten by the brain parasites. –PZ Myers
And for good measure:
Fuck you, Sam Harris, you incompetent amoral hack, smug apologist for monsters. –PZ Myers
Thank you, PZ. And happy, happy birthday. Long may you mock.