killing butterflies for fun???

Neil Jones neil at
Thu Jul 11 13:52:32 EDT 2002

On Monday 08 July 2002 10:59 pm, Stan Gorodenski wrote:
> Neil Jones wrote:
> > On Monday 08 July 2002 01:18 pm, you wrote:
> > > Neil,
> > >
> > > You quoted the Bible in your post to me in response to my post to those
> > > wretches in Mass. about the "Golden Banded Skipper"? You say that
> > > homosexuality is NOT immoral? Read what St. Paul say about it.

> I deleted everything that was offensively and impolitely stated. The
> result is that there is nothing worthwhile responding to. Cannot there
> be more civility? The things I snipped appeared to be the kinds of 'name
> calling' tactics someone employs who cannot logically argue an issue.
> Stan

Come on Stan. Lighten up a bit.  You obviously mistake my humour for anger.
I will reply to you on this but I think we are all getting tired of this 
topic.Perhaps we can change the subject?

 Certainly in my society ignorant bigotry is something that is often poked 
fun at. Yes, I hope it stung Alex Grkovich. It is about time something did.
Thanks to him, for just one example,  there are a load of people in 
Massachusetts who now believe that butterfly collectors are a bunch of 
obsessive nuts. I know this from my private correspondence and from the fact 
he got barred from their list. Consequently collecting is one small step 
closer to being banned, which you do not want either. 

There are both serious and logical issues at stake here. The risk of 
religious extremism of all forms is widely acknowledged as a threat to 
science. It isn't just the problem of the nuts who want to ban the proper 
teaching of biology either.(It is not much of a problem in the christian 
world outside the USA). Only his week there was an article in the Times 
newspaper , a paper that is here regarded as the bastion of conservative 
It quoted  Lord Robert May who is, I believe, the current President of the 
Royal Society, our most prestigious scientific organisation. The article said 
that he "was not slow in rallying to the anti-philistine colours".
quoting him as being against "fundamentalist belief systems, in both the West 
and the East, whose essence is authoritarian, seeking to suppress questioning 
and to limit people's lives."

Finally, I don't think my  style  of opposition to literal biblical bigottry 
is unknown in the USA either. The following is an extract from the very 
popular political TV drama, "The West Wing". Here a  fictional US president 
is issuing a put down to a religious bigot who is doing just what Alex 
Grkovich was; using the Bible as an excuse for blind fear and discrimination.
BTW I have no idea as to the accuracy of the biblical quotes . (Like nearly 
everyone in the UK I am not  a believer and therefore I do not own a Bible.) 
It is the attitude this piece shows that matters.

"President Bartlet (Martin Sheen): I like how you call homosexuality an 
Jenna Jacobs: I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President, the 
Bible does.
President Bartlet: Yes, it does. Leviticus.
Jenna Jacobs: 18:22.
President Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of 
questions while I have you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest 
daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown 
sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her 
turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I 
ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. 
Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to 
kill him myself or is it OK to call the police? Here's one that's really 
important because we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the 
skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear 
gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can 
West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my 
brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother 
in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different 
threads? "Think about that, will you? Oh, and one last thing. You may have 
mistaken this for your meeting of the ignorant tight-asses club but in this 
building, when the President stands, nobody sits.

Neil Jones- Neil at
"At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
National Nature Reserve


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