Archive for the 'Christian Right' Category

Our post-Constitutional era.

Nov 30, 2011 in Abortion, Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Constitution, Disappointing Dems, Politics, Religion, Sophistry, Straight-up madness, teh gay, Torture, War on Terra, Where's the outrage?!?!

This is becoming inevitable, as the Republican Party, while ever ready to say the word, “Constitution,” is a complete and udder fraud on the subject, and has categorically dismissed most of the Amendments and the underlying philosophy behind the Constitution’s writing.

Now, I know it is required that I disclose the presence of a certain contingent of chickenshit Democrats who regularly cave whenever Republicans get hot and bothered, but they’re never the driving force, and they’re a minority within the Democrat Party, so there. It’s the wholly unbridled unified army of the Republican Order that drives an agenda that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, except as their protections pertain to white Christian heterosexual males.

1. They’re actively pro-torture, even though they square that by declaring any form of torture they like to not be torture. Simple, right? Not only is the Constitution unambiguously against cruel or unusual punishment, i.e. torture, but the entire history of the country at war has hewn to the same principles. Ronald Reagan was explicit in his condemnation of torture. The Republican Party today is best represented by Rick Santorum telling John McCain that he doesn’t understand torture.

2. They’re consistently against or dismissive of the religious freedom of gays, gay-supporting straights, Wiccans, atheists, Muslims. That the First Amendment ever be read in context with a world of varying beliefs is verboten. It’s about the Christian right to inject Christianity into anything they do, even and especially as a public employee. But when it comes to gays, the Christian right directly posits its beliefs as important enough to cancel out those of gays and to directly affect how gays live their lives by forbidding them marriage. The thought that Jesus might look kindly upon a loving gay couple cannot be entertained.

3. Search and seizure, forget it! Everything is open, up for grabs, ready to be peeped upon by Uncle Sam whenever he wants. The Drug War paved the way, the War on Terror planted the settlement and opened shop. Merely being suspected of having drugs can result in asset forfeiture, meaning your property rights are violated without due process, the police department acting as judge and jury. The burden of proof is often reversed onto suspects in such cases, and property is rarely returned regardless of charges.

Every phone and internet conversation has been opened up, and siphons through the NSA’s data miners.

Binney, for his part, believes that the agency now stores copies of all e-mails transmitted in America, in case the government wants to retrieve the details later. In the past few years, the N.S.A. has built enormous electronic-storage facilities in Texas and Utah. Binney says that an N.S.A. e-mail database can be searched with “dictionary selection,” in the manner of Google. After 9/11, he says, “General Hayden reassured everyone that the N.S.A. didn’t put out dragnets, and that was true. It had no need—it was getting every fish in the sea.”
Binney considers himself a conservative, and, as an opponent of big government, he worries that the N.S.A.’s data-mining program is so extensive that it could help “create an Orwellian state.” Whereas wiretap surveillance requires trained human operators, data mining is automated, meaning that the entire country can be watched. Conceivably, U.S. officials could “monitor the Tea Party, or reporters, whatever group or organization you want to target,” he says. “It’s exactly what the Founding Fathers never wanted.”

Power creeps, as the Founders realized, and always, always had to be balanced.

4. While ever ready to claim that rights not spelled out in the Constitution aren’t really rights, directly contradicting the Ninth Amendment, the Republican Party has declared that money equals speech. Why then should I be punished for bribing a police officer or judge? I’m merely talking to the them.

No, anybody knows exactly what money in politics means, it means buying politicians, period. Money buys politicians, it buys media outlets, it pays people to spout theories that testify to the greatness of the wealthy, and it’s all done for the sake of ever more money. As Danny DeVito said in The Heist, “That’s why they call it money.” It’s not the same as speaking your mind, it’s engaging in a transaction. There’s a reason “money talks” is a cliche. With money, speech isn’t so important anymore. It becomes the pretty envelope on a fat wad of cash.

5. Nor does it say anywhere in the Constitution that corporations constitute distinct immortal citizens with full rights. The very construction of a corporation is a legal designation, a product of government legislation. Who ever talks about it in those terms? Certainly not Republicans. Apparently God made corporations?

Ruling in Citizens United that not only could these corporations donate unlimited funds to candidates, but do so anonymously? Does anybody on this planet think the politicians don’t know exactly who donated? It merely creates a gigantic firewall against the public, keeping them out of the process, refusing to tell them who’s bought their supposed representative.

Jesus declared that the rich would not easily find their way into Heaven. He said no such thing about those with lots of opinions. Yet a party built on Judeo-Christian superiority delivers the sentiment, “money equals speech,” to us with deeply sincere faces, even strident faces. Add to that, “a corporation is a person,” whereas one soulless legal entity is equated to a human being, and the conundrum deepens. How do these people maintain such cognitive dissonance? With great strain.

6. Indefinite detention. Like torture, it is the complete and utter opposite of each and every plank, nail, and window in the Constitution’s house. It is the Gulag. It is the dungeon. It is the concentration camp. And now one of the two major parties has not merely let it fly under their radar, but made it their agenda. Take a few Dem politican scalps if you will, but only lefties and a few libertarians (where are you guys when we need you?) are going to bring this fight at all. Lesson from 2010: Letting more Republicans get into office is not a solution.

7. General Welfare: Abolishing the EPA? YHGTBFKM (You have got to be fucking kidding me). The Koch brothers need to dump more poison in our groundwater, Michele, won’t you help them?

The entire concept of the general welfare of the country has completely evacuated the Republican Party. In their eyes, fuck the general welfare. People get what they deserve, and if your life sucks, blame yourself. Of course, if everybody did a lot more looking in the mirror at themselves, we wouldn’t have many Republicans left. Instead, they survey only the oily shell of the individual, and perceive nothing of the complex lattice-work of society that supports their existence.

If you don’t fund schools, you end up living in a world of noisy uneducated people giving you rotten service, and you can only keep moving to new suburbs so long. If you don’t fund police departments, you end up with high crime rates and decreased property values. If you fund prisons while not funding rehab clinics, your Drug War will result in financial incentives that outweigh regular crime prevention. A Drug War waged primarily on minorities will turn jail into a martyrdom ritual, and your children will revere felons as heroes.

President Obama turned the health care system into a universal program, for which he is reviled by the right (not to ignore the political convenience…had there perhaps been a President Romney in 2008, his Massachusetts plan would be considered to be a rightful and just conservative blueprint to accomplish the goals of liberals through free-market means). The rather explicit permission of the Commerce Clause gives the government more than fair leeway to point out that uninsured people merely transfer the cost of their care to others. A mandate is really little more than a distribution of that cost among all citizens. You might not like it, but who’s going to be there for you if you have a stroke in twenty minutes and spend your remaining decades fully paralyzed?

8. Abortion. The government should enter the womb and put up a sign telling the mother to keep providing the nutrients but she’s not in charge anymore? That assertion of domain over the entirety of her body and its natural processes isn’t listed in the Constitution as a specific right, thus it does not exist?

As I mentioned, this is in direct violation of the Ninth Amendment, which explicitly states that the enumeration of certain rights is not meant to disparage the others. The Constitution is not a finite list of rights, and it says so clearly! And it certainly grants the government no power over a woman’s reproductive process. Anti-abortion sentiments were rare at the time of the writing of the Constitution, unfit for a special extension of government powers. And yet as the subject has become a crusade for religious fundamentalists, attempts to justify its Constitutionality have naturally occurred. Their crowing is as predictable as a rooster.

______

Republicans have in many cases not merely gone passive about certain rights, they’ve turned outright aggressive against them. Such a republic facing this prospect would rightly be deemed to be in or near its death throes, about to face a civil war. No matter how casually Republicans treat the Constitution, they’re emphatic about it, often moreso than Democrats. And that should just never be the case, because the only people I see left standing up for the Constitution anymore are left. And if libertarians were to be believed for half the things they say about liberty, there wouldn’t be Republican majorities anywhere.

-hw

Shiny objects.

Nov 07, 2011 in Christian Right, Women

Hey, deadbeat dads, you too can get an award for upholding family values, even if you owe six figures in child support! Just hate teh gay and women.

-hw

Republican paradise.

Jun 08, 2011 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives

Ali should enjoy this:

With Tea Party conservatives and many Republicans balking at raising the debt ceiling, let me offer them an example of a nation that lives up to their ideals.

It has among the lowest tax burdens of any major country: fewer than 2 percent of the people pay any taxes. Government is limited, so that burdensome regulations never kill jobs.

This society embraces traditional religious values and a conservative sensibility. Nobody minds school prayer, same-sex marriage isn’t imaginable, and criminals are never coddled. The budget priority is a strong military, the nation’s most respected institution. When generals decide on a policy for, say, Afghanistan, politicians defer to them. Citizens are deeply patriotic, and nobody burns flags.

So what is this Republican Eden, this Utopia? Why, it’s Pakistan.

It’s really not that difficult to notice that most of human history involves very concentrated wealth among a tiny group of elites while the bulk of humanity is left to toil away in poverty for the few crumbs necessary to keep the machine chugging along. It’s never in the nature of those elites to surrender wealth or power on their own. Far more often, the masses have to resort to revolution. Why should today’s dynamics be any different? Usually the answer is some incoherent ranting about America being exceptional, God’s preferred country, etc. The point that Pakistan is Muslim explains enough for most Republicans. Yet the Christian God exhorted each follower to reject wealth entirely, and was very explicit about this throughout the New Testament. Such sentiments did drive many of the efforts of the 20th century that gave America a prosperous middle class, but the climate today has turned quite sharply against any effort to redirect the flow of capital anywhere other than upwards.

Already that limp fool Tim Pawlenty is trying to stir up the base and score some points by saying Obama engages in “class warfare.” Naturally, “class warfare” is already underway, what Pawlenty means is the middle and lower class daring to fight back. The world is full of what happens if we don’t.

-hw

Playing victim is one of the most consistent strategies among bigots.

Feb 09, 2011 in Christian Right, teh gay

Looks like Iowa Republicans are introducing a bill that would legalize just about any form of bigotry and discrimination by businesses if the person working there says it’s their religion.

Of course, the bill is designed to be a Jim Crow law for gays, but the wording is pretty loose and could apply to any marriage the person found objectionable.

Either way, this is utterly indefensible, but it’s representative of the mentality of bigotry.

In order to justify their desire to discriminate against gay people, the few remaining homophobes have concocted a scenario where they are The Real Victims. They can say what they want, set up churches or mosques that preach what they want, and turn away gay people from their homes every day of the week if they so desire—and I would defend every one of those rights to the last ditch. There is only one thing they can’t do. They can’t choose to offer a service to the general public, and then turn people away on the basis of race or sexuality. They can’t put up de facto signs saying ‘No blacks, no Irish, no gays’ at their B&B.

Precisely. The victimhood must be shifted to the bigot. Naturally, this argument was used against blacks and other minorities, most recently by Rand Paul. Who is the government to tell you you have to let a black person buy your gas? Many variants involve turning tolerance around to say that tolerance also must include the intolerant…except they mean to the point of letting them actually practice that intolerance, thereby changing nothing.

This isn’t a form of prejudice—it is a way of preventing prejudice.

But it’s teh gay, and these so-called Christians simply can’t control their hatred enough to treat them as the American citizens they are.

-hw

Obama is more of a Christian than Glenn Beck.

Sep 03, 2010 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives

Ways to kill a room full of babbling rightwingers saying Obama isn’t Christian: Point out that Glenn Beck’s Mormon Space-Jesus-who-hung-out-with-Jewish-Indians-as-told-by-con-man-Joseph-Smith is barely “Christian” itself.

Mormons are about as goofy as Scientologists, it’s just that they aren’t running an blatant scheme to get every last dollar out of your pocket. But they’re willing to work with Catholics and Protestants for causes like hating the gays and controlling wombs. So they get the pass. If you’re liberal and Christian, no matter how much more closely you may actually hew to the words of Jesus, you’re suspect. Obama doesn’t run around waving a Bible or getting into wars because God told him to, so he’d already be suspect, but add the opportunity to suspect he’s Muslim too (even if it’s via an absentee atheist father) and the rabid right simply can’t control themselves.

Sadly, what we’ve lost is respect for the Constitution here, which requires that no religious test be required for office. That shouldn’t just be a technicality, it should inform our entire understanding of public office holders. It shouldn’t matter if they’re Mormon, Scientologist, Catholic, Wiccan, Jewish, Atheist, or Muslim, or any other particular variety of creed. But our discourse is ruled by a pack of wild hyenas who babble about the Constitution out one side of their mouth while shitting all over it the second it stands in the way of their tribalist mania.

-hw

Richard Cohen wants to sell you some merch.

Jan 04, 2010 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Politics, teh gay

Right-wing, evangelical Christians looking to profit from culture war anxieties have a pretty good scam going. Present yourself as an expert in a field that dove-tails with your culture war issue of choice and then set up a non-profit where suckers can donate cash, buy your self-help materials and pay to hear your lectures. During the last decade these operations became even more lucrative as the Bush administration sought to funnel tax dollars into faith-based schemes like abstinence only education. The fact that it doesn’t work didn’t matter. The Christian Right voting block wanted some payback for their organizational efforts and thought they could save babies by telling girls that they’re guaranteed to get venereal diseases and die if they touch a boy’s pee pee. Richard Cohen has made a comfortable living by selling books and CDs (some cost up to $350) to parents that believe that they can cure their children of homosexuality and save them from a life of sin. I pointed out here how those selling the idea of homosexuality as a psychological disorder base their premises on the work of the universally discredited, hate-group leader Paul Cameron.

Uganda has always been a popular stepping stone within evangelical circles so it’s no surprise to find that Richard Cohen and his usual troupe of salesmen have been trying to push their wares. Christian friendly Uganda has a comfortable relationship with religious industries like the 700 Club or charismatics like Benny Hinn who can go set up a “ministry” there and solicit donations on behalf of the locals. These organizations can then use the ministry as a means of income for themselves under the guise of “administrative costs” while their congregation gets to relieve the burden on their heavy souls by way of their wallets. Uganda makes for a friendlier environment than say, nearby Sudan where proselytizing might cost you your head.

The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was “the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda” — and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family.

For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”

Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.

More consequences that, omg! Nobody could have predicted!:

Human rights advocates in Uganda say the visit by the three Americans helped set in motion what could be a very dangerous cycle. Gay Ugandans already describe a world of beatings, blackmail, death threats like “Die Sodomite!” scrawled on their homes, constant harassment and even so-called correctional rape.

“Now we really have to go undercover,” said Stosh Mugisha, a gay rights activist who said she was pinned down in a guava orchard and raped by a farmhand who wanted to cure her of her attraction to girls. She said that she was impregnated and infected with H.I.V., but that her grandmother’s reaction was simply, “ ‘You are too stubborn.’ ”

Despite such attacks, many gay men and lesbians here said things had been getting better for them before the bill, at least enough to hold news conferences and publicly advocate for their rights. Now they worry that the bill could encourage lynchings. Already, mobs beat people to death for infractions as minor as stealing shoes.

Good job, guys! Hope you did well at the merch table!

“Experts” and the basis for their expertise.

Dec 10, 2009 in Christian Right, Politics, teh gay

Richard A. Cohen bills himself as a “sexual orientation expert”. He works under the auspices of the International Healing Foundation, a nonprofit and tax-exempt organization founded by him in 1990 to “treat” same-sex attraction. His is not a licensed therapist. He avoids state licensing requirements by asking for donations to his foundations instead of payment. Cohen has been permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association after repeated ethics violations. To provide the illusion of authority he uses the work of Paul Cameron as “scientific” backing for his premises. If you haven’t already heard of him, here’s some information about expert Dr. Cameron:

  • On December 2, 1983, the American Psychological Association sent Paul Cameron a letter informing him that he had been dropped from membership. Early in 1984, all members of the American Psychological Association received official written notice that “Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists” by the APA Board of Directors.
  • At its membership meeting on October 19, 1984, the Nebraska Psychological Association adopted a resolution stating that it “formally disassociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality.”
  • In 1985, the American Sociological Association (ASA) adopted a resolution which asserted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” and noted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.” The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.
  • In August, 1996, the Canadian Psychological Association adopted the following policy statement: The Canadian Psychological Association takes the position that Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism and thus, it formally disassociates itself from the representation and interpretations of scientific literature in his writings and public statements on sexuality.

Cameron also runs a non-profit organization called the Family Research Institute that is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The FRI receives funds via non disclosed private donations and refuses to allow peer review of their “research” which invariably concludes that homosexuality is a sickness and that homosexuals themselves are unrepentant pedophiles and disease carriers that should be isolated and even branded for identification purposes.

Maddow does a terrific job of detailing how beyond Cohen’s anecdotal statements about being a “cured” homosexual he has a complete lack of credibility or credentials and regardless of the “loving and caring” spin he wants to put on it, his junk science is lending credibility to those that wish to not only deprive homosexuals of their basic civil rights but actually kill them.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

-mg

Zing!

Nov 29, 2009 in Christian Right, Religion

Sullivan gives the pious both barrels:

It’s staggering really that modern American Christianism supports wealth while Jesus demanded total poverty, fetishizes family while Jesus left his and urged his followers to abandon wives, husbands and children, champions politics while Jesus said his kingdom was emphatically not of this world, defends religious war where Jesus sought always peace, and backs torture, which is what the Romans did to Jesus.

And obsesses over abortion, which is hardly mentioned at all in the Bible and requires creative and selective interpretation to conjure a moral opinion on the subject. And opposes taxing the rich to heal the poor.

Look, the New Testament wouldn’t have made it far if we didn’t have Paul to gloss over the Gospels and bring things back around to Old Testament style shepherding of unwieldy and sinful humans. Jesus survives as the model of a very nice person, but he was quickly morphed into a carrot to keep people out of Hell. Now Americans have turned Christ into an ATM and mega-churches kindly keep their flock poor and devotional, relieving them of their corruptive moneys.

It’s important to note that Andrew refers to “Christianism,” the conflation of rightwing politics with Jesus’ completely unrelated teachings, which gets practiced at least more loudly than Christianity in our society. But it’s defined itself as the real face of Christianity, wrapped in the American flag. It’s easy not to belong, but less easy to be heard. Many simply eschew any label at all, keeping their prayers private and their deeds under the radar. Some people embody the conflict, possessing both the virtues and the vices of Christianity, pious at times and deeply principled at others. Yet our balance is precarious, and wisdom is scattering thin and far.

On that note, let the War on Christmas begin!

-jb

A picture is worth a thousand words and all that.

Sep 23, 2009 in Christian Right, Foreign Policy, Iran, Politics

If Ahmadinejad makes a speech and no one is there to hear it did it really happen?

I am so so glad this little man can now give a speech without the right wing fringers pissing their pants in fear all over the networks. I mean, they still do quiver and quake but a least we don’t have to endure the humiliation of our president doing the same.

-mg

More right wing victimology. Chritianist Edition.

Apr 18, 2009 in Christian Right, Religion

I was reading Red State and came across a terrific example of how even the most innocuous events can be construed as an “attack” to those looking to portray themselves as an embattled victim. For effect I’m going to quote the post in reverse order by putting the Obama quote first and the commentary second to hightlight the author’s interpretation. The title of the post is “Barack Obama, the Anti-Christian President.”

“Whatever we once were, we’re no longer just a Christian Nation; we are also Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu Nation, and a nation of non-believers.” Barack Obama in an email to CBN News, June 2007

Barack Obama declares the end of Judeo-Christian influence in the United States:

To writer mailloux, mentioning Judaism and Islam as having important roles alongside Christianity is interpreted as declaring the “end of Judeo-Christian influence”. Whether it is either a willful or unintentional misreading of a straight-forward commentary on the uncontroversial religious diversity of the United States, it assumes that President Obama has special authority in matters of religious influence. Just like the right-wings simplistic definition of what makes the media liberal (if you’re not actively promoting the Republican agenda then you’re liberal), it is assumed that since Obama isn’t actively advocating Christianity as the state religion he must be anti-Christian.

“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us.”

Barack Obama identifies the Christian right as THE problem:

“The so-called leaders” that are “eager to exploit what divides us” are now associated with the entire Christian Right itself. The wording and the intended meaning of Obama’s statement couldn’t be easier to discern, even by those with a rudimentary knowledge of the language couldn’t interpret it otherwise. To derive an alternate and more sinister meaning one has to be either consciously doing so or genuinely convinced that President Obama is in fact lying about his faith and has an anti-Christian agenda.

The post culminates in this cut and pasted paragraph from CNS News; a right-wing outlet run by frequent FOX News commentator and liberal media conspiracy buff Brent Bozell.

“Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS”–symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ—because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there . . . On Wednesday, CNSNews.com inspected the pediment embedded in the wall at the back of the stage in Gaston Hall, where Obama delivered his speech. The letters “IHS” were not to be found. They appeared to be shrouded with a triangle of black-painted plywood.”

If and only if it can gain him votes during an election does Obama condescend to any association with Christ. Otherwise, make way for the real messiah (aka “The One”). Case in point? Obama speaks at Georgetown University (a Catholic School) and specifically requests that the monogram “IHS” (i.e. Jesus) be covered up so as not to appear over him while he’s delivering his gospel.

In what was most certainly a gesture to ensure that it didn’t look like government was promoting one religion over another or simply preparing a backdrop consistent with other policy speeches the president has made, the president chose to make his address sans the IHS above his head.

Despite statements from the White House and Georgetown University that didn’t lend any credence to the CNS assumption that the stage considerations were an assault on Christians, Red State commenters have made up their minds to the contrary.

Some of my favorite comments can be found below the fold.
(more…)

Reason is the tool of the devil.

Apr 04, 2009 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, teh gay

The obvious is stated openly:

The court held that sexual orientation discrimination should be subject to heightened scrutiny because (1) gays and lesbians have been the victims of discrimination; (2) no other state courts have found orientation relevant to a person’s ability to contribute to society and other state statutes treat sexual orientation as irrelevant; (3) sexual orientation is “central to personal identity” and “highly resistance to change”; (4) and gays and lesbians lack political power as evidenced by their failure to convince a legislature to redefine marriage.

The “saving the children!” defense that anti-gay activists try was shredded:

It said that maintenance of the tradition of marriage is not a justification. It believed there was “an abundance of evidence and research” showing “the interests of children are served equally by same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents” and opinions to the contrary “were largely unsupported by reliable scientific studies. The court said the statute did not promote the welfare of children because (1) it does not exclude all bad parents from marriage which “tends to demonstrate that the sexual-orientation-based classification is grounded in prejudice,” (2) same-sex couples are already raising children, (3) the statute will not result in fewer children being raised in same-sex relationships, (4) some couples who don’t have children can marry, and (5) excluding same-sex couples from marriage does not “encourage stability in opposite-sex relationships.”

I’m impressed that this anti-gay activist can actually bear to cite the reasoning against him. Of course, he tries some limp-wristed slap back, but it’s such a flaccid effort you can feel the resignation settling into his bones as he phones it in:

The decision was unanimous that the marriage law is unconstitutional. It distorted the state’s interests in the marriage law and engaged in a little bit of mind-reading to suggest that the real reason a person would be concerned with redefining marriage is religious belief and that, the court thinks, is no real reason at all.

Oh, gee, where would the court have gotten the idea that religion had something to do with it?

But besides that, rewind a few sentences. The non-religious case was also addressed and dismantled. All that was left standing was the religious rationale, which requires a great deal of deceit to present as something other than overwhelming cause for most anti-gay activists. It isn’t just a minor reason, it’s the ultimate reason for most of them. There is no mind-reading required. The most religious are the most opposed, and they, insanely, believe that allowing gays their religious beliefs is an affront to their beliefs. “Marriage is sacred.” “Adam and Eve, not Steve!” “It is an abomination!” “You’re changing what marriage is!”

And, you know, all that stuff Jesus said about how it’s bad to be gay.

Er…

Really, you’re going to downplay the religious component of the argument against gay marriage? You’re going to try gaming me with some pseudo-Darwinist babble about “preserving” marriage (as if the government letting gays also marry destroys anything), and how marriage just has ONE purpose? That’s your big rallying cry? “For teh children!!!” It’s all sales. Slapping God’s name on your icky feelings is the engine under the hood.

This is America. Believe what you want, and act accordingly in your life. But this country is for freedom of religion, not freedom of your religion to dictate the lives of others. This much is bloody obvious.

-jb

The victorious conscience.

Dec 12, 2008 in Christian Right, teh gay

Support caring for the environment, getting squishy on gay marriage, AND you voted for Obama?

“It was time for him to go,” Tom Minnery, a Focus on the Family senior vice president, said Thursday. “He no longer represents the view of evangelicalism. He has not represented those views for some time.”

The man in question is Rev. Richard Cizik.

A fixture in Washington for nearly three decades, Cizik has played a key role in bringing evangelical Christian concerns to the political table. But in recent years, he earned enemies in the movement for pushing to broaden the evangelical agenda. His strongest focus was on “creation care,” arguing that evangelicals have a biblical responsibility to the environment that includes combatting global warming.

To be fair, Cizik doesn’t come out in support of gay marriage, officially, though his comments weren’t firm enough to please those adamant that their religion dictates the citizenship status of homosexuals. His thoughts represent a mind struggling to put aside extremism and reconcile his conscience with the world around him and those in need of his compassion, rather than use a few passages in the Bible selectively to foster hatred and discrimination. Civil unions are still a form of second-class treatment for gays, but it’s more than many evangelicals can bear to “suffer.”

Still, there is pressure on Cizik to recant, and he is staying out of the limelight. It’s important for those who are supportive of equal rights and religious (especially those who are supportive of equal rights because of their religion) to reach out to him and others like him.

-jb

Abortion irrelevancy.

Dec 09, 2008 in Christian Right, Culture

At the risk of starting up a storm of emotional claptrap, I’m unimpressed with this report that women who’ve had abortions have no discernible difference in mental health long term than control groups.

I mean, it’s interesting, I’m just saying it’s completely irrelevant to the abortion debate. People don’t want to criminalize it because they think mothers will be depressed by it later, and the ability of things to depress one has no bearing on their legality. We have a right to do things that we may regret or feel depressed about later, including most of the things that lead to an abortion, even though that frustrates the godless priests who seek to control women’s bodies for them and punish frivolous sex with multiple babies, which is akin to shitting on your cornflakes to displace unwanted milk. I don’t need to be overrun by poor fatherless children adorned upon the earth via a misplaced crusade to reduce extraneous boning. I just needed a good woman who is at no risk of turning into such a crusader, thus killing my passion and casting me about in search of more extraneous boning, and so I was blessed. I imagine most women who have had abortions waited until they were with the right person to have a child, and that’s why they’re happy.

-jb

It’s hard out there for a pimp.

Nov 24, 2008 in Christian Right

Ted Haggard, supposedly cured of homosexuality, preached a sermon about an hour east of here on Highway 30 and I missed it!:

Haggard said he would walk around his church in the middle of the night, at war with himself, telling God to “do whatever it takes to deliver me. I’ll lay anything on the altar. I hate this thing. But, there were times when I love it.” Haggard said he could not believe what was going on inside of him. In October 2006, praying and fasting, he vowed never to do it again. And then, he said, he felt as if the devil spoke to him. “All hell will break loose on you because of this.” A month later, the story broke, and his world came crumbling down. “I sinned,” Haggard told the congregation. “I really did sin. And I’m very, very sorry that I sinned. And if any of you are in sin right now, it’s going to cost you more than you could ever imagine.”

Ted Haggard didn’t suffer because homosexuality is a sin. He suffers because of the lies he told to conceal his sexuality and had he not built a career upon those lies he would not have suffered the way he did. Worse, he’s using the disgusting stereotype of homosexuals as pederasts to explain away his past behaviors. As long as Ted Haggard keeps telling himself and everyone around him that he is a heterosexual male afflicted with homosexual deviancies he will continue to be tormented.

-mg

What crazy?

Nov 19, 2008 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives

John Cole dashes off a quick list for our retrospective appreciation:

For those freaking out at the Kathleen Parker column, a couple quick thoughts:

1.) Justice (“Just Us”) Sunday
2.) Schiavo legislation
3.) Jesus is my philosopher.
4.) Michael J. Fox must be mocked for wanting stem cell research.
5.) The never-ending fake war on Christmas (Christmas keeps kicking ass, btw, and shows no sign of ending. Funny, that).
6.) Federal Marriage Amendment and the never ending gay-bashing as wedge issue.
7.) Evangelical support for torture.
8.) The ceaseless idiocy about displays of the Ten Commandments.
9.) Pharmacists for Life deciding that they get to choose whether or not you need your prescribed medicine.
10.) School prayer arguments.
11.) Demanding that intelligent design (aka creationism) be taught.
12.) Meddling in the FDA.
13.) Abstinence only as the only sex-ed.
14.) The take-over at the Justice Department from the God Squad.
15.) Goodness. How could I have forgotten Phil Kline, who wanted to rifle through medical records to prosecute people for abortion? Phil Kline is not a Democrat.
16.) And how about the opposition to the human papillomavirus vaccine, choosing to pretend their kids don’t have sex over the prevention of cervical cancer.

We can’t leave such things in the dust quickly enough. Elections matter.

-jb

If you hate teh gay, the Constitution is your enemy.

Aug 20, 2008 in Christian Right, teh gay

Orson Scott Card, via Sully (can’t help it):

If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die,”

The more anti-gay activists realize that their wishes aren’t Constitutional, the happier I’ll be. Judges permitting gay marriage aren’t “activist” judges (9 out of 10 rightwingers can’t even explain what they mean by that term…actually, 10 out of 10, since I haven’t heard a coherent explanation yet), they’re simply recognizing the fact that the Constitution doesn’t permit the government to deny gay citizens their equality.

-jb

What would Brian Boitano do?

Jul 10, 2008 in Christian Right

Pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t approve of this either…

Two years ago on Thanksgiving Day, after refusing to pray at his table, Hall said he was told to go sit somewhere else. In another incident, when he was nearly killed during an attack on his Humvee, he said another soldier asked him, “Do you believe in Jesus now?”

Hall isn’t seeking compensation in his lawsuit — just the guarantee of religious freedom in the military. Eventually, Hall was sent home early from Iraq and later returned to Fort Riley in Junction City, Kansas, to complete his tour of duty.

He also said he missed out on promotions because he is an atheist.

“I was told because I can’t put my personal beliefs aside and pray with troops I wouldn’t make a good leader,” Hall said.

Michael Weinstein, a retired senior Air Force officer and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is suing along with Hall. Weinstein said he’s been contacted by more than 8,000 members of the military, almost all of them complaining of pressure to embrace evangelical Christianity.

As most should know, thisispretty old news.

While there’s certainly little reason that Christian belief should prohibit one from joining the military (although Christianity might lead one to rethink a military industrial complex and jingoism run wild), one has to wonder why people who feel so strongly about Christianity translate that into such un-Christlike behavior. It’s lose-lose, pissing on Jesus and the Constitution at the same time.

-jb

Goose, Meet Gander

Jun 19, 2008 in Christian Right, Religion, Straight-up madness, things so depressing that categories shun them like wou

Journey with me to the land of let’s-pretend and imagine that this horrible story concerned an Islamic family instead of a Christian one. How loud would the outcry be out there in wingnut-land? How much spittle would fly through Malkin’s teeth as she demanded that the Muslim-hugging liberal press admit, once and for all, that the problem is Islam itself, not some insane dude who never got the memo about not murdering your own children? So-called Christians in the right wing are all about hanging every bad thing done in the name of Allah on Islam itself, but they become suddenly familiar with philosophical nuance when the barbarism begins at home. One gets tired of shouting “Matthew 7:5, you hypocritical scumbags” at the top of one’s lungs, but the work must continue until the message gets through.
-TT

Hark, the hermaphroditic future sings!

Jun 17, 2008 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, teh gay

They really do think you’re a drooling idiot.

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I mean, this is hilarious. But then you remember these unholy bastards call the shots in much of the country, and are gleefully represented by the GOP. The humor quotient dips a little bit after you factor that in…then I see the “Get a free Marriage Protection Kit!” and start laughing again.

Um, then depression again, because I’ve got like twenty years before they come to chop off my junk.

-jb

Hugh Hewitt’s own-goal.

Jun 09, 2008 in Barack Obama, Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Politics, Racism, Religion, Reverend Jeremiah Wright

Hilarious…Hugh Hewitt, the idiot Brian Pickrell wants to be when he grows up, has on his blog a series of posts featuring monthly newsletters written by Jeremiah Wright for Trinity Church that somebody dug up. The rub? The newsletters are pissing off his slobbering rightwing readers because they’re completely boring and positive!

The Hewitt posts, intentionally or not, seem to corroborate Obama’s claims (which to many seemed a bit implausible) that, on a week to week basis, Wright was not serving up loopy views or radical anti-Americanism, but was encouraging personal responsibility and the relatively typical forms of social activism that many churches and synagogues encourage. Hewitt’s readers are getting upset with the postings, because they find them boring and because they understand that the postings strongly disprove the contention that Wright was such a monomaniacal radical that no congregant of moderate political beliefs attending the church or reading the bulletin could have possibly maintained his membership.

Ahhh! Narrative interruption, narrative interruption!!! Hugh Hewitt, you should know your readers have no interest in the truth! The question is, since you have no interest in the truth, what is your rationale for having these newsletters on your blog?

Was Hewitt such a bottom-feeder that he thought merely reminding readers of the existence of Jeremiah Wright would be enough to fuel anti-Obama anger?

This is the best comment I’ve read so far:

After reading all these…

The Trinity church really doesn’t seem all that radical. Most of the content is about personal responsibility, charity, compassion, etc. Decent and virtuous Christian values. Sure, maybe some wackyness here and there, but overall, if this makes someone a “radical”, maybe more of us should become a little more radical.

Seems like the ones most threatened by this one black Christian church are other Christians…Why is that?

Hugh/Duane, if you are truly an evangelical Christians, how can you publish all this and trash what are probably mostly good congregational caring fellow Christians. You said those of us who judged Mitt Romney’s LDS faith as bigots?

Is winning that important to you? More than your faith and it’s underlying values?

Yes. Hewitt is the GOP specialty, the godless priest.

-jb

Concern trolls, get ready to wince.

May 30, 2008 in Christian Right

Truth is a bitch.

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Can’t help but tell it.

In other news, I’ve been finding some aspects of Catholicism to have an appeal, in the way it sometimes does to those of us that don’t take a single word of the Bible literally, but find a pleasant bit of mysticism in attending mass and engaging in other metaphorical efforts (though examples outside of the constraints of Christianity abound). The intersection of Catholicism and Buddhism is weak but not entirely something to sniff at, but I am especially hesitant to give those flapping yahoos (and the pedophile-enabling cynical dandy currently called the pope) in the Vatican an ounce of credence, at least until they actually get a bit more Christ-like and open their doors to homosexuals. I’ve learned a bit more, recently, on the sacrament of marriage, and I didn’t hear a single word that couldn’t have applied to a gay couple. Marriage is life-giving, and they have life to give and receive as well.

In that evolution was undoubtedly the course of “creation,” and that it has moved inexorably towards the development of humananity’s abstract capabilities, the divinity of our higher functions is self-evident, and our rightful mission is to see them used with all the honesty that those who worship the one called Christ believe he used to speak to us.

-jb

Christians so loving they want to parent your children too.

Jan 12, 2008 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Culture, teh gay

Would you like to be able to go to the library and show your kid a book that provided a sensible, rational lesson about why gays aren’t worthy of hatred or second-class citizenship? Or do you have no interest in doing so? Either way, do you feel the decision is yours as a parent, or some gang of moralizing hypocrite Christians who want to keep hate and disgust towards homosexuality institutionalized. Why, you say? Because Jesus told them to, of course. He was all about regulating books in libraries, you know.

Go ahead, you want to hand over the reins of what appears in our libraries to a gang of know-nothings, don’t you? You’re obviously not responsible enough to make your own choices (since this phrase doesn’t appear next to an argument for corporations to run wild, poison and enslave us, it will have no effect on Republican readers).

Smintheus at Daily Kos spots this story:

”I just want kids to enjoy their innocence and their time of growing up,” Jeff Issa said, explaining his persistence. ”Let them be kids … and not worry about homosexuality, race, religion. Just let them live freely as kids.”…

Kathee Rhode, the library’s director, said censoring books based on subject matter is the duty of parents, not the library. She said the library strives to provide material representing a spectrum of views and ways of life.

”That’s what a public library does, and you make the choice,” Rhode said. ”We certainly want parents to make that decision for their children — not one parent making that decision for all children.”

I guess we’d better get all those books about MLK and the black civil rights struggle out of libraries too, eh? Of course, this is pablum. Mr. Issa is trying to protect a kid from accidentally picking up a book at the public library and reading that hatred of homosexuals is irrational and bigoted. If some poor parent who teaches their child that Jesus hates fags has to contend with such a book polluting their child’s mind, they may lose control. Satan plants evil thoughts in your head, and your first duty is to make sure they never get in. Because Satan will kick your ass and you might not be able to make it back to Jesus in time before you die. An interesting mindset, certainly.

Personality theory and social psychology research suggest that when we encounter someone whose arguments for censorship are dogmatic and simplistic, we are probably dealing with an authoritarian personality who is reacting to something he/she fears. Authoritarian personalities are characterized by a strong desire to exert power, an equally strong need to submit to power (often the power of a social, political or religious group), resentment of weakness, fear of ambiguous situations, and an unusual fascination with sex.

Today’s modern GOP Christianist could only ask, “What’s so wrong about that?”

Note: I don’t mean this post to be explanatory for most people. The model is already well understood, I simply believe it needs to be forcefully restated on occasions because Christianist censors and anti-gay bigots are relentless in trying to put a happy face on what they do.

That face ain’t happy, folks.

-jb

Welcome, military voters!

Nov 06, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives

The rightwing social police just can’t help themselves.

Dozens of religious and anti-pornography groups have complained to Congress and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that a Pentagon board set up to review magazines and films is allowing sales of material that Congress intended to ban.

“They’re saying ‘we’re not selling stuff that’s sexually explicit’ … and we say it’s pornography,” says Donald Wildmon, head of the American Family Association, a Christian anti-pornography group. A letter-writing campaign launched Friday by opponents of the policy aims to convince Congress to “get the Pentagon to obey the law,” he adds.

As long as I breathe, I will defend the right of soldiers to jack off to porn.

How is it the right still commands military votes? They’ve been trying to discredit liberals for years now for swearing (to which I say 2 plus fucking 2 is still fucking 4), and now they’re going after titty rags. Not to mention most are chickenhawk cowards who dodge any real combat but consider themselves brave to keep dreaming up new wars for the American soldier.

Welcome to the Democratic Party, soldiers. You get porn and body armor!

-jb

Fred Phelps takes one on the chin.

Nov 06, 2007 in Christian Right

Nobody around here is shedding any tears over Fred Phelps getting dealt an $11 million judgement for picketing the funeral of an Iraq War veteran.

-mg 

Go go Giuliani!

Oct 04, 2007 in Christian Right, Politics

Win your party’s nomination and the Christianists secede from the Republican Party!

Focus on the Family head James Dobson, has published an Op ed piece in The New York Times clarifying exactly what happened: The group voted almost unanimously not just to “consider” backing (a pro-life) challenger, but to definitely do so. In other words, Dobson made it official, saying that if a pro-choicer wins the GOP nomination, these leaders will be going third party.

They may have the Bible, but do they have 9/11 underpants like Rudy? No, so they better shut up!

-jb

Just wondering.

Jul 19, 2007 in Catholicism, Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Religion

I’ve often wondered whether Catholic voters are aware of the rampant anti-Catholic views held by a large majority of Pentacostals and SBCers.

-mg

A defeat for bigotry, a victory for marriage.

Jun 16, 2007 in Christian Right, Constitution, Culture, Politics, Religion

And for the Constitution.

AFTER WEEKS of intense lobbying and endless speculation about who might vote how, a joint session of the Legislature made blessedly quick work yesterday of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. In a State House mobbed with revved-up campaigners on both sides of the issue, lawmakers took a quarter hour to dispatch the proposal by a decisive margin. The vote was a victory for decency and civil equality, and underscored Massachusetts’ long history of protecting individual rights.

Congratulations, Massachusetts, on leading America forward and eschewing the hatred and fear that the Republican party has worked so hard to stoke in America. Right now millions of “conservatives” (i.e. theocratic authoritarians exploiting the Bible) are gnashing their teeth in unrighteous, depraved fury. Their anger has been blocked, their hate-fever stunted, their assumed gratification of raw willpower over reason denied. They still have their bigotry enshrined in law in 49 other states in defiance of the Constitution, but in Massachusetts their Berlin wall of mindless oppression has had a healthy chunk knocked down, and it’s unlikely to go back up.

Time is on the side of equality. The state’s first same-sex married couples have already celebrated their third wedding anniversaries. With each year that passes, it becomes ever clearer that the sky will not fall; that the institution of marriage has been strengthened, not weakened; and that giving everyone the right to marriage makes Massachusetts a happier place overall

Anti-gay activists have done a good job of framing the debate, persuading millions of Americans that they’re not on the assault, but rather on the defense. Even Clinton signed the “Defense of Marriage Act.”

But what this has been is the ending of aggression and assault on the rights, humanity, and citizenry of America’s homosexuals. And that truth keeps seeping through, no matter what apocolyptic terror Christianists have shrieked. They lost the debate long ago, they lost the moral high ground, all they’ve had is the well-honed tools of propaganda, fear, and bullying, cloaked in a layer of self-righteousness more akin to Pigpen’s layer of grime. They have not been just, or good, or kind, and have certainly not paid much of any attention to the teachings of Jesus they supposedly put above all else. They have been hateful, divisive, dishonest, and ultimately evil in their actions, no matter how lovingly they gaze upon each other or what other good things they have done with their lives.

It is the hope and promise of America that liberty will prevail.

-jb

Hey, Daredevil wasn’t a bad movie.

Jun 10, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Culture, Politics

Our favorite commenter, quick to stand up and easy to knock down Dana Pico, has his own blog which I never read. I know that’s a bit selfish of me, but if I do read it, I’m just going to end up raining on Dana’s little party over there, and then what fun will he have? But today I thought I’d pick on one of his co-bloggers, Mr. Grey Ghost. Oy vey…

This week the star of the Catholic-bashing “Dogma“ went on CNN to bash President Bush (assailing the President’s administration as “one of the worse ever”) as well as Christians (calling them “neanderthals”.

First of all, Dogma was written by a Catholic and is definitely pro-faith, it was just anti-dogma. There’s no need to make up things about it, just call it what it was: a really shitty movie.

Secondly, calling President Bush one of the nation’s worst ever is fairly astute analysis, and Bush well deserves his bashing no matter how much rightwingers brainlessly tried to persuade Americans that George W. Bush was an unfairly abused minority unto himself. That aside, Mr. Ghost’s retort to “one of the worse ever” is this:

I mean, besides the fact that someone needs to school Ben on the administrations of Andrew Johnson or Warren G. Harding, is any Hollyweird liberal able to explain WHY they think the Bush presidency is so bad without using typical leftwing talking points?

So by Mr. Ghost’s math, Bush still not being as bad as Harding or Johnson excludes him from the broad “one of the worse”??? Why is it rightwingers seem perpetually challenged by the English language?

And what are “typical leftwing talking points” anyway? That Iraq was one of America’s greatest military blunders? That Bush has repeatedly violated the Constitution and the law, overseeing the elimination of habeus corpus? That he was dismissing Osama bin Laden up until 9/11/01? That he blew the pursuit of bin Laden afterwards and went off to start a war he’d already wanted before 9/11? That he seems to have little understanding of our system of checks and balances? That he’s defiled America’s standing in the world? That he invaded a country without knowing anything about the people there? That he hires loyalists and lackeys instead of qualified people? That he’s lied repeatedly to the American people about serious matters, not about where his dick has been? That he bungled Katrina?

Have I hit a “typical leftwing talking point” yet, or has everything I’ve said been objectively true, only disputed by a tiny minority of diehard Republicanists? The truth is that it’s too late to debate, we’re at the point where we need to start fixing the damage Bush has done.

Finally, Affleck did not call all Christians Neanderthals.

BEN AFFLECK: I think Huckabee actually framed his position in a much less dramatic way than had been made out. Which was he said it could be six days, or it could be six epochs, which I thought was much more along the kind of intelligent design lines than his position had been cast. In other words, he had been made out to a little bit of a kind of like a real sort of Neanderthal about it, a literalist.

He just called Biblical literalists Neanderthals.

And I’m sorry, folks, but if you think Adam rode a dinosaur to church 6000 years ago, that scraping sound you hear is definitely your knuckles on the ground. You have indeed either jammed your fingers in your ears to a mountain of scientific evidence and willingly chosen to believe a fantasy-land concoction whipped up by people who considered running water amazing technology, or you’ve been living in a cave. Either way, you may choose to believe ridiculous things but don’t whine when people can’t help giggling. It’s your burden, mate. Wear it with pride, or God will wonder whether or not you’re one of the truly faithful chosen:)

-jb

GOP fears Al Gayda more than Al Queda.

May 25, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, National Security, Politics

AP:

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers who say the military has kicked out 58 Arabic language experts because they were gay want the Pentagon to explain how it can afford to let the valuable specialists go.

Seizing on the latest discharge, involving three specialists, House members wrote the House Armed Services Committee chairman on Wednesday that the continued loss of such “capable, highly skilled Arabic linguists continues to compromise our national security during time of war.”

Former Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Benjamin said his supervisor tried to keep him on the job and urged him to sign a statement saying he was not gay. Benjamin said his lawyer advised against signing because the statement could be used against him later if other evidence surfaced.

Bill Clinton wanted to open the doors in the military to gays, got slammed in the face, and compromised with Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell. The policy is obviously wrong, but offered gays the chance to enter the military without lying and prove their service to the country. And it offers us the chance to witness the Pentagon throw away valuable resources in the War on Terror that we cannot spare because of continued immoral discrimination against homosexuals. We should know what to do next.

-jb

Fallible Falwell, in the looking glass.

May 17, 2007 in Christian Right, Culture, Religion

The leader of the Christianist movement, Jerry Falwell, died knowing he would leave behind a legacy of political influence. He will not be around anymore to provide his insights, but he made sure others remembered them. Thom Hartmann made a good point this morning about the essential spark of spiritual communion with the universe that sends human beings rocketing down their individual paths in pursuit of the ultimate, and how that experience should be respected, but not necessarily everything that is done in its name. Jerry Falwell undoubtedly felt something very powerful, something perhaps beyond the scope of human comprehension, that provided an impetus for his lifelong crusade. Unfortunately, lifelong crusades are fairly common, and they tend to clash strongly. Jerry Falwell was, ultimately, a human being who, like pretty much every other human being, took that initial inspiration and slapped his human convictions all over it and labeled them as representative of that greater power.

Not necessarily anything wrong with that, as this roughly describes the experiences of most human beings. We must, in the end, still look at the content of these proclamations and decide, for ourselves, how close we believe them to be the truth. Whether you agree or disagree with him, this process will be largely unavoidable.

So, Jerry, what did you have to say while you were here on Earth? How close were you to the truth? Readers, decide for yourselves. From Essential Estrogen:

Rev. Falwell Quotations

“Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.”

“The whole (global warming) thing is created to destroy America’s free enterprise system and our economic stability.”

“AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”

(Speaking about 9/11)”And, I know that I’ll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’”

“Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America.”

“The idea that religion and politics don’t mix was invited by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.”

“I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!”

“Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.”

“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”

“Textbooks are Soviet propaganda.”

“The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews.”

“It appears that America’s anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men’s movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening.”

I think it will be a long time before the damage Jerry Falwell did to the United States is undone. That initial, transcendant spark was turned into a worship and seizure of power. He rarely spoke of others with mercy, and I find it curious that so many strive to do him that favor. Perhaps they lead by example. I’ll let truth be the example.

-jb

Bush’s base speaks out.

Apr 16, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Politics

Glenn L. Smith of Algona writes the Fort Dodge Messenger to complain about Democrats. He’s got us nailed! Hat tip to my sister for finding this…

Letters to the editor: April 10, 2007
Unhappy with liberals

To the editor:

I have been watching the antics of the new Congress, and one thing is very certain. Satan is really having a big laugh over their display, or lack of intelligence. What a disgrace they are generating. We as a nation are the envy of the world, or at least before the liberals came into power. Now we have become the laughingstock of the world by the stupidity displayed by the Congress.

Many years back, I had decided that liberalism is the biblical plague that is intent on destroying the world, and they certainly are doing everything possible in that direction. I have copies of two letters that were printed in The Messenger, that apparently feel some similar thoughts.

I recently received a book titled ‘‘The 5,000 Year Leap.’’ This is about the Constitution and the effort being made by the liberals to dismantle it in favor of their socialist viewpoint, and the stupidity that they are showing. There is only one writing in the world that is greater than the Constitution, and that is God’s word, the Bible. It is obvious who and why the Constitution is being attacked. Satan wants to control the world, always has, and will do anything that he deems necessary to reach that goal. Why are the liberals so stupid that they blindly follow him in his pursuit of power and control? Now I am not a very intelligent man, but to sell your soul to such a venture, really makes me wonder.

Where are we going? There are only two roads, up the mountain of success, or down into the gutter. We are facing an enemy that is uncontrollable, that is the liberal Congress, and they are far more dangerous than the enemy of radical Islam. Both are intent on having it their stupid way. Everyone from age 10 on should have the book, “The 5,000 Year Leap.” There is much to be learned.

Glenn L. Smith

Algona

Somebody should make sure he reads Iowa Voice too. It’s all about the communist conspiracies!

-jb

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan offers another portrait of a Bush-basehead.

Romney leads the GOP pack.

Mar 21, 2007 in Christian Right, Politics

Okay, not yet. But I keep expecting him to anyday now, nevertheless his numbers float around the high single digits. What gives?

It seems rather obvious to me that no other Republican competitor has a serious chance. Giuliani will melt under scrutiny, McCain is a doddering old man who thinks he can triangulate but just ends up being rejected by everybody. Newt is a joke, and the rest barely merit mention. Hagel is tripping if he thinks he has a chance.

Romney has two problems:

1. He acted like a goddamn smelly hippie running for Governor in Massachusetts, but now he’s all ready to be intolerant and sanctimonious for the GOP.
2. He’s a Mormon.

Yeah, a Mormon. Makes my heart flutter. Who can resist crazy batshit tales spun by a swindler about how Jesus came to America? Holy Zeus, can you imagine down the road when Mormons can boast their religion is 500 or 1000 years old? It’ll be almost as bad as the whooping coming from the Church of Scientology.

Actually, I’m used to respecting people with crazy batshit ideas cloaked in religion. Like Christians, for example. In that regard, Mitt Romney isn’t much different from Bill Clinton. He’s certainly no more wacky than people who think that the earth is six thousand years old, rich ministers are cool, and we are fighting Satan in Iraq.

Unfortunately, Christians feel perfectly free to ridicule and snort at the crazy beliefs of others.

The more exposure Romney gets, the more the anti-Mormon sentiment will ebb. It is unlikely that he could do anything worse than Bush to propel us into a theocracy, and voters are still inured to politicians who campaign against civil rights for gays. They may even realize that if Mormons can produce Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Aaron Eckhart and Neil Labute, then they can’t be all that disagreeable or intolerant.

Looking at policy, the GOP base isn’t particularly pleased that their politicians in California and New England must immediately surrender core Republican issues in order to be elected. In other words, guys like Romney, Giuliani and Schwarzenegger just have to govern like conservatives, instead of like Confederate radicals. But they dig having an “R” in office.

So will they go for a winner? That would be Romney. Will his newfound allegiance convince them enough to get him through the primary? The option to shoot themselves in the foot tempts. Will they at least subscribe to the theory that the tall, dark and handsome guy always has the edge?

This sure as hell isn’t an endorsement of Romney for President, but simply an acknowledgment that he is the only Republican in the primaries I remotely consider formidable.

-jb

This is hatred.

Mar 18, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Religion

Hey, Albert Mohler was just thinking out loud…and noting that you can accept a biological basis for gays and still hate them. And, hopefully, eradicate them:

If a biological basis (for homosexuality) is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin.

After all:

The discovery of a biological factor would not change the Bible’s moral verdict on homosexual behavior.

It would make it about as relevant as the Bible’s verdict on the flatness of an Earth which is today about 6000 years old, however. Many Christians rightly regard many of the “verdicts” in the Bible as outdated, it’s just that one about homosexuality (or more specifically, anal sex between males) that they refuse to give up on. I wonder if we’ll ever figure out why?

After all, you can’t say they aren’t compassionate:

“I think any Christian couple would want their child to be whole and healthy,” he said. “Knowing that that child is going to be a sinner, we would not want to make their personal challenges more difficult if they could be less difficult.”

And why is this necessary? Because the “pro-life” crowd will be willing to rethink abortion if they can “kill” a gay infant.

Murder is okay if it’s a fag, I guess.

Ah, sure, if the pro-choice crowd gets their way then no, we really can’t stop them good Christian men from getting those sinners plucked out of their women’s bellies.

But he forgets that if most of those in the pro-choice crowd got their way, people would realize the extent of their hatred towards homosexuality as a grave moral deficiency. One that Jesus, the one described in the Gospels, not the bastardized stripped-down-and-rebuilt version perverted by Paul throughout the rest of the New Testament, would be unlikely to find compassionate or benevolent.

And accepting a biological basis for homosexuality is the first step to realizing that:

For seeming to contradict a basic tenet of anti-gay thinking — that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, not a state of nature — Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, was inundated with e-mails from readers who castigated him…

Oh, yes, he was pissing everybody off that day, but honestly, folks, he was just trying to bring hate into the 21st century…

…and prevent the upcoming implosion of the religious right. The hypocrisy of the “pro-life” movement and the hatred behind their campaign against homosexuality, tossed into a garbage can with a stick of dynamite.

-jb

Democrats are faggots.

Mar 07, 2007 in Christian Right, Politics

Why is Ann Coulter popular?

“Democrats are taking the side of the faggots,” was said directly to my face at a family get together by my cousin’s boyfriend.

In actuality, my California relatives are fairly Republican, albeit weak ones. They don’t hate, they actually love intensely, and they just see Republicanism as a Mom/apple pie sort of thing. Smile, hug, have a drink, pat everybody on the back, put out the flag, eat plenty, drink even more, watch Fox News, then go for a cruise on the bay. Very uncomplicated. My cousin was embarrassed by her boyfriend’s comments, and my other cousins (progeny of my great aunt, so even the old ones are my cousins) spoke regretfully of his “hate” and “going overboard with this Republican thing.” Truth be told, I haven’t seen the guy around lately but that’s pretty irrelevant in their family. If my cousin accepts him, he’s accepted, and that’s pretty much my reaction too. Sure, I could have started a war of words that would have led to somebody getting beaten in the middle of the street, but as a guest and an Iowa cousin whose father farms some of their land, I felt it was certainly not my place.

My cousins are representative of the ordinary good person who is casually Republican by family. And they are repulsed when they see the face of the evil they have associated themselves with. But sometimes good people get in bed with evil. In fact, I would agree that my cousin’s boyfriend isn’t necessarily evil, but his words and thoughts on the subject of gays are. He may get a free ride because of familial bonds, but it is time for the Republican party to acknowledge that it has made a home for guys like him. They don’t just keep the homophobes around because they get their support on other issues, they specifically cater to them at all times. Even in my cousins’ home, the boyfriend’s remarks caused everybody to fall silent. At CPAC, the crowd laughed.

So as the GOP finds that homophobia becomes another wedge, and that many Republicans are likely to adapt to gay marriage once it’s legal, it becomes the duty of the Democrats to accept that it cannot escape that it is “the party of faggots.” If you use that term (not just to tease your friends, but to really talk about gay people, and yes I will stand by that distinction), then that’s what we are, and we’re not your party. As of right now, the GOP still is.

If we’re going to get the nomenclature, then we might as well live up to it and declare that gay rights are simply human rights. We have everything to gain, but even more importantly, we will have honored the U.S. Constitution.

-jb

Stuff it, you dirty satanists, er, I mean, scientists!

Mar 06, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Global warming

Village idiot DJ Brian Pickrell claimed in his own comments section that he believes in evolution-

I believe in evolution, just so we’re clear on that.

-which also implies he believes in the cursed scientific view of the earth as being roughly 4.5 billion years old in a universe roughly 13.5 billion years old.

This video will drive him crazy!  Consensus is not science, Brian!

-jb

God told us we could trash this place, cuz we ain’t stayin’ long!

Mar 04, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Global warming

Not to be underestimated is the agreement between the theocratic wing and the big business wing of the Republican party on global warming.  Big business’ motivations are obvious; if it’s cheaper to campaign against global warming than enact the changes, they’ll do it.  The fundamentalist Christians though are a little less obvious to understand, but the roots are all in Genesis and Revelations, the only two books they seem to really care about (oh, they’ll throw in some Leviticus when it’s time to bash the fags, but otherwise…).  But those two books explain a) that the earth is here to serve man, end of story and b) despite Jesus’ proclamation that he’d be back within the lifetimes of those listening to him, it’s actually within the lifetime of Jerry Falwell and James Dobson.

No surprise then to see this:

Leaders of several conservative Christian groups have sent a letter urging the National Association of Evangelicals to force its policy director in Washington to stop speaking out on global warming.

The conservative leaders say they are not convinced that global warming is human-induced or that human intervention can prevent it. And they accuse the director, the Rev. Richard Cizik, the association’s vice president for government affairs, of diverting the evangelical movement from what they deem more important issues, like abortion and homosexuality.

Ah, how they have wounded their own religion.

-jb

Urgent bulletin from George Bush’s base!

Feb 11, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, War on Terra

See what you learn at a rightwing blog?  We should re-name our defense budget the anti-Satan budget!

But after the rapture the anti-christ will arise. He will be islamic(he will come from babylon/Iraq) and he will use terrorism/peace to destroy many.He will sign a peace treaty with Israel and he will establish real,true peace between the jews and palestinians to win over the world’s support. they will be deciebed because he will evetually brak the treaty after having decieved the world. There will be a false prophet(possibly a corrupt future Pope) who helps the anti-christ unite the world’s two largest religions(the Lamb with two horns) He will use signs and wonders to unite Islam and false christianity and the Anti-christ will take over the one-world government(led by the the EU the revised roman empire the bible prophecied would come back)bring about the Mark of the beast system, a one-world government,economy and religion. and unless you take his mark you will not be able to buy or sell. And if you reject it, you will be beheaded just like islamic terrorists do.And he will divide the earth up into ten sections and appoint ten kings who are under his command to rule them.

This is just the short version.

Don’t kid yourself. It is coming. And you can already see the beginnings of it with your own eyes.

The basis for our foreign policy?  Yes.

-jb

Random thoughts

Dec 10, 2006 in Christian Right, Religion

I think it’s fair to say that if the founding fathers really based the Constitution on the Bible, what took humanity almost 1800 years to formulate such a solution, and why would it take on the appearance of rejecting favoritism towards any particular religion, especially since accepting Christ as one’s savior in order to get to Heaven is the fundamental building block
of most denominations of Christianity?

Or will that just go down as one of those questions that gets avoided by people who are far more interested in propaganda than theology?

Sure they’re coherent.

Dec 08, 2006 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Politics

I was listening to Ed Schultz today. Not the greatest intellectual on the left, but he’s one of the greatest characters, and watch out before you claim he’s getting something wrong. He’s notably astute.

Anyway, Ed addressed the familiar rightwinger problem with “states’ rights,” a buzzword that they use when it’s convenient to avoid the U.S. Constitution (banning gay marriage, segregation, slavery, etc.), and totally forget about when it’s time to crack down on people with cancer smoking marijuana.

So Ed says, “They have no philosophy, no core principles.”

Unfortunately, he’s wrong. They may have no coherent philosophy of government that stands up to scrutiny, but they have a philosophy of action that is very consistent: enforcing their “moral” (pseudo-religious) codes on you.

It’s not something you can defend against the Constitution, or even in a logical realm. It’s a philosophy that says, “There’s more of us here than you, so that’s how it is.” And in Texas there’s a lot more fag-haters than there are gays and rational straights, so that’s how it’ll be.

Yet at every chance they hope to lay claim to the entire nation in such a manner, so there are numerous attempts to enact these controls through the federal government whenever possible. If they could pass an amendment banning gay marriage in the federal Constitution, they would, and they’ll keep trying until they can. It makes no difference that it would be a flat contradiction of everything else in that document, it’s about control. That is their philosophy.

So if Oregon says, “we support the right to die,” or California says, “we support the use of medical marijuana (and frankly aren’t too concerned about marijuana itself), that has to be controlled. If they can do it from the Justice Department, they’ll do it there. If they can do it at the City Council level, they’ll do it there. If they can override a panel of two dozen doctors who say Plan-B is safe OTC, they will. The method of government is what they have no philosophy for. It is the ends of government that they have a very consistent set of beliefs about.

Because there is no method for US vs. THEM. There is no rational way of usurping the U.S.A. with the ghost of the Confederacy. All these things are of this world. They think they operate from the spiritual world, a Heavenly kingdom where Jefferson Davis sits at the right-hand side of Jesus; where Israel isn’t God’s country, Dixieland is.

JesusDixieland, call it.

We’ve stemmed the flow of JesusDixieland into the U.S.A. briefly, but I’ve been asking myself lately whether this is a real shift for America, and I can’t say yes. If Iraq had worked out reasonably well (I know, if my aunt had nuts…), and if the Republicans had managed to completely legalize their corruption/be at least slightly sneaky about it, they’d likely have won yet again, and they’d have the White House in 2008. America tolerated far too much from the GOP, and there’s not a lot of evidence that they’re averse to swallowing some of the same medicine again.

The GOP used 9/11 to stomp down hard on Democrats, keep them down, and told the country we could only risk letting them get back up when the country was safe again.

Democrats would be fools to think they wouldn’t do it again, and double-fools to think we’ve seen the worst the GOP would do.  They were only getting started, folks.  We must fight until our knuckles are broken and our teeth are smashed before we let them get unanimous control of this great republic again.
-jb

David Kuo on NPR’s On Point

Oct 19, 2006 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Religion, Uncategorized

I frequently listen to Tom Ashbrook’s long-running NPR program On Point on my way to and at work. Though never challenging it more often than not has some interesting guests and it’s infinitely more preferable than listening to Bob and Tom’s recycled fart gags. Ashbrook frequently comes across as a clueless Garrison Keillor because of his taut, tenor voice and confident tone except that in Ashbrook’s case there really is no evidence of talent. A couple weeks ago he had Chomsky on as a guest and was completely hung-up on the fact that Chomsky doesn’t regard the United States economic system as capitalistic and even laughed at him when he referred to John Dewey as a mainstream academic figure. No suprise then that after having David Kuo on to discuss his latest book Tempting Faith in which he chronicles in detail how it took him three years to realize what most of us knew in three days most of the tough questions go unasked. Here are some choice quotes taken from the broadcast:

“There is a general apathy in Washington toward the poor.”
“[When I arrived in the White House] I observed the poor were being used as a political pawn.”
“Most of what the White House has delivered [for the Christian Right] is symbolic.”
“Conservative Christians shouldn’t believe that George W. Bush is pastor-in-chief.”

I especially liked a casual comment he made about how he is now being referred to as literally “the devil” by ardent Bush crusaders since he has published his book. Since he has become critical of the administration this man of faith is now Lucifer incarnate proving once again that Glenn Greenwald was right in characterizing the current Republican party as a Bush-cult with no serious concern about conservative values.

-mg

God will protect you.

Oct 10, 2006 in Christian Right, Religion

Which is a good rationale for the church to say “Breast cancer?  You’re out on your ass, Sister!”

After all, just because the Gospels preached charity and helping the sick doesn’t mean the church has to provide health insurance for nuns or other employees who dare to fall ill, interfere with coverups of sexual misconduct, or grow old.  Fuck them.  Fuck them in their fucking asses!

Should the courts interfere?  Rarely.  But all those associated with places like Gannon University in Pennsylvania or, well, the Roman Catholic Church should be well aware of such practices and keep them in mind.

-jb

 

Happy Torture and War Crimes Day!

Sep 29, 2006 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Politics, War on Terra

How will you celebrate the end of Habeus Corpus and the U.S. Constitution?

I’m not doing anything tonight, but tomorrow night I’m going to get a couple of 40 oz. bottles of St. Ides and toast the memories I had of having Constitutional rights.

A dozen Democrats supported the Torture/War Crimes bill. Andrew Sullivan says both parties are a disgrace. Ah, but Andrew, the majority of Dems still stood up. At least we’ve got a fucking chance of hope for the future. One Republican abstained. They have gone completely over the cliff, every last one of them.

-jb

p.s. The names of the twelve. Don’t forget them.

Tom Carper (Del.)
Tim Johnson (S.D.)
Mary Landrieu (La.)
Frank Lautenberg (N.J.)
Bob Menendez (N.J)
Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Ben Nelson (Neb.)
Pryor (Ark.)
Jay Rockefeller (W. Va.)
Ken Salazar (Co.)
Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
Joe Lieberman (Conn.) (…no shit!)

UPDATE:  Nope, didn’t get drunk Friday night.  I was afraid of bursting into tears around company.  And of pissing in my closet.

Poisoning the well.

Jul 31, 2006 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Environment, Global warming, Uncategorized, War on Terra

The LA Times has the second of a two part series up concerning the damage already done to the environment. Since there seems to still be those that think that there is a “debate” regarding global environmental destruction and climate change it’s a jaw-dropping look at what has already happened as a result of human encroachment upon specific biological systems.

I’ve always thought that one of the most dangerous components of the far-right ideology is their insistence that they hold dominion over the earth and its inhabitants and that they can therefore shirk their duties as good stewards. By their logic they live on a disposable planet. They are the chosen ones and since God has limitless power it follows that God also has provided them with limitless resources. Add in the conviction that we are in the End Times and all true believers are going to ascend to a better place (so why worry about this earthly realm?) and you have a recipe for disaster.

-mg

The core of who they are.

Jul 23, 2006 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Glenn Greenwald, John Dean, Politics

You should already be reading Crooks and Liars, but some links are too important not to back up. Glenn Greenwald explains how John Dean has made the ultimate call on Bush administration and their loyal disciples like Brian Pickrell. It’s an authoritarian cult with no other principles. That might have seemed obvious to many of us before, but rarely has the case been laid out so beautifully.

Of course, Dean and Greenwald too have been targeted by the usual rightwing slime machine (that never looks at itself in the mirror), but the truth is that none of them will stand toe to toe. Just like Brian P., they’ll talk lots of shit from their own sites, but as soon as you confront them they beat that ground running.

Choice quote:

The Bush administration’s ability to engage in extraordinary and radical behavior has not occurred in a vacuum. The administration is radical and can act seemingly without limits because its supporters and followers are radical and limitless in their allegiance to its abuses. Understanding the disturbing and dangerous human dynamic which fuels that movement is critical to understanding the movement itself, and ultimately, to defeating it.

The thing is, you have to prepare for the fact that they will run back to their mob where they can throw rocks. They’re not going to accept a level playing field. They won’t acknowledge utter deconstruction of their every lie and misconstruance. Look at Bush’s debates with Kerry. He would get soundly trounced, and run straight back to his carefully selected crowds crowing like a mad rooster. The tactics of cowardice have become their primary tool set.

The only solution is to get more people to recognize this overall pattern of authoritarian cultism with no principle so they will stop trusting those who seek to manipulate them. And that’s going to have to start with the citizens, because our politicians sure as hell aren’t throwing the real fireballs. Republican politicians will gladly wave 9/11 around and call us friends of Saddam, but ours still behave like they’re at a tea party. Are they waiting for the independents? No, because most independents have caught on. Hell, most conservatives who are actually conservative know what’s going on. It’s just Bush’s loyal 33% and the elite media playing against them.

Only one kind of Democratic politician is going to change what’s going on: the take-no-shit kind. I didn’t know how to react to bullies when I was a kid, so I got bullied. Now I realize that if I go down swinging I’m less likely to get bullied a second time. I learned my lessons late, but the Democrat party is beyond that point. It’s time to grow up, chin up, and bring it to each and every talking-point Republican.

The fact that they were so eager for an authoritarian figure that they even accepted as depraved an idiot as Bush… these guys aren’t strong. They’re the weakest people on the planet.

-jb

Ralph Reed prayed for God’s assistance…

Jul 19, 2006 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Politics, Uncategorized

…and God said “no”.

Ralph Reed, the man who even Republicans are sick and tired of, has lost the Georgia Lieutenant Governor’s seat.  Better start looking for a conservative welfare gig like pinch-hitting for Fox News, Ralph.  It’s the only place you wont be identified as a complete moral degenerate.

-mg