Monday, July 14, 2014

The Refugee / Immigration Crisis and the "Good Christian" Response.


The massive influx of children seeking refuge from Central American poverty, exploitation and violence is a crisis of massive proportion.  It's times like these that I thank Zeus I'm not president of the United States, because there is practically no resolution to this issue that will be humane while not encouraging  a further mass exodus across our borders and putting stress on our border control resources, immigration and social service finances.  I have no idea how this will ultimately be resolved.

But what I do know is that self styled "militia", dressed in combat fatigues or cowboy garb and armed to the teeth, paroling the border to ostensibly face down these refugee children, and at gun point block their path, is among the most grotesque and unconscionable acts of hate, fear, racism and lack of empathy I could imagine. What makes it all the more bizarre is that these "men" refer to themselves as "Christian patriots,"  who have empowered themselves to do what that "nigra Muslim Kenyan in the White House" is incapable or unwilling to do. 

I do not doubt their Christianity. Indeed, I'm quite sure they attend their church, pay their tithe, and admonish their children to love Jesus.  But how then do they reconcile their actions with this quote from Jesus?


Matthew 25:31-46  (NIV)
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
There may be other verses that endorse this kind of charity and empathy, but I doubt there are any more apropos to the refugee issue, nor more condemning of the hostility being demonstrated by the "good Christians" of the religious right toward the "least of these".

Alas, they typically don't read the bible; and if they did they'd cry "context"; and when they couldn't give the context which dismisses the admonishment of their man-god they'd say "Fuck you, you greaser-nigger lover" and happily attend church the very next Sunday while packing their shootin' iron and stroking the perfectly brushed hair of their well fed fair skinned children.

Monday, June 30, 2014

SUPREME COURT DEBACLE. CALL TO ACTION, OR GO QUIETLY INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT OF RELIGIOUS INSANITY


Today the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in a 5 to 4 split decision.  If you haven't been keeping abreast of this issue, the Christian fanatics who own Hobby Lobby insist they cannot be forced to provide health insurance  to their employees that covers contraception, because "their CORPORATION" is entitled to religious freedom, and they oppose certain forms of contraception.  Never mind that the employees may not agree with their corporation's, or the owners, religious view.   Here's the story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/us/hobby-lobby-case-supreme-court-contraception.html?_r=0



This horrendous ruling  gives corporations the "religious freedom" to potentially claim their right to circumvent any number of civil rights... from equal opportunity for women and minorities, to equal pay, to inquiring at point of hire as to a person's religious beliefs/ affilliations and denying them employment for a wrong answer.  One can only wonder how far this can go.

I consider this, as does Justice Ginsburg, to be a "Pandora's box" that will have profound impact on our rights as freethinking citizens, and the role of corporations in our society.

If this concerns you as much as it does me, you can do something that will take all of nine (9) minutes of your life.  The following is a letter I sent to both of my senators and my congressperson. The info is drawn from a Freedom From Religion Foundation news release that just came out.

You may write your own letter, or copy my letter in part or in full, and send it to your senators and congress person .  The link at the bottom will take you to where you can find your representative's email address in seconds.  I URGE YOU TO ACT NOW.


Dear Senator ________,
I am disgusted with the Supreme Court's ruling on Hobby lobby contraception exclusion.

As I understand it, their decision is based not on the Constitution, but on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a statute. This statute was adopted by Congress and must be repealed by Congress.

The main justification for this decision is the Supreme Court's holding that RFRA protects Hobby Lobby from the generally applicable rules of the Affordable Care Act.

I urgently request that you move to have the RFRA repealed, and that you do everything you can to prevent corporations from using this ruling to circumvent peoples rights and freedoms.
I look forward to your response.

Yours truly,


HERE'S THE LINK TO YOUR SENATOR'S EMAIL ADDRESS:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm


Thanks in advance for your activism.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What’s Your Religio-Nutter IQ? Take this short quiz and find out.





Hardly a day goes by where my senses and intellect aren’t assaulted by some bizarre statement proffered by people in the public eye. It appears to be a never ending flow of stupid.  Some of them so crazy, so outlandish, so beyond the pale you’d swear it was a joke; alas, they are invariably as real as child porn on a priest’s laptop.

I’ve pulled together some quotes, past and current, for your head shaking pleasure.  To make it a fun experience, try and guess the religion and the political party of the person who said it. The name of the person isn’t necessary. You get 1 point for the correct religion and 1 point for the correct political party affiliation, for a maximum 22 points.

The answers can be found in the comment section of this article.  Just scroll down to the bottom of the article and click on comments. Feel free to leave your own comments as well. No cheating!!
 

1. “Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.”

2. ”If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted.”

3. “What I am saying is that  ….what we need to do is defund the executive branch, number one…”

4. "I am suspect [of the World Cup games] because, here's the thing. Why, at a time when there are so many national and international issues of such prominence -- I'm a little suspicious of yet another bread-and-circus routine. Let's roll out the marijuana, pull back the laws, and get people even more crazy about yet another entertainment event.”

5. ''If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?''

6. “You know, we all have our inner demons. I, for one, I can’t speak for you, but I’m on the verge of moral collapse at any time.”

7.   “… the First Amendment applies only to Christians because Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures who created us.”

8. “…. There will be shortages of aspirin and a hike in staph infections under Obamacare… the death panel will tell many of us ‘Go home and die!’”

9. “The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them.”

10.  Government shouldn't require private businesses to serve customers of all races
”I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant — but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership."

11. “This country isn’t ran
[sic]by just one individual it’s ran [sic] by four branches, but three branches that are in control of this,”


Thhuh, thuhhh, thuhh... That's All Folks!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bobby "The Exorcist" Jindal, Religious Fanatic, has taken it a step too far!



The Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal is a dyed in the wool religious nutter. A fanatical Catholic who rivals William "Bill" Donohue, the head of the medieval thinking Catholic League, for dangerous rhetoric and rabid devotion to Catholic doctrine...however they may interpret it.  He is famous for having subjected his then fiancee to a Catholic exorcism to rid her of demons.

I'm used to his ravings and blather about how gays are dragging this country down; how Obama is destroying the country, and the usual litany of ignorance one has grown to expect from the far right religiously afflicted. But, this time he may have crossed the line.

 Evidently the favorite bleating of the religious right that Obama is waging a  "War Against Christianity" (all 76% of it's religious majority in this nation) has pushed Governor Jindal over the edge.  So much so that it appears Governor Jindal has called for a "hostile takeover" of the Federal Government.

Read the full story here:
http://conservativetribune.com/jindal-hostile-takeover-obama/


Now there's two ways to deal with this. One is to ignore it, and trust it is blather that will fade into obscurity, much like I expect Bobby to. The other is to realize that when an elected official...of any party or persuasion, incites armed rebellion, AKA a "Hostile Takeover" against a duly elected administration / the Federal Government, that its time to get your activism in gear. I for one will not stand idly by and let this kind of rhetoric or threat be thrown about without some consequence. Religious fanaticism doesn't get a pass on sedition.

The following letter was sent to both of my NH senators. Shaheen being the more reasoned (read : Dem.) of the two. I have also used the same verbiage in an advisory to the FBI.



Dear Senator Shaheen,

I came across this article today.  I find it disturbing. 
http://conservativetribune.com/jindal-hostile-takeover-obama/

If what is reported is true, I interpret it to mean the Governor of Louisiana is inciting armed rebellion against the Federal Government. While I'm just a layman in these matters, I believe it is tantamount to sedition in that it  "... is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward insurrection against the established order."  including incitement against lawful authority.

I believe this warrants investigation by your office and/or the FBI / Homeland Security.

I urgently request your followup and reply. 

Thank you.



I urge all of my readers to write to their senators expressing your concern and demanding a response; and to forward this information to your freethinking friends, and all defenders of reason and our secular democracy.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hump Crosses the Line of Civility - and couldn’t give a fiddler’s damn.



I was gently chastised recently for expressing my disgust with Dick Cheney’s obscene condemnation of Obama in the WSJ and on talking head TV over the Iraqi crisis that he and his ventriloquist dummy president promulgated.

In my anger I openly wished that snarling hunk of human feces Cheney would suffer a massive heart attack, and save the rational people of this nation the further pain of having to bear witness to his obscene lies, perversions and obfuscations of truth.


Evidently my wish (which of course has all the power of a religionist’s prayer) crosses the line of civility. I was chastised that no one should wish ill on anyone.  
Oh fucking please. 

There's a cattle car load of people, past and present, that I would have or do wish harm on.  There are people alive today who, because of their deceit, greed, twisted reasoning, and utter disregard for life sentenced thousands of American soldiers, and untold tens of thousands of Iraqis to their unnecessary and premature deaths ... with thousands and thousands more still to come.


I challenged my critic to tell me:  if hindsight were foresight, and she had known where their lies would have lead, and her wish would have been granted, would she NOT have wished for the deaths of the prime perpetrators in order to prevent the deaths of the innocent thousands they caused for their own perverted purposes or defective reasoning?


How many times have we the thinking condemned people for praising their god, worshiping it, praying to it, and swearing their allegiance to it, when that same god permits millions of third world children to die of starvation and disease?  When that god who creates all life creates horrific diseases that torture millions to death?  If said god existed how many of us would not join an alliance to find a way to destroy this psychotic being, or at least wish for its demise to stop its threats and reign of horror?
 
Why then is it wrong to wish for the demise of a person who perpetrated horrors, then goes on to lie and bolster their reputations at the expense of others? People of horrendous repute, who refuse to acknowledge their responsibility for carnage, and who happily lick clean their hands stained with innocent blood while pointing fingers elsewhere. To not wish for their demise would be no better than to say they’d not wish for the demise of a callous and psychotic god who’d watch 6 million Jews gassed, millions of children suffer, and condemn billions of non-believers to eternal torture instead of using its power to destroy the destroyers, right the wrongs, and abandon its torture chamber. It would be morally wrong - unconscionable.

One might ask what my justification is for wishing said person(s) death after the fact, when the ill deed is already done.  Easy… because if wishes could come true, their death after the fact would be the only justice those countless thousands of dead Americans and Iraqis will ever get.  Crossed the line of civility? Perhaps. I suppose it’s a matter of opinion - in the eye of the beholder. Frankly, I’m still wishing today and I’d put my civility, ethics and morality above the likes of Dick Cheney’s and George Bush’s,  or any of history’s great deceivers and murderers any day. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

George W. "God told me to" Bush's Religious Legacy of Horror: The worst is yet to come



What we are watching transpire in Iraq may be the greatest horror story of our generation.  Mass executions by the radical Sunni ISIS organization (photo above); murder and bombs in the street through out the nation; armed Shiite civilian militia; the likelihood of Iran and the US being drawn back into the chaos; the potential destabilization of the entire region - beyond what it was already. 


And why? Well, if I were to focus only on the religious aspects, I could place the blame entirely at the feet of the two Islamic sects who have been at each others throats for centuries. But that wouldn't be the whole story... not by a long shot.  Before we overthrew Saddam in a trumped up phoney threat of non-existent "weapons of mass destruction" there was no sectarian violence in Iraq.  Saddam used an iron fist to keep that seething hatred under control averting civil war.

No ... as much as I'd like religion alone to bear the blame, the fact is the mega portion of blame rests squarely on George W. Bush,  his puppeteer Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and an administration of chicken hawks who never fired a shot in anger, never felt the sting of battle, never feared sudden death every day for a year or two at a time - they own the horror past, present, and still to come.  They duped a majority of  the American people, myself included, and for that I'll always feel responsibility for some of the blame.

George W. "God told me to liberate Iraq"  Bush has the corpses, blood and lost limbs of thousands of Americans and untold tens of thousands of Iraqis on his filthy paws, never mind $2 trillion in US treasure down the toilet...enough money to send every US kid to a public university for free. 

And now, Phase Two of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" fiasco: chaos that will at best end up in a blood bath with a radical terrorist Muslim theocracy as a result, or partition of the nation; and at worst an extended conflict that will draw in Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and other neighboring nations... jeopardizing their more or less secular governance.  Nothing good will come of this. This will be Bush's legacy.

Indeed, still not satisfied with our useless sacrifices, already you can hear the loudest drum beat for war from the GOP, especially from chicken hawks like Lindsay Graham, and the man who never met a war he didn't like: John McCain. We never learn.     


To a degree maybe religion is all to blame, after all, it was the voice of an imaginary god thing echoing in Bush's empty skull that he claims provoked this tragic farce.  A biblical pox on George "God spoke to me" Bush - his father, his family, and his ancestors for the next ten generations.  Damnable piece of human flotsam.

Friday, June 13, 2014

What's behind the "Scriptural Shell Game"?


Funny how as society and social mores evolve, that religions - especially Judaism and Christianity - don't change their scripture, but instead they just parse it, manipulate it, and otherwise pervert it to not mean what it says.  This is necessary in order to be more relevant to modernity and appear less arbitrarily and utterly stupid.

They stopped not "suffering a witch to live," they quit stoning their unruly rebellious children to death, they don't "...sell everything and give the money to the poor...," and follow their man-god.  They ignore admonishments not to pray in public like the hypocrites do, preferring to insert public prayer at every opportunity. The list goes on and on.

The latest foray into this exercise in the scriptural shell game is perfectly demonstrated in the article attached.  In it a rabbi explains how the Judaic prohibition against tattoos as clearly stated in the Torah isn’t really a prohibition.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-evan-moffic/can-jews-have-tattoos_b_5484367.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

The rabbi's apologetics are just more of the same... "Never mind what scripture says - here's what I say it really says."  What a coincidence given the rising popularity and acceptance of tattoos as body art. 

The Mormons of course are famous for this.  First God tells Joseph Smith polygamy is the thing to do. Then when Utah was going to be refused statehood because of it, BAM! their church president gets a "revelation" that god changed its mind. First blacks are unworthy to be LDS church bishops, then BAM!, the church president gets a revelation (coincidental with the civil rights movement) and blacks are miraculously allowed to join the "White and Delightsome" as full church members in good standing. But to their credit, at least they are claiming a major change in their god's sexual appetite and racist perspectives.  The Jews and the mainstream Christians just re-imagine the textual meanings: "You have to understand..here's what God really meant."

I wish they'd cut the phony pretexts and hypocrisy and just come out and say what we all know:   "There is no Boogie Man. Scripture was the tribal law of Bronze Age nomads and ravings of 1st century cultists, all ancient myth of pre-scientific man. So do what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone,  live like good human beings just because we should - and cut the crap."