Sunday, September 26, 2010

“... one nation, under Jesus, with liberty and justice for all Christians”

A new nationwide umbrella non-profit organization dedicated to restoring our Nation to the original Christian values so that the silencing of Christians will no longer be politically correct.

Christian Nation Foundation will reclaim and restore our nation's Christian heritage and values by acting as an umbrella organization for all like-minded Americans of all faiths in the cultural war against secular progressives.

Christian Nation PAC, a political action committee, will bring the necessary and persuasive action so that no one will ever believe America is in a post-Christian era.

The above is an extract from Christian Nation . While they claim they do not seek to make Christianity the state religion, somehow I’m not reassured, especially since they have decided to ignore and distort historical fact and use rhetoric that would lead the unknowing (or easily led) to believe Christianity is a put upon minority in jeopardy of being eradicated. If only it were so.

A Google search for “Christian nation” reveals thousands of Christian nation endorsing sites, blogs, and religious pundits’ perspectives. Even the Catholics, who by certain Protestant sect standards aren’t even true Christians, get into the act: “Our constitutional legal system is still based on the Jewish/Christian Bible, not the Koran or other holy book.”

They offer no support for that assertion. How could they?… there is none. If there were a prohibition against slavery in the bible; or perhaps a guarantee of equal rights for women; if genocide weren’t endorsed by the bible, but condemned; if blasphemy, homosexuality, and touching an attackers genitals weren't punishable by death or amputation; if the bible didn’t council stoning unruly children to death; or didn’t demand fealty to only one god … well, then perhaps then they could claim the Constitution parallels the Jewish/Christian bible. The legal precepts and prescriptions for punishment of the Bible couldn’t be further from US Constitutional law.

In fact the constitutional legal system is based on Common Law which has its roots in pre-Christian 5th century Britain. Christianity did not come to Britain until the 7th century. Jefferson knew this, and wrote about it in a letter to T. Cooper on February 10, 1814.

But none of this means anything to the Christian majority. They are as willing to turn a blind eye to historical fact and accept distortion and myth in its stead as they are willing to reject scientific reality and whole heartedly accept supernatural magic stories for the formation of the universe and life on Earth.

Why should we care about this Christian Nation issue? After all, it’s those Muslims who are seeking to “Islamize” America, right? Here’s why:
“Sixty-five percent of Americans believe that the nation's founders intended the U.S. to be a Christian nation and 55% believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation, according to the “State of the First Amendment 2007” national survey released Sept. 11, [2007 ]by the First Amendment Center.”

It’s not just a handful of whackos like Hannity, Beck, Palin, and a few Bible belt congressmen. Sixty-five percent! That's 195 million of 300 million Americans who are confused, misguided, uneducated, or just plain wrongheaded.

In comparison even if 100% of Muslims in the US wanted Shariah law, or were hell bent on converting America to Islam, they would represent only 2.5 million / less than 1% of the population of the US.

Fanatic and ignorant religionists and religionists with an agenda are dangerous, no matter what prophet or man-god they follow or worship. We must be on guard against them in any form. But with the growth of secularism in this country; with the new found courage and openness of atheists to challenge religious intrusion into our lives and government; with our unwillingness to accept the role of 2nd class citizens, Christians are becoming scared.

They are scared that their delusion is being marginalized. They are scared that people who once were satisfied hiding in the closet to avoid persecution are gaining equal rights, equal status with “normal folk.” They are scared that the rejection of archaic male dominated Biblical prohibitions and antiquated myths will cause it all to be discarded on the giant trash heap of rejected religious doctrine.

That fear is manifesting itself in a resurgence of Christian Nationalism, Christian Non-think; Christian Propaganda; and Christian Historical Revisionism that shows no sign of abating. Turn a blind eye to it at your peril. If you aren’t already a paying member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State then repeat after me: “…one nation, under Jesus, with liberty and justice for all Christians.”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Hideous Grind of Life; the Wondrous Effect of Faith.

Last week I received the following message from a facebook friend:

“A Catholic high school classmate of mine posted this: ‘The only way to find happiness in the grind of life is by faith. A faith-filled life means all the difference in how we view everything around us. It affects our attitudes towards people, toward circumstances, toward ourselves. Only then do our feet become swift to do what is right.’ How would you counter this?”

My reply follows, revised and extended:

It's unfortunate that some people are so shallow, their lives so unfulfilling, their grasp on reality so loose, and their willingness to surrender their personal responsibility for morality and ethics to an imaginary being is so strong; and that is precisely what that childlike testimony of your friend expresses. That he disparages life as a “grind” as oppose to a marvelous and wonderful experience to be savored and enjoyed to its fullest all by itself, is the mindset of so many Christians whose pained existence and/or perspective on life as just god's waiting room causes them to seek escape into the fantasy realm of religion.

Did Mother Teresa's faith influence her "attitude toward people?" Indeed it did. And it caused her to glorify the pain of her patients as "god's gift, a blessing.” As a result her order withheld pain medication that would have eased the misery of her patients in their final weeks, days and hours. This in spite of the millions of dollars her order amassed. Somehow I don't see that as a good attitude towards people, or doing what is right by any measure of reasoned thinking. Your friend will likely rationalize that to have been a wonderful thing, for such is the affect of faith on the mind.

A “Faith-Filled Life” effects how religionists view everything. Some faithful view the unnecessary death of a child caused by parents withholding medication in favor of prayer as "God's Will." Others view competing religions as from the devil and provoke hatred and inspire terror by mindless acts of book burning for Jesus. Others encourage the spread of AIDS among third world peoples by rejecting the effectiveness of condoms and the reality of the human sex drive. Still more reject scientific evidence and proofs of the natural world- passing along the foolishness and intellectually crippling their children - because it contradicts an ancient myth written by Bronze Age misogynists.

Faith causes some people to fly airplanes into buildings; blow up clinics; discriminate against their fellow human beings for their sexual preference; mutilate genitals; kill apostates; justify sexism; disparage all other beliefs or lack there of because THEIR faith is the "true" faith and the only way to properly live and die.

Yes, it takes the expectation of a supernatural reward for them to be moved to "do what is right." That or their "doing what's right" is motivated by the proselytizing agenda of their imagined man-god or church shaman. Their sense of right is not out of pure empathy, compassion and humanity. To them it can’t exist without make-believe. The fact that empathy exists in all humans, save sociopaths, is lost on them. No, only when their minds are willingly vacated of all personal responsibility and the void filled by make believe do their “feet become swift” to do the right thing. That is what they call happiness, and doing what's right; it’s what I call zombie like denial of reality and crediting natural human emotion to the supernatural.

We the thinking can do what’s right, and we do. We can enjoy life to its fullest and experience happiness, and we do. And we do it without the fallacy of life after death rewards, the mind-numbing drug of religious delusion, or attributing our charity, happiness and personal success to a boogie man.

But all this will be lost on the religiously deluded, your friend included. The ignorance of faith is indeed bliss to them. They cannot see beyond what they have been programmed to see ... and that never included questioning their belief, or challenging their tiresome platitudes.
[[ Thanks to Generosa for the inspiration for this posting]]

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why I’m not a Liberal: I’ll let Justice Stephen Breyer explain

On ABC’s “Good Morning America”, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said that he's not prepared to conclude that -- in the internet age -- the First Amendment condones Koran burning. Here’s his reasoning:

“[Justice Oliver Wendell] Holmes said it [free speech] doesn’t mean you can shout 'fire' in a crowded theater,” “Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death?”

In essence, Justice Breyer is saying that the danger posed by burning the Koran is as clear and present a danger as is falsely alarming a crowd of people, enclosed in a structure, that their life and limb are in imminent danger thus causing uncontrolled panic and injury in an effort to escape the nonexistent danger.

This presents a number of problems for me as a moderate. First, is it only the Koran that should be so protected by truncating the first amendment’s protection of free speech? Is it only because the psyche of some number of Muslim fundamentalists represents some imminent danger, or would the holy scriptures of Christianity, Judaism, LDS, Hinduism, or the Buddhist texts, et al be equally protected? If not, does that mean that only those who are so religiously fanatic as to be driven to knowingly cause mayhem are due this special book protection?

If so, what about those of us who will fly into a violent murderous frenzy should anyone dare burn a copy of “god is NOT Great,” “Origin of Species,” or “The God Virus?” Will those books be protected, and their burning not be allowed as free speech? Or because they were written by men of reason are they exempt from such protection? Or is it because atheists have no history of mass hysteria over stupid or unreasoned acts that our favored books need not be protected?

How does that work in a nation of equal protection under the law? How does anyone not see that as providing special treatment to a class of people just because their mentality is such that they can justify violence in response to an act of non-violent expression?

Shouting fire in a crowded theater is not protected by the 1st amendment because the implication of danger is equal to all the unwilling participants in that theater regardless of their age, gender, race, nationality, religious belief or no belief. Additionally, and most importantly, the danger is not caused by a mental construct willingly embraced by voluntary adherents capable of controlling their reactions. The danger is a result of a tangible and objectively observable reality of the fear of uncontrolled fire and the human drive for self preservation. It’s instinctual.

I’ve agreed with Justice Breyer’s decisions about as often as not. But his liberal interpretation of the 1st amendment vis-a-vis free speech is more than a slippery slope. It’s like roller skating blindly on the edge of a very deep chasm. In his willingness to trade a little of our freedom for a little safety he denigrates the very meaning of the 1st amendment. It isn’t meant to protect speech that thinking people or non-thinking people approve of, it’s meant to protect speech that is abhorrent to thinking people and non-thinking people alike. I don’t want that protection undermined.

My politics tends toward liberalism on social issues, albeit, I’m more comfortable calling myself a Moderate. I’ve often thought about why I could never identify with liberals. Justice Breyer’s position on the 1st amendment’s freedom of speech helped reminded me why.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

And the Theists said: “Let there be Hell on Earth.”

Nine years ago today a cell of Muslim fanatics flew airplanes into buildings in NYC, Washington, D.C. and into the ground in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3000 Americans were consumed in the flames of a man made hell. While a singular event that Americans will never, should never forget - creating hell on Earth has been the trade mark of religionists for millenniums. Fire is the stock and trade of religionists..

Some of the earliest pagan religions burned their human victims alive. A super heated bronze statue of the god Moloch (AKA Molech) was used by his adherents to burn alive selected first born infants each year to bring good crops and ensure fertility of the people. Mercifully, drums were beaten so the cries of the infants were drowned out and the parents of the sacrificed didn’t have to hear their screams of anguish.

Fire was the element of choice during the Spanish Inquisition to force confessions from heretics. It was used to slowly roast the Templars, Cathars, Jewish convert backsliders, Christian dissidents, and enemies of the faith real, perceived or invented.

The pogroms of Christian anti-Semites throughout Germany, Russia, and Eastern Europe found fire to be an effective cleansing agent, when applied liberally to Jewish villages and enclaves.

For five centuries the screams of men and women declared witches by the faithful reverberated across Europe and colonial America as flames charred their flesh. It continues to this day as Africans embrace Christian tradition, abide by God’s words in Exodus 22:18, and seek out their own witches to roast.

Whenever an insult to their imaginary god or pedophile prophet is perceived, Muslims the world over flick their Bics to burn American and Israeli flags and effigies of Western political figures.

Devout Christians in the South after the Civil War found that a wooden cross soaked in a flammable substance, and burned at night on the property of targeted blacks and Jews was, and still is an effective terrorist tactic. Plus, it casts a lovely light upon the lynched.

Christians discovered early on that at 451 degrees Fahrenheit the paper of books that challenged Christian doctrine, offered alternative answers to “biblical science,” entertained children with tales of make believe wizards, or was otherwise deemed evil or offensive to God and his devoted minions - burned rather nicely. Sometimes the volume was chained to the leg of its author before both were reduced to ashes. Fortunately, plastics melt at a slightly lower temperature making the burning of cassette tapes, vinyl records, CDs and DVDs much easier for today’s zealous faithful to exercise their flaming rituals.

Yes, religionists have always been drawn to fire like mindless moths. Christians say fire represents purity and light and is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Funny how at the same time fire is also the torture method of choice in that mythical horrific place their god invented to punish non-believers for an eternity. What’s not funny or mythical, is the reality that religionists have been causing Hell on Earth for centuries, with no end in sight. For as long as relgions exist the inferno will rage on.
If a Satan existed, it would be carrying a cross or a Koran, quoting scripture, claiming the exclusive "Truth," and using flame to underscore its devotion. To paraphrase Pogo, an old comic strip character: Religionists have met Satan... and he is them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

On Hate, Insensitivity, Dissention and the Constitution

Let’s just lay it out on the table; I fully support the right to hate. Yep, that’s right, I am coming out for the freedom to express hate for anything, anyone, anytime no matter how irrational or how unjust. If you don’t share that perspective check your citizenship

By now you may be thinking: “Hey, the camel has been grazing on loco weed. Where’s he going with this?” Bear with me, this trip won’t take long.

Fred Phelps is a homophobe and the poster boy for hate. Everything he stands for, every sign he holds up, every word out of his mouth and those of his followers is pure hate which he justifies with Judeo-Christian scripture. As far as I am concerned, he’s a “True” Christian. It’s not illegal to be a hater, it’s a right. Fred Phelps is a despicable human being, and I fully defend this man’s right to do what he does because it is protected under the 1st amendment.

Irrespective of on what side one may come down on a postion right to express ones feelings is unalienable. Neither has a scintilla more right than the other under the law of the land. As long as speech does not become “action” that violates the law or impedes the rights of all citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution, it’s all good.

I hate the concept of eminent domain. But I accept that it is constitutional. I’ll even say that I understand and accept that it has value to society as a whole. But there are times, conditions, where the right of the government to take private property and use it for the public welfare is ill advised and despicable. When those instances occur, I dissent and express my distain with vigor to my representatives. Not to over turn the law as a whole, that's not my objective. I speak my mind to appeal to those who can see beyond the lawfulness and into the insensitivity, injustice, of a particular eminent domain decision.

Bottom line is this: dissention with the opinions, beliefs, positions or actions of an individual or group -- even though those opinions, beliefs or actiona are totally within the law and protected by the Constitution -- is not only legal, it’s just, ethical, and a fundamental American right. To remain silent when you are aroused by the unfairness or insensitivity of an act or speech, even those fully protected by the Constitution, implies agreement with and support for that act or speech with which you dissent.

I’m an American; I’ll stand for all of your 1st amendment rights. But don’t expect me not to let you know how I feel about the way in which you exercise them. Hear that Fred? Hear that Glenn? Hear that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

God Does Rehab: Seeks to save his image and fan base

“Rehab” the last stop before the slammer and/or complete rejection by the public for so many of today’s celebrities who live lives of gross excess, self indulgence and idiocy. As followers and believers drift away from worshipping him, recognizing the famed crazy behavior as something not exactly worthy of belief-- it was just a matter of time before the Judeo-Christian God, aka “Í Am,” aka “Yahweh,” aka “G-D,” finally broke down and saw the handwriting on the wall.

I had the opportunity to interview God just before he entered Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, Inc. rehab center. The following is a verbatim transcript of our conversation, albeit, some of his most vicious epithets and rants been deleted to spare my more sensitive readers’ sensibilities.

Hump: Before we start, is it ok if I just call you God?

God: I don’t give a Babylonian baby’s crushed skull what you call me, as long as you don’t call me late for a genocide.

Hump: Ah, a not so veiled reference to Psalms 137:9, I take it.

God: Oh, you’re one of my readers then eh? I suppose you want me to autograph your copy.

Hump: Yes, I’ve read your work; and no- no autograph required. I just wanted to ask you about your committing yourself to rehab. I hear it’s about your anger issues.

God: Oh, that. Yeah, my PR folks thought it might be a good idea. They say a few weeks in anger management rehab would be good for my image. Frankly, it’s all angel shit.

Hump: You don’t sound so committed to the idea. I mean, let’s face it; your anger has been renown for some time…like 3300 years.

God: It’s all been blown out of proportion by the media. Those heathen scum will do anything to make me look bad.

Hump: Well, most of what they attribute to you is in your own book. You know, destroying almost every living thing with a flood; killing the 1st born of Egypt; massacring non-Hebrew tribes down to the last child; demanding people be stoned to death for this and that …lots of other stuff.

God: Hey, fuck you! That was the old me. Once I became schizophrenic and developed my Jesus personality I was cool, everybody knows that!

Hump: So they say. But Jesus/You said he came to set father against son, mother against daughter; that he/you didn’t come to bring peace; that when he/you return it will be with a sword in your mouth; and then there’s that condemning good folks to eternal torture for not believing in you thing ….

God: Yeah, yeah, yeah… spare me the lecture, Sugar Tits.

Hump: Sugar tits?

God: I picked that up from Mel, one of my most devoted followers. Catchy huh? Anyway, he went to rehab for his anger issues, so my people figure if I do it and appear contrite, appear to turn over a new leaf so to speak, maybe not so many of my believers will be abandoning ship. I’ve been having a few problems filling the pews lately.

Hump: Wouldn’t it be more effective if you appeared in the sky over every nation on Earth simultaneously; tell folks you’re sorry for all the bad stuff you did; that you won’t send them to this hell place you created for them… just pedophile ministers and priests, those that protected them, evangelical ministers and faith healers, Fred Phelps, and mass murderers; that it wasn’t anyone’s fault but your own that people didn’t believe in you; and it’s all cool if folks decide they prefer not to worship you?

God: Are you fuckin nuts? If I did that what would be the point of being a Supreme Being? I might as well tell old peanut breath Ganesh or that doper Vishnu they can take over as my successor. Fuck No! I didn’t spend 6 days creating the universe, and an eternity developing my image just to wimp out of a tried and true fear strategy.

Hump: So, this rehab thing is a total sham; just like when Mel Gibson or Ted Haggard, or Lindsay Lohan checked in?

God: Sham??… Hahaha.. Is the Pope a pedophile enabling ex-Nazi? Of course it’s a sham. But sham is such a harsh word. I prefer “Act” of God. Get it… "act," acting… By the way, you repeat that in print and when I get out of rehab I’ll create a new incurable childhood disease in your name. Maybe you’d like to see a few million 3rd world babies born with humps on their backs. Or maybe deformed kidneys.

Hump: You’d do that? To innocent children? Just to punish me?

God: What part of my book didn’t you understand? Now, fuck off -- here comes my driver. I’ve got a 3:45 full body massage at the rehab and I’m expecting a “happy ending”, if you catch my drift.