Thursday, October 27, 2011

This Man is Unqualified for the Presidency

The Values Voters Summit was an October gathering of the most extremist born again right wing theocratic thinking rabid-sheep the nation has to offer. The GOP candidates were summoned before them to give their reasons why they deserve the votes of these God Fearing men and women. Each of them took their turns at the microphone, trying to impress the hallelujah crowd with their holiness and commitment to being guided in office by their faith and solid Christian credentials.

During that assembly Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association – an extremist fundamentalist Christian organization - took the podium and declared that the Religious Right should only support the candidate with a “sincere, authentic, genuine Christian faith.” (He also said they must reject any candidate who backs evolutionary theory instead of Creationism). That disqualifies Romney and Huntsman on both counts.

Given this litmus test for the GOP Presidential candidate- Abe Lincoln, arguably the greatest president this nation has ever had, would not get the Religious Right’s vote for the nomination. They would have sent William H. Seward or Salmon P. Chase up against Stephen A. Douglas, the democratic Presidential Candidate. Lincoln could never have passed the religious test of today’s Super Christians; his own words would disqualify him. Among them this:

"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession." -- Abraham Lincoln

And as though that needed any corroboration there was this statement after his death:

"Mr. Lincoln had no hope, and no faith, in the usual acceptation of those words."-- Mary Todd Lincoln

The GOP which has proudly proclaimed itself “The Party of Lincoln” would, by Fundamentalist standards, rejected their name sake.

Who knows what course the nation would have taken had that Christian requirement been applied in 1860.

  • How much longer would slavery have continued?

  • Would the slaves ever have been emancipated?

  • Could a black man ever have run for the presidency today?

  • Would the nation have split in two permanently?

  • Would the victor in the war have saddled the vanquished with reparations and crippling penalties?

We can only speculate.

But there is no speculation as to how Fischer, Reverend Jeffries, and their mindless supernaturalist theocratic ilk would have responded to Lincoln’s candidacy. He was a damnable heathen unworthy to hold office. And we don’t even know what he thought of Darwin.

"The Party of Lincoln,” indeed. The Republican Party today holds nothing in common with Abraham Lincoln. The very words and actions of the GOP defile his name. The only thing they remotely have in common is death: Lincoln in physical form, the GOP by virtue of their intellect.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

“Get ‘em while they’re young”: No coincidence it’s the pedophile’s and religionist’s mantra

What does a pedophile predator and religious indoctrination have in common? More than most people realize. They both follow the doctrine of “Get ‘em while they’re young.” They both use an attractive gimmick like candy, or a toy, or a puppy to entice their victims. They both have permanent and negative long term impact on the lives, the psyches, of their victims. And both are obscene, while only one is illegal.

A facebook friend* recently posted a video to my page. It was part of a cartoon aired by EWTN, a Catholic TV programming network, geared toward infants and toddlers. It shows a cartoon like baby Virgin Mary or a baby nun (see photo above) gleefully smiling and singing under the crucified body of her “son”. There are a series of these DVDs available to Catholic parents, geared toward the ages “0 to 5 yrs.” That’s ZERO to FIVE years old! One can imagine that the parents who buy these things are living in fear of their newborn child falling under the spell of Satan, or being possessed by a demon, or worse... stumbling across a secularist with their filthy immoral ways and their rejection of religious nonsense before they get out of diapers or into pre-school.

Then there is this delightful video. Gawd only knows what this image is intended to convey to an infant or toddler
A child priest? Clearly being a priest is just the “funnest” thing in the world. Jesus loves child priests. Priests are just big kids. Now there’s a message you want your toddler to embrace in this day and age. Maybe growing up to be a priest is the bestest thing in the whole wide world! Note the puppy.

What says Jesus loves you better than colorful wooden baby sized rosary beads with cross for your infant to suck on or stick in her eye? The intent is clear: to take this blank slate infant’s mind and accustom it to handling religious paraphernalia so it becomes second nature in a few years.

I have considered this phenomenon carefully and have come to the conclusion that indoctrination of babies and toddlers to mindless superstition ranks as one of the most obscene, despicable, and grotesque religious perversions ever conceived. I cannot imagine what the comparable efforts of similarly fanatical atheist parents would be. Perhaps giving the infant a miniature copy of The Origin of Species? A stuffed Darwin doll? A video of a child-like Madalyn Murry O’Hair , or Hitchens or Dawkins figure singing and dancing with puppies while praising the wonders of secular thought, science, reasoning and questioning?

No, atheists aren’t so insecure in their grasp of reason and their rejection of superstitious foolishness to be compelled to perpetrate such things on their children. Freethinking parents understand the value of allowing a child to grow, explore, question, and think.

There’s a fine line between imparting social values, providing guidance, and cultivating a well adjusted child; and co-opting a child’s mind to infest it with his parents’ beliefs or non-beliefs in an effort to avert any possibility of independent thought through the developing years. Marketing religion to infants crosses that line.

But maybe I’m being too rash. In fact, perhaps this represents an opportunity. I’m picturing a line of religious relics for ages 0-5 years. Catholics are big on relics. I’m picturing a mobile made up of baby sized replicas of Jesus’ foreskin; a rattle made from replica nails used to crucify Jesus, blood stained of course; maybe a smiling child like Saint Peter doll, who, in keeping with tradition is crucified upside down naked. A series of devotional DVDs, with forty-two children being torn to pieces by cute teddy bears, or a little girl having her hand cut off by a smiling neighbor boy child; or happy smiling Hebrew children putting happy smiling pagan children to the sword - all documented in the bible as good things.

But the child leper doll and its leprous puppy which oozes pus and says Thank you baby Jesus for healing us.” when you pull its string would be the crown jewel of the line. It would almost be a sin for a devout loving Catholic parent to resist.

* Thanks to my friend Kay Patterson for providing the inspiration for this article.

Monday, October 17, 2011

No Fool like an Old Christian Fool: End of World Round 4

October 21 is fast approaching and with it the End of the World...again. The multi-millionaire religious broadcaster and doomsday nutter Harold Camping has recovered from the stroke he suffered following his May 21 failed rapture prediction and is just lucid enough to assure us this time he's not fooling around.

Harold says that there is no mistake, it's certain and it ain’t gonna be pretty. The world will come to a sudden and immediate end on October 21. No period of Tribulation, no mincing around with the Anti-Christ for seven years. Only those who were selected by God during the May 21 non-event (his latest explanation for what happened on May 21 that wasn’t discerned by anyone but him) will be saved. The rest of us, and the planet Earth, will cease to exist in a blinding flash of fire and earthquake. That would be the quintessential hell and brimstone end.

The media is pretty much ignoring him this time. Well, the major media outlets anyway. The Christian Post, an online source of religious idiocy geared toward Christians who just can’t get their fill of daily delusional douche-baggery, has published no fewer than four stories on Camping’s latest prediction.

Even while they dismiss Camping as wrong headed...or just wrong, it appears they just can’t break the habit of sucking at the teet of any religious whore that happens to carry a bible or wear a cross around his or her neck. I can’t even conjure up a situation that would be analogous to this fixation in a secular context. It’s peculiar to Christians it seems.

Unlike the May 21 foolishness, this predication doesn’t do much for my Eternal Earth-Bound Pets post rapture pet rescue service. Last May I was up for as long as 36 hours straight doing interviews all over the world by phone and Skype every thirty minutes. This time I received only one email from one hapless and not too savvy reporter asking if I’ve seen an up-tick in business. I called her and schooled her on Camping’s new and improved explosive prediction, explaining that the planet becoming a ball of fire and crinkled up cinder doesn’t exactly encourage the sale of pet rescue contracts. She sounded genuinely disappointed that I had nothing more to offer.

Maybe as the 21st approaches, and assuming it’s a slow news week, we’ll see more on this. Not likely we’ll be seeing buses carrying signs declaring the End is near filled with hopeful Christians welcoming the Earth’s demise. They seemed to have decided to sit this one out probably because having been burned three times by Camping since 1994 they want to retain what dignity they still have, and not to expose themselves to anymore ridicule than absolutly necessary.

As for Camping? He has no dignity. He has partial use of his brain, lots of money, a massive dose of prophet-envy, a terminal case of religiosity, and one foot in the grave. Perhaps on October 22nd Harold will summon just enough dignity to lower the other foot.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

“Cult!” as though it’s a dirty word

cult  noun
1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers
object of such devotion.
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5.Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a
set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

Recently, in an attempt to discredit Mitt Romney, a Texas Evangelical preacher and supporter of Rick Perry referred to Mormonism as a cult. This drawling, inbred, worshipper of a dead Jewish figure who was either a charlatan sorcerer, or a Cynic preacher, or a befuddled maniac, or a social revolutionary, but clearly a composite of various pre-Jesus man-god myths is casting aspersions by using “cult” as an epithet to diminish Romney’s suitability for office.

Of course, he is correct. Mormonism is a cult. It satisfies every definition of cult. So too do the Baptists, the Methodists, the Catholics, Episcopalism, JWs, the Snake Handlers, Shakers, Quakers, and every other denomination or sect of Christianity. The early Romans writers referred to Christianity as a cult / cultus. Of course to religionists their form of cult isn't a cult at though the term "religion" has more credibility and less dangerous connotations.

Oh, no doubt the befuddled bible banging twerp meant to use the term in the vernacular, where cult has taken on a sinister meaning reserved for 20th century upstart societies of outcasts misfits, and freaks. You know them as the Heavens Gate suicidal Nike wearing whackos; the Branch Dividian, Waco Texas human torches; the Kool Aid slurping followers of Jim Jones; Fundamentalist Mormons polygamist child rapists; and the ever lovable and completely deluded followers of a notorious charlatan sci-fi writer who invented Scientology.

It used to be said that the difference between a religion and a cult is its financial solvency. If that’s true, Mormonism, and Scientology are full fledged religions, having amassed a treasury that would put many third world countries to shame. But the fact is a religion by any other name is still a cult, and vice versa.

The only people who do not have rites and rituals; who eschew veneration of a person or an ideal; who have no object of devotion around which they kowtow; who are bound by no ideal or ideology; and who reject sacred symbols - are atheists. If anyone has the right to refer to religious groups as cults, in the vernacular sense or by the dictionary definition, it’s us.

To the undereducated, right wing, stone throwing, holier than thou, Gawd fearing mainstream worshippers of a myth imbued dead man this of course is impossible to comprehend. They will argue against the dictionary definition. They will insist they are exempt from the definition of cult. But the fact is this nation has had a cultist as its head of state ever since Thomas Jefferson left office. We’ll have another one in 2012.

Damn...I miss Jefferson.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

“Look!! It’s Jesus!!” He's everywhere, He's everywhere!!!

The human brain is a marvelous thing. But in the cranium of the wrong people it becomes a source of confusion and delusion that is so strong, so powerful, that it transcends all reason.

We have all watched clouds pass on a summer’s day, and pointed at the various faces and figures they seem to morph in and out of. Most of us have looked at the figure of a slab or marble, or board of pine wood and imagined the grains or the knots looking back at us like eyes in a face. The “man in the moon” is readily identifiable to us.

It’s perfectly normal. The human brain has accustomed itself to affixing a recognizable image to certain random patterns, especially those that resemble the human face. Social scientists attribute this to an ancient survival instinct where being able to identify a friend’s or foe’s face in an instant, even if partially concealed, could mean the difference between life and instant death... for someone.

This phenomenon is called Pareidolia: The tendency to interpret a vague stimulus as something known to the observer, such as interpreting marks on Mars as canals, seeing shapes in clouds, or hearing hidden messages in reversed music.

But unlike rational thinking people who dismiss the image of Mickey Mouse, or the naked torso of Kim Kardasian in a pile of steaming dog feces as simply a natural and normal trick of the mind, to the religious it’s much more serious and meaningful.

We’ve all seen or heard about the religious’ tendency to see the Western European interpretation of the likeness of Jesus or Mary in grilled cheese sandwiches, in stains on concrete buildings, in the warped glass of a building, or on an outhouse floor. Not surprisingly these images appear usually to devout Christians.

No surprise either that an equally devout Muslim will just as readily see the name of Allah, in Arabic Naskh script, in things like tree bark, the arrangement of fruit seeds, clouds, or in a rash on their kid’s ass. Google “name of Allah in nature” and the examples are endless, and remarkably idiotic.

The Muslim won’t see the face of Jesus or Mary in their slab of burnt camel meat, and the Christian sure isn’t going to see Allah’s name scrawled in his grits and hog jowls. They will only pick up on imagery of their preferred religious icon. Oh sure, they’ll see Mickey Mouse in a cloud just like normal folk, and dismiss it as a natural event. But when Jesus floats by wearing a crown of thorns, a diaper, and carrying a cross ...well, THAT’S a sign from Gawd! What exactly it’s a sign of is determined by how mentally impaired and religiously stupefied one is. That, or their respective denomination.

What’s the harm in this? None as far as I’m concerned or can discern. It’s simply a by product of the delusion of religion which makes it’s adherents all too ready to accept a supernatural explanation for natural events. Besides, it’s entertaining and gives us just one more reason to laugh at the feeble minds that are attracted to, or created by, supernatural belief.

Yep, harmless until the day the addled mind of some religiously afflicted drone sees Jesus in a pool of his own vomit while listening to a recording of a Christian rock band played backwards that’s telling him that ripping off a few hundred rounds from his AK at the local NASCAR race is God’s will.

Crazy religionists.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bizarro World Lives!!

Back when I was an avid comic book aficionado DC Comics ruled my literary world. Superman was one of my favorite characters and I looked forward each month to his latest exploits and feats of daring do. This is where I came to learn of Bizarro World.

Bizarro World was an imaginary planet in another galaxy that on the surface paralleled Earth... but in the opposite. The planet was a cube, not a sphere and philosophically everything was backwards. Pretty was scorned, ugly was admired; perfection was evil, imperfection / distortion was good; intelligence was condemned and ridiculed, while backwardness/ignorance was praised. It made for some interesting stories.

I didn’t know it then but Bizarro World wasn’t a complete fiction or an imaginary planet. It may well be that the writer who developed this strange venue was commenting on civilization and foretelling the future, much as Orwell did with Animal Farm and 1984. If so he was frighteningly on target.

  • Recently the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said that capital punishment is “pro-life”; by deduction then being anti-death penalty must be assessed as being “pro-death.”

  • The Bible preaches that life is tribulation and pain - a curse caused by Original Sin in the Garden of Eden; true happiness and ones “reward” comes when you die.

  • For centuries the church has deemed thinking, questioning, and reason the great evil, the enemy of faith; it encourages unquestioning blind faith and the acceptance of ancient fable devoid of evidence deserved of praise.

  • The preponderance of scientific proofs for ancient Earth, the Big Bang, and evolutionary theory is all “deception”; while the deception, promoted by shaman, of the scriptural myths devoid of evidence is “truth.”

  • The pope condemns condom use and blames it for contributing to the spread of AIDS in the Third World; while he asserts that only belief in Jesus as ones savior curtails the spread of the disease.

  • To Mother Teresa the physical suffering of the terminally ill was good. She told tortured sufferers and the soon to be dead that pain was “Jesus kissing you”; all the while she withheld pain relieving medications. Painful death good, comfortable death bad.

  • Their man-god deemed praying in public to be avoided as a great hypocrisy; mass pray- ins, praying at graduation ceremonies, football games, and at legislative sessions are promoted by politicians and shaman.

  • The bible preaches that the rich cannot enter heaven; while millionaire preachers accumulate luxury cars and mega mansions with the contributions of millions of their often impoverished followers.

  • To Evangelicals war and unrest in Middle East is to be welcomed as part of God’s ultimate plan; anyone who promotes peace in the region is The Anti-Christ.

  • Christians tout Jesus as the “Prince of Peace,” Muslims claim the “Religion of Peace”; yet the most devout among them are pro-war, seek to suppress or kill gays, and perform acts of terrorism across the globe.

The list of bizarre contradictions promoted by a segment of our population in complete contrast and diametrically opposed to a civilized society continues on. You can probably add to this brief list of Bizarro like codes if you think about it. Bizarro World lives! Not on some distant planet, but here, now, on Earth. But its name is Religion World.