Saturday, October 27, 2012

Christians, Politicians and Rape: The Holy Trinity

I never thought so much about rape as I have in the past month.  I had always perceived it as an aggression perpetrated by men who would dominate, demean and dehumanize their victims with sexual violence. 

But now I realize that rape is more than that.  Rape, or at least proffering one’s perspective on rape, is now of political importance.  Invoking it is almost a prerequisite to establish a politician’s credentials as an under-educated  God fearing Christian fanatic misogynist expert of misinformation, and cheerleader for bad science and insensitivity.

Rape has evolved beyond a heinous crime and mutated into a political sport. Rape now has its self appointed referees, expert analysts, apologists, technical directors, color commentators, and quacks. 

I've learned a lot about rape from these amateur religious rape enthusiasts.  I've learned that there is “legitimate rape”, thus presumably illegitimate rape.  I've discovered that men who would control a woman’s right to reproductive self determination have no problem espousing the fable of long discredited non-science that rape itself is a veritable contraceptive, thus rape victims rarely become pregnant. 

I've discovered that a rape is “God’s will,” or if it’s not then certainly the pregnancy of that attack is God’s blessing to that woman. I've learned that when a sperm enters an egg it is a human being and that doing anything to prevent the full term development of that two celled, four celled, eight celled, etc., product of rape is tantamount to “contract murder.”

I've come to appreciate the magnanimity of the enlightened self appointed male keepers of the uterus who declare that they have taken the maverick stance and parted ways with the party platform - condescending  not to seek to make abortion for rape victims illegal.  

Yes, I've been schooled about rape. More accurately, I've been enlightened as to the shallowness and grotesqueness of the minds of the Republican Party in general and the Religious Right Tea Baggers in particular. How it perceives women.  How it demeans women. How it seeks to control them. How it diminishes their very humanness by espousing false science and holier-than-thou-male dominated-penis waving-sperm worshiping- God invoking ignorance.  

I keep waiting for a Democratic candidate, or an Independent, or one of their supporters; or an atheist, or an agnostic to stumble blindly into this morass of rape rating declaration and Fallopian introspection. But I won’t hold my breath.  Fortunately it seems the obsessive verbal diarrhea over rape is uniquely the purview of the GOP politicians and their supporters. 

What else would we expect from Americans who get their talking points from a god, and their ability to reason from their anus?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Voting GOP this Election? Super! Here take one of these ...

... because your daughter, or grand daughter may someday need an abortion. Oh, and you’ll want to be sure to remind her to boil it first. 

You may want to stock pile a few dozen of these, because your grandson or daughter could be born gay, be persecuted, permitted by schools to be bullied by offended Xtians, and denied the happiness of a life long loving union that the rest of us are guaranteed. It’s okay, he’ll go peacefully. It’s worked for lots of kids.

And be sure to study up on this, because when the kids or grand kids need help with their science homework, you don’t want to confuse them or appear too intelligent. 

Don’t forget, Friday nights- when your local high school cheerleaders unfurl that state endorsed Christian banner - stand up and cheer with the rest of them. It may be unwise to call attention to yourself.  It’ll probably become a natural reflex after a while.

It’s all good. The God fearing Republicans have a plan to lower your tax rate, whip the world into shape, kick Iran's ass, beat China into submission, shrink the deficit, increase military spending, have gasoline flowing like Kool Aid, and fix everything once and for all.   Trust them, and trust God.   

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Free Business Advice to the Incurably Religious: Inquire Within

The first few years after retiring, my old firm asked me to do consulting work in my specialty of direct to consumer operations until they had a comfort level with my successor.   Mostly I conferenced with company execs, and other consultants, offering my input and recommendations on fulfillment services for our national retail catalogs and internet websites. 

I was paid handsomely for my time ... triple digits per hour including travel time and phone time; plus all expenses paid. Great gig if you can get it.

Today I am offering a piece of consulting advice to the religiously afflicted - pro bono, gratis, complimentary, absolutely free.  If you’re a business person, an author of a secular themed book, an ebay merchant, a contestant on a talent show, or any endeavor where religion has zero to do with what you are selling, then  this info may well increase your potential, boost your earnings, or save your job.  Pay close attention...I’m only going to type this once.

The other day I was searching ebay for a new leather belt.  I thought I found exactly the one I was looking for:  1 ¼” width, nice basket weave stamping, subtle buckle, tasteful, and inexpensive.  I was about to do a “buy now” until I scrolled to the bottom to confirm the return privileges, and there it was:  a scene with three crucifixes against a stormy sky, dead dudes dangling from each.  Lovely. Thanks ... I’ll pass.

This morning I was watching the Today show with Mrs. Hump. A pair of Kennedys came on touting their new book. Dressed in black, the gold cross on one of them stood out so big it looked like a gold tablespoon sized coke spoon with wings.  Yeah....we get it, you’re Catholic. What, that dead guy hanging around your neck has an aversion to nestling quietly and discretely in your cleavage?  (Strangely, their devoutness and blatant flaunting of their religion never seems to be enough to keep Kennedys from crashing airplanes, skis, and cars with disastrous results for themselves and innocent people around them.)   Her talisman was so distracting, I don’t have the vaguest idea what the book was about. 

Finally, I went shopping for a new wristwatch today.  The young woman behind the showcase took out a tray of Swiss Army watches. As she placed them on the counter I noticed a tattoo on her wrist. It was about the size of four postage stamps - a full color rendering of a tortured looking face wearing a rather uncomfortable looking thorny crown dripping blood. The guy’s upturned eyes seemed to be screaming “For ME sake, get me off this idiot’s wrist!”  On her other wrist was a weeping woman in black with a cross behind her.  No corpse. 

I casually inquired: “I guess you’re pretty religious, huh?”
“Huh?  Oh!  Yeah!  I’ve had them for about two years. Do you like them?” she lifted her full color corpse tattoo closer to my face. 
“Frankly, no. In fact, as long as you’re asking I find them a little off putting.” I flatly replied as I inspected one of the watches. She was silent after that. There was one watch I liked, but not in love with.  I may have been convinced but I just wasn’t motivated at this point.   I ended up in another jewelers buying from a lovely woman; no corpses hanging from her neck or a visible tattoos of a mythical man-god emblazoned forever in living (or dead) color on her wrist.  $175, less 25%, good deal.

Which brings me back to the title of this essay:  Attention religionists! I don’t care what fable you embrace or god you worship.  I don’t have any interest in how devout you are, or how holy your bodily adornments make you feel.  If you aren’t working in the Vatican, or a Christian book shop your prospective clientele doesn’t necessarily share your enthusiasm for your delusion.

So, tuck in your execution devise jewelry, and cover your bleeding corpse tattoo because these days, north of the Mason Dixon Line at least, you’ve a better chance of alienating prospective customers or clients than you do sealing a deal because of the display. 

Here, let’s try this, because I sense your  Christian-centric mindset is causing a blockage:  if I worked in a shop and wore a sign around my neck or displayed a tattoo on my forehead that said “Jesus is a myth, kill it once and for all” you may feel a tad put upon and not want to do business with me either. In fact, it may even prompt you to complain to management, demand I cover up the imposition, or threaten never to patronize that business again.

I doubt your man-god will be offended. Besides it’s not like his tattooed likeness or gold corpse can’t magically see through your blouse sleeve or sweater top. Plus you’ll piss off fewer people, thus earn more sales, more commissions, maybe sell more books, even keep your job. Sounds like a win win for you AND your deity.  OK, that's my advice. Take it or leave it.   

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Take the National Quiz of Shame

The past week has been rife with some interesting political developments. I’m not talking about the presidential election necessarily, but statements and proposals from politicians around the nation that should give thinking people pause.

Unfortunately, much as devout Christians will hang tight to their beliefs even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, so too will some otherwise thinking people turn a blind eye, or deny, or just dismiss as a one off the madness that spews from the mouths of religious fanatic politicians. 

So, I offer the following short quiz to my readers to prompt some introspection and aid some of their friends and relatives in assessing their own readiness to ride the band wagon of the  insanely religious.  Get ready, this won’t be pretty:

1.  Name the Gubernatorial candidate and his party, who has declared his support for  introducing Creationism into his state’s public schools if elected, and will refuse all federal aid for education for his state.

2.  Name the state representative & his party who in the past two years introduced a bill that would require Creationism be discussed in science classes; and who supported a religious test for public school science teachers to keep atheist teachers out of the class room.

3. Name the state representative candidate & his party who declared that rebellious children should be put to death, per the Old Testament directive.

4. Name the state rep and his party, who proclaimed that slavery was “a blessing” to black people. And from the same state, the representative who proclaimed slavery couldn’t have been so bad since Jesus and Paul never condemned it.

5. Name the Congressman and his party who sits on the Science Committee who announced that evolutionary theory is “a lie from the pit of hell.” He also declared manmade global warming a conspiracy by certain members of the scientific community.

6. Name the pro-life, family values congressman and medical doctor, and his party, who opposes abortion even to save the life of the mother, but who insisted his mistress have an abortion to “save his marriage.”.

7. Name the ex-president and his party who proclaimed atheists “... aren’t patriots and maybe not even be Americans.”

8. Name the state representative and his party that has called for the death of homosexuals.

9 Name the national candidate and his party who believes that god and his wives lives on the planet Kolob;  wears special underwear that protects him from evil;  will himself someday be a god of his own planet; and who believes almost half the nation’s citizens are un-motivated self declared victims entitled to free food and free everything.
10. What do each of these politicians have in common?

1. Ovid Lamontagne  (R- New Hampshire) Catholic
2.Gary Hopper (R- Weare, New Hampshire) Protestant
3.Charles Fuqua (R – Arkansas) Baptist 
4 Jon Hubbard (R- Arkansas) Baptist; and Loy Mauch (R- Arkansas) Baptist
5 Paul Broun (R- Georgia) Southern Baptist
6 Scott DesJarlais (R- Tennessee) Episcopalian
7 George H.W. Bush ( R )  Episcopalian
8 Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Mississippi)  Christian
9 Willard “Mitt” Romney ( R ) Mormon
10. They are all Republicans and Christians, and represent only a very few of the many GOP politicians who share their perspectives.

 I’m sure you were able to answer a few of these correctly. Certainly you could have guessed the party affiliations.  But your score isn’t important. What’s important is your answer to the final two part question... and here it is:

11: A) How can any thinking person ignore these realities, which are just the tip of the madness iceberg, and cast their vote for the party that virtually exclusively  attracts this kind of madness, this degree of incivility, these expressions of hate, hypocrisy and religious fanaticism that is counter to everything America stands for...then goes so far as to fund those campaigns and candidates?
11: B) How can any person of reason and reality vote for a party that attracts like a magnet the support of the least educated, most religiously deluded, homo-phobics, misogynists, and racists - in the hopes that this party has a magic bullet that will lift this nation magically out of its financial doldrums?

11:A&B-  Because some unholy blend of self interest, cognitive dissonance, denial, and racism is not exclusively the purview of ignorant religious fanatics.  And that’s the real national shame.

My guess is you got that last one right   

Friday, October 5, 2012

An uninvited guest: Guess who came to dinner?

I hate having unannounced out of town guests.  I mean, it’s just rude.  Forget about the fact that I have to hustle and put on pants, what if I had something important, I dunno -  purging my dog’s anal gland?

Last night the driveway alarm sounded, the security lights came on, the automated Claymore mine system armed, and my spidey sense started to tingle, the latter only happening when religionists have breached the Camel Ranch compound perimeter.

Being the closest one to it, Mrs. Hump heaved me the Marlin 1898 12 gauge pump I keep loaded over the side door.  I racked one of the 00 buck shot shells into the chamber and waited. Seconds later there was a knock at the back door. 

“Who the hell is it?” I barked.  It’s my normal greeting to unexpected night intruders.
“Don’t you mean ‘Who the heaven is it?’ my son?” was the soft spoken reply in an accent reminiscent of a cross between Yassar Arafat and a Hassidic rabbi from Brooklyn.

Leveling my shotgun about waist high, I swung the door open.  There stood the scruffiest looking, bearded, snaggle toothed, slightly emaciated, schlub I’ve ever seen outside of a Walmart. 

“Hi I’m Jesus.”
“I don’t need my lawn mowed, I do it myself...besides it’s late. ”
“No, not THAT kind of Jesus the ORIGINAL one; you know, JESUS! Can I come in?”
“Lemme see some ID.”

He cautiously reached into his cheap crumpled Sears suit jacket and fumbled around for his wallet... eventually producing a New Hampshire driver’s license which he held up at arms length for me to read. 

I read it out loud :  “Jesus Christ, AKA Son of God, AKA Prince of Peace, AKA Jebus; AKA Jeezus H. Fuckin’ Christ;  DOB: approx. 4 BCE.; Current address: Men’s Shelter, Manchester, NH; Corrective lenses required, motorcycle certified.”

I compared the photo to the specter standing before me, looking back and forth between the two just to be sure. was him...or Him.  

Ok, com’on in, but keep those hands where I can see them, don’t drip any blood on the floor, and let’s make this quick... The X-Factor comes on in ten minutes. ”   I noticed some nasty infected holes in his hands.  I assumed he had them in his feet too, but since he was wearing a pair of Nikes I wasn't concerned.  I showed him to the kitchen and had him sit down at the table.  If he was carrying fleas, the last thing I needed was an infestation in the living room carpeting.

“I guess you’re wondering what I’m doing here, I mean what with your being a freethinker, an anti-theist activist, and something of a hump to people who believe in me.”

I surmised that the stench of cheap sweet wine on his breath was Manischewitz Concord Grape, vintage of last Tuesday.  The crumbs of matzo in his beard did not exactly endorse the old “cleanliness is next to godliness” bromide. 

“Yeah, you might say that.  Get on with it, Captain Obvious.”
“Well, I’m here to apologize for all the crap my followers did over the centuries and still do.  All the problems they caused and still cause.”
“Uh huh..go on”
“And the fact that they eschew education, deny scientific reality, make up fake history, treat women like chattel, are so damn gullible, support Romney who’s a real douche, and despise homosexuals.  You know I’m a little light in the sandals my self.”  That last phrase was accompanied by an embarrassed smile that made me a little uncomfortable.

“Ok, fine.  So what are you going to do about it?  When are you going to divulge to your sheeple that  you and those other two guys You also call You,  are Paul's total fabrication at worst; or a composite figure drawn from pagan gods, Cynic preachers, and 1st century Jewish nationalist professors of  independence from Rome at best? ”

“Oh ... I couldn't do that.  Much like Tinkerbell from Peter Pan (one of my personal favorite god-like myths, by the way), unless people believe in me I would totally disappear. It would be tantamount to suicide for me to out myself. And according to my myth, I already did the suicide thing once.  If I did it again it would look, well... like a cry for attention.”

“AND SO....?”
I was growing impatient. I already missed the first five minutes of X-Factor. “You’re here to apologize and that’s it?  You came all the way from Manchester ... on foot evidently ... just for that?!”

No No... I came to thank you for what you’re doing.  I mean just look at me!  You see any halo?  No!  Any beams of light emanating from my being?  No!  I had to fricken walk here, don’t even have my Mercedes C class anymore...repossessed.  Hey, this is a $40 suit, ‘buy one, get the shirt and tie free.’  No more Brooks Brothers, no more Barney’s NY, no more hand sewn Italian shoes.  I came to tell you to keep up the good work. Your exposing me as a myth and invention is having its effect, and it’s long over due. Won't belong before my whole crappy story is laid to rest. Me along with it.”

I was struck by two emotions:  the first was an inclination to lower the shotgun, as this guy was obviously no longer a threat.  The other was one of enormous pride.

“Hey, thanks, I appreciate that!  I mean, I knew I was making a difference, but I didn’t realize I was ALL THAT, ya know? I mean, that I was single-handedly responsible for your gradual demise and ultimate consignment to the shit can of dead man-gods and fables.”

“Uh ... oh.  Yeah.  Well, truth be told,   I’m making the rounds to all thinking people with the drive and will to speak out. You’re like number 835,701
. Hey, you wouldn't happen to have a spare ham sandwich would ya?”