Thursday, September 18, 2014

Enigma of the Atheist/ Freethinker Republican: Hump ‘Splains It All.

I struggle with this every year as election time comes around, trying my hardest to understand how an atheist can be Republican. In the face of the latest avalanche of venom and idiocy spewing and blocking votes from the GOP I am in even more of a quandary.

Now, don’t misunderstand; I fully comprehend that atheist simply means one who has no belief in God or gods.  Period.  It doesn’t speak to political positions, or even imply a high regard for ethics.  It doesn’t define ones perspective towards gay rights, or women, or war, or conspiracy theories, or dishonesty, or fiscal issues. It has little or no bearing on ones prejudices, or perspective on race, or jingoistic nationalism.  An atheist can hold any number of differing view points on these and other issues. 

But I have typically credited atheists with a higher intellect than religionists.  By my experience they more often than not use reason and logic to form their opinions and perspectives.  They tend to be less knee jerk reactionary, if only because their inquiring minds want all the details, the objective data, before formulating a position.  In short: I expect atheists to think on a higher plane than your typical religionist, and the mass of drooling, FOX viewing, Limbaugh and Hannity worshiping, “Christian Nation” endorsing, Creationism promoting, science denying, GOP faithful.

Alas, I have been deceiving myself. Atheists do not, by that label, lay claim to reasoned judgment, or even simple humanity.  

How can a freethinker cast their vote for a party that would take away women’s reproductive rights, because her womb is declared a sacred and holy place that must be filled with a fetus at all costs, lest God be angered; or who can cast their vote for a party that votes down the Violence Against Women Act; or that defeats an Equal Pay for Equal Work Law; or blocks a Veterans Benefits Bill, or whose “Number One Priority” for the first four years of this nation’s worst economic condition since the depression was to “make this [‘nigra, Muslim, commie’ ] president a one term president”, let the nation’s unemployment, foreclosures, and financial woes be damned.

How does a person of reason justify to themselves voting for a party that sues a sitting president for doing the business of running a nation in the face of a congress whose only objective for six years was, and still is,  to stymie progress, and defeat anything the president proposes... even if they themselves once endorsed it?  Or a party whose obsessive hate requires a laser like focus on a terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Africa, when previous GOP presidents had embassies blown up and destroyed killing scores of embassy employees and US citizens with not even a hint of a need for an all encompassing months long investigation to place blame on the administration? 

How can a thinking rational person claim allegiance to a party that has some elected officials who claim the Boston marathon bombing was a government hoax, or that a woman can’t become pregnant as a result of rape?  That hold in high esteem members of congress who hold this nation hostage to the threat of government shut downs over and over again; or who elevate  Palins, and Bachmanns, and Santorums, and Huckabees, and Perrys, and Jindals and their ilk as beacons of intellect and pillars of the GOP platform?  Or that endorses and embraces a block of all male Catholic Supreme Court Justices whose allegiance to the Bible clearly takes precedence over the Constitution and a woman’s right to prescription meds; who declare a business capable of holding a religious view that can be imposed upon its employees; and imbuing a business entity with the same rights of freedom of speech as an individual citizen ...except with lots more money with which to speak?

How do they sleep at night, our fellow freethinkers, knowing that they are supporting a party that would see Creationism taught in our public schools, abortion outlawed, school books infused with Christian doctrine, and distorted history forced down kid’s throats?  A party made of those who eschew exploration of stem cells; who deny scientific evidence of global warming and evolution; who would shut down the EPA, and Department of Education while our nation faces critical pollution related health issues and educational deficiencies that makes us far behind much of the industrialized world? A party whose first response to international conflict is beating the war drum ready to send young men and women to die to feed their blood lust, financial investments,  and chicken-hawk mentality; that kowtows to the NRA thus refusing to support even the most benign crime control gun objectives; and that would deny gays full rights because it is condemned by the very doctrine and document we as atheists disdain as cruel and misogynistic gibberish from ancient sand people and 1st century cultists? 

Well, here’s the answer.  Here’s how these GOP freethinkers and atheists sleep at night, how they can ally with the religiously driven, how they can turn their backs on personal freedoms, on women’s issues, on veterans, on civility and social advancement of a nation that lags behind the rest of the free world.   The answer is THEIR FRICKIN TAXES. 

Yup… that’s what it comes down to. The GOP promises them that their taxes will go down. Period. Oh, not through cutting the Department of Defense - oh no they love the Military Industrial Complex too much for that.  Besides, Cheney needs the money.  And certainly not by removing tax credits and corporate welfare they give to Oil Companies, oh no.  No, they will take from the poor to give to the rich, like a psychopathic Robin Hood.  They’ll finance their beloved and all mighty lower taxes on the backs of people on food stamps, on the erosion of public schools in favor of religious school vouchers, by cutting veterans benefits, by cutting social security benefits, by telling the 3 million+ people who have already received health insurance they never before had  “Sorry..go fuck your selves… this isn’t Europe.”

Yep… that’s what it’s about.  Their personal bank account.  Everything else means nothing, let society, gays, women, the poor, the combat vet, the minimum wage workers be damned. Let the gap between the ultra rich and the middle and working classes get larger and larger as the top of the food chain enriches itself while the other 99% remain stagnant or lose real income…waiting for a “trickle down” that has never and will never come.

Oh they’ll say they worry about the national debt - that this wild-eyed Liberal spending is ruining the nation.  But it’s a lie...either knowingly or by self or FOX deception.  The nation’s debt has, for the past 30+ years, ALWAYS been reduced during Democratic administrations versus Republican administrations.
In short: atheist / freethinker Republican faithful are in lock step with the industrial robber barons of the 19th century.  Their motto: “Fuck ‘em! I got mine, and I want more!” . That or “Let them eat cake!” a mind set that never has been a very useful long term solution as history will testify.

The GOP platform pretty much boils down to this: “If God had intended people to have healthcare, or control of their own bodies, or full equality regardless of who they love, or children with full bellies, or a genuine education free from lies and delusion He’d have made them rich…or written it down somewhere!”

GOP atheists, you’re known by the friends you keep.  Don’t count me among them lest someone think I respect them too. You’ve thrown in with Christian oppressors and backward think. You’ve made your choice, and it disgusts me. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

An Open Letter to the 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tmorrows

Dear September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows;

Much to be said for the good intent behind your message. Unthinking violence and hostility towards "the other", regardless of their race, culture, faith or lack thereof is simply unjustified incivility.

But, with that said, no poster, no well meaning meme, no appeal to civility can erase that which we know to be true.  Burying ones head in the sand and declaring justifiable  suspicion toward Muslims "Islamophobia", is simple denial of the thousands of instances of  violence, horror, incivilities and death wrought by Islam, in the name of Islam,  on the West and on their own brethren.

9/11 is but one example, albeit to Americans and New Yorkers in particular, the most horrible one.  As well meaning as you, the survivor families are,  who suffered so much, it is  a bit presumptuous to think that distrust, suspicion, and yes even hatred of Muslims can be dissolved by your appeal.  It's deeper than you well meaning folks, and that specific horror.  

It goes to US military officer who kills his own in the name of Allah.  To home grown terrorists who found sanctuary in a free nation and who then turned against it by blowing up innocent people attending a foot race in Boston.  To infatuated and easily led would be "martyrs" who leave their adoptive nation to fight along side murders to whom beheading innocents, abusing women, dismembering and torturing those of another sect or religion is considered "Allah's will" and who will one day come home to use their training to spread terror in our homeland. 

From Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Syria, to Nigeria, to Libya, to China, to Russia;  from London, to Boston, to New york City to who knows where next...the curse that is fundamentalist Islam has become a pandemic poised to consume whatever it touches, wherever it can find an opening. If this sounds like it is analogous to a flesh eating bacteria, it's not by accident.

Some European nations  have kowtowed to the demands of their exponentially growing immigrant Muslim citizens.  They pass laws, and give preferences and make allowances for their culture and religious dogma. They did so in an effort to appease and accommodate and are already experiencing the fruits of that through inflamed Islamic fervor. They have opened the door to even more radicalization, more demands for Sharia law.  Accommodation is viewed as weakness by Muslims.  Until the West understands that mindset it will stand like an open wound ready to be infected with a disease for which a cure would be even more unthinkable than the prevention.

They say a person isn't paranoid if in fact there ARE "people out to get" them.  Similarly, one isn't "Islamophobic"  when in fact Islam is out to convert the world and drag it back into the 7th century; or to punish and kill those they cannot subjugate.

So, keep your warm and fuzzy meme.  I do not disdain Islam solely in the name of the victims of 9/11, or you their survivors.  I do so out of a recognition of the reality of the threat of Islam to the world,  and self preservation.

Your faithful dromedary,