The Lady Speaks

Huckabee Wants a Christian Constitution

Remember that stuff we learned in classes like Civics and American History and Principles of Democracy? Well, some of us learned. Obviously, considering El Pollo Loco is still the President, some of us slept through them.

But I digress….

We learned that the founders, having the examples of the Old World right there in front of their faces, believed in a government invested and run by its people. A government without a state-sponsored religion, that allowed any of its citizens – well, the white and male ones — to hold any office regardless of their private religious beliefs and practices.

Thomas Jefferson is spinning in his grave after hearing Mike Huckabee talk to a Michigan audience yesterday.

From Raw Story: [and yes, there’s video — Jenn]

“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.” [my emphasis]

Say what??

Shortly after this aired, small rumbles were heard coming from the ground near Monticello.

You know what we call this, Mike Huckabee, when someone takes a perfectly good Constitution — one that’s lasted 230 years or so — and changes it to “God’s standards”? We call that a “theocracy.” We also tend to call it “complete and utter bullshit spewed from the mouth of a madman.” (Well, most of us do. The Christianist nuts who support you call it something else, I’m sure.)

Let me give you a few examples of countries in which “God’s standards” reign (or reigned) supreme: The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, The Islamic Republic of Iran

But wait … there’s more! Saudi Arabia? Oligarchy for the wealthy, theocracy for everyone else. Iraq used to be a dictatorship, but we went and brought them “freedom,” so now it’s a …. fucking mess. Democracy, theocracy, and thuggery.

Back in what’s often called the “Dark Ages”, there were Christian-based governments all over Europe. Britain, France, Spain, etc. Know what came of that? Lots of rich priests, religious wars, and a whole lot of Inquisition.

Here at home, the Massachusetts colony, founded by people — fundamentalists, as a matter of fact — who sought relief from the religious persecution they faced in Britain only to turn around and make religious persecution the heart and soul of their laws.

Roger Williams, he man who founded Providence, Rhode Island was expelled from the Massachusetts Puritan colony in 1636 for dissent. 1

Rhode Island, the colony founded by Williams, was the first colony to truly embrace religious freedom was established in 1647 and became a destination for those persecuted for their beliefs. Just five years later, it would become the first colony to abolish slavery.2

The Salem “witches” weren’t the only ones killed by the religious fervor of our Pilgrim ancestors. Four Quakers were killed by the colony, including a woman named Mary Dyer, for “repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from the territory.” 3

In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville, had this to say about his tour of the United States and the idea of separation of church and state.

I found that they [clergymen, including several Roman Catholic priests] differed upon matters of detail alone, and that they all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point.4

Now, lest anyone think I’m completely against all forms of religion – no. Do I hate Christians? No. In fact, a great many people I love and care about are Christians. However, I am against the government enshrining the principles of any one religion, regardless of its name.

I do not want a Christian-based, nor an Islamic-based, nor a Hindu-based, nor a Wiccan-based government. I want a government that keeps its nose out of religious affairs except when those practices and doctrines are in direct conflict with the law (ie: no sacrificing of infants, no dancing naked on Main Street, etc.) and/or presents a danger to those outside the religion (ie: Christianist militia-types planning attacks).

Truth be told, if you want to kill all your followers with poisoned koolaid, the government and the ATF should stay out of it. A few less crazies cannot be a bad thing.

I would also like the various religions to keep their noses out of government. I don’t want the Mike Huckabees of the world telling me what I can and cannot do based on what their particular sky god says. If you believe abortion is wrong, don’t have one. If you think premarital sex – or sex in general – is wrong, don’t do it. If you think homosexuality is wrong, don’t have gay sex. If you think the use of birth control is wrong, stop using it.

When it comes to morality, the only person your gods or goddesses should be able to control is yourself.
But, most of all, stop telling the rest of us how to behave.

And now, a few words from one of our Founders, before he begins tunneling to the center of the earth:

“[If] the nature of… government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope.” –Thomas Jefferson to Pierrepont Edwards, July 1801. 5

“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.” –Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, 1813. ME 14:21 5

“I have been just reading the new constitution of Spain. One of its fundamental bases is expressed in these words: ‘The Roman Catholic religion, the only true one, is, and always shall be, that of the Spanish nation. The government protects it by wise and just laws, and prohibits the exercise of any other whatever.’ Now I wish this presented to those who question what [a bookseller] may sell or we may buy, with a request to strike out the words, ‘Roman Catholic,’ and to insert the denomination of their own religion. This would ascertain the code of dogmas which each wishes should domineer over the opinions of all others, and be taken, like the Spanish religion, under the ‘protection of wise and just laws.’ It would show to what they wish to reduce the liberty for which one generation has sacrificed life and happiness. It would present our boasted freedom of religion as a thing of theory only, and not of practice, as what would be a poor exchange for the theoretic thraldom, but practical freedom of Europe.” –Thomas Jefferson to N. G. Dufief, 1814. ME 14:128 5

“Whenever… preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science.” –Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815. ME 14:281 5

– – – – –

1. Wikipedia

2. Wikipedia

3. Women’s History

4. Democracy in America,1835, Book One Part 3 Chapter 17, Section 6. “Principal Causes Which Render Religion Powerful in America.” via Wikipedia

5. Thomas Jefferson on Politics and Government

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January 16, 2008 Posted by | America, Christianity, Constitution, Election '08, Government, Politics, Religion, Republicans | 5 Comments

Murder in Church

Everyone by now has heard about the murders at a Colorado missionary training center and at a megachurch on Sunday

There’s a lot to think about here. The need by the media – especially our faithful ‘War on Christmas and Christians!!” news anchors – to keep mentioning the killer “hated Christians” in big headlines and topical chyrons. All of which fail to mention he was the home-schooled product of a family that was described as “very very religious” and that he was himself a student at the missionary school before being expelled three (or possibly five) years ago for “health reasons.”

This wasn’t an atheist gone berserk, nor a Muslim, nor a member of any other religion. This was a young man, brought up in a hyper-religious Christian family, who went to a missionary training school, and – for reasons we may never understand – came to hate them so much he killed four people, wounded more, and traumatized who knows how many. But you wouldn’t know that unless you listened to the whole program or read it in a much-later paragraph.

Another thing to ponder is that the killer was possibly brought down by an armed security guard.

Think about that for a moment – an armed security guard in a church. Church … guns. Guns … church. Continue reading

December 11, 2007 Posted by | America, Christianity, Religion, Whacko Nut Cases | 2 Comments

Religion and Peace

While recently speaking to an new online acquaintance, I began to realize she is a fanatical, hardcore, devoted-to-George, member of the 29%. Among her talking points – culled, no doubt, from Fox News and Michelle Malkin – was “Islam is not a religion of peace! Look at what Muslims do and have done over centuries!”

Which got me thinking….

If a small minority of Christians worldwide, over the centuries, have used and encouraged violence against others in fights for land or natural resources or power or simply to prove theirs was the better god… wouldn’t that mean Christianity is not a religion of peace?

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

New York Times:

An Indonesian court jailed 17 Christians for up to 14 years on Thursday under anti-terrorism laws for the murder of two Muslims.

[snip]

The three were convicted of leading a group that killed hundreds of Muslims at a boarding school during inter-religious violence in Poso in 2000.

Judges at the South Jakarta court found the 17 defendants guilty of “acts of terrorism by the use violence.”

They will know we are Christians by our love

Anti-Defamation League:

Since the summer of 2005 the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), led by Fred Phelps, has been picketing funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, with placards reading “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “Thank God for IEDs [improvised explosive devices],” while shouting epithets at grieving parents. Phelps believes that the soldiers represent a nation tolerant of homosexuality, and their deaths are God’s direct punishment for their sins.

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

Catholic World News: {May 5, 2004}

About 300 Muslims were killed last Sunday by a Christian militia in Nigeria’s central Plateau state, according to Muslim leaders and local authorities. The killings are part of escalating interreligious violence that has taken the lives of at 700 people over the last three months.

The Christian Tarok tribe and Muslim Fulani tribe have historically clashed over rich farmland in the region, and ethnic and religious divisions in the African country have fuelled the fighting.

They will know we are Christians by our love

PublicEye.org:

A day after the Oklahoma City bombing, Christian Patriots gathered at the International Coalition of Covenant Congregations Conference held at the Lodge of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri. The conference featured leading figures in the Identity movement, including Pete Peters and Larry Pratt. Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, spoke on the “Biblical Mandate to Arm.”

One of the 550 attendees told Freedom Writer, “I mingled with a lot of people there, and there was not a shred of sympathy for what happened in Oklahoma.” “This is just the beginning,” another person added.

Asked about the innocent children killed in the blast, many of the participants echoed the same response: “What about all the unborn babies killed at abortion clinics?”

[snip]

With 50,000 or more members, operating in more than 30 states, approximately 85% of the militias are comprised of Christian Patriots — though not necessarily Identity Christians. Most Christians, of course, abhor violence, and very few would attempt to justify what happened in Oklahoma City. Still, it is a fact that the militia movement is largely a movement of those calling themselves Christians.

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

Wikipedia:

The Crusades were a series of military conflicts of a religious character waged by Christians during 1095–1291, most of which were sanctioned by the Pope in the name of Christendom.[1] The Crusades had the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the sacred “Holy Land” from Muslim rule and were originally launched in response to a call from the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire for help against the expansion of the Muslim Seljuq dynasty into Anatolia.[2][3]

They will know we are Christians by our love

www.law.umkc.edu:

From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. Another man of over eighty years was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft. Dozens languished in jail for months without trials. Then, almost as soon as it had begun, the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts ended.

By our love, by our love

July 26, 2007 Posted by | America, Christianity, Religion, Whacko Nut Cases | 4 Comments

Gimme A Break Already

Yesterday, crazed Talibangelicals attacked en masse … er, in a group of three, bringing the Senate to a halt … well, slowing it down a tad, before being dragged away by shrieking harpies and flying monkeys … er, by security.

The problem? A Hindu priest offering the morning invocation.

Oh, the horror!

From TPM Election Central:

The three protesters, who all belong to the Christian Right anti-abortion group Operation Save America, and who apparently traveled to Washington all the way from North Carolina, interrupted by loudly asking for God’s forgiveness for allowing the false prayer of a Hindu in the Senate chamber.

“Lord Jesus, forgive us father for allowing a prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sight,” the first protester began.

“This is an abomination,” he continued. “We shall have no other gods before You.”

The group these Talibangelicals belong to issued a press release:

Theology Moved to the Senate and was Arrested

Theology has moved from the church house onto the floor of the United States Senate, and has been arrested.

Ante Pavkovic, Kathy Pavkovic, and Kristen Sugar were all arrested in the chambers of the United States Senate as that chamber was violated by a false Hindu god. The Senate was opened with a Hindu prayer placing the false god of Hinduism on a level playing field with the One True God, Jesus Christ. This would never have been allowed by our Founding Fathers.

“Not one Senator had the backbone to stand as our Founding Fathers stood. They stood on the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Ummmm…… No. (Or “Sadly, No!” – to coin a phrase)

Our Founding Fathers, especially John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and many others, believed religion held no place in the workings of government.

In 1831, the Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson had this to say, in a sermon given in Albany NY:

“The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity….

“Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism.”

To wit, Thomas Jefferson:

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination. [my emphasis]

Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.

Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

Notes on Virginia, 1782

I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.

Letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote “Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?”)

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.

Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

John Adams:

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?

Letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved — the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!

Letter to Thomas Jefferson

“Checks and Ballances, Jefferson, however you and your Party may have derided them, are our only Security, for the progress of Mind, as well as the Security of Body. Every Species of these Christians would persecute Deists, as soon as either Sect would persecute another, if it had unchecked and unballanced Power. Nay, the Deists would persecute Christians, and Atheists would persecute Deists, with as unrelenting Cruelty, as any Christians would persecute them or one another. Know thyself, human Nature!”

Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 25 June 1813

George Washington:

Among many other weighty objections to the Measure, it has been suggested, that it has a tendency to introduce religious disputes into the Army, which above all things should be avoided, and in many instances would compel men to a mode of Worship which they do not profess.

Letter to John Hancock [then-president of Congress] in 1777, opposing a Congressional plan to appoint brigade chaplains in the Continental Army

James Madison:

…Freedom arises from the multiplicity of sects, which prevades America and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest.

Spoken at the Virginia convention on ratifying the Constitution, June 1778

What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. [emphasis mine]

Address to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785

The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.

– Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821

Benjamin Franklin:

If Christian preachers had continued to teach as Christ and his Apostles did, without salaries, and as the Quakers now do, I imagine tests would never have existed; for I think they were invented, not so much to secure religion itself, as the emoluments of it. When a religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one. [emphasis mine]

To Richard Price (a Friend, or Quaker), 9 October 1780

The faith you mention has doubtless its use in the world; I do not desire to see it diminished, nor would I endeavour to lessen it in any man. But I wish it were more productive of good works than I have generally seen it: I mean real good works, works of kindness, charity, mercy, and publick spirit; not holiday-keeping, sermon-reading or hearing, performing church ceremonies, or making long prayers, filled with flatteries or compliments, despised even by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the deity. […]

Your great Master thought much less of these outward appearances and professions than many of his modern disciples. He preferred the doers of the word to the mere hearers; the son that seemingly refused to obey his Father and yet performed his commands, to him that professed his readiness but neglected the works; the heretical but charitable Samaritan, to the uncharitable though orthodox priest and sanctified Levite; and those who gave food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, raiment to the naked, entertainment to the stranger, and relief to the sick, etc. though they never heard of his name, he declares shall in the last day be accepted, when those who cry Lord, Lord; who value themselves on their faith though great enough to perform miracles but have neglected good works shall be rejected. [emphasis mine]

To Joseph Huey, 6 June 1753

 

 

 

 

July 13, 2007 Posted by | America, Christianity, Religion, Whacko Nut Cases | 3 Comments

Jenn’s Sunday Sermon – Easter Edition

Happy Candy-filled Spring Holiday to all those celebrating.

This probably should have been a Good Friday post, but…well, it isn’t. As usual this week, I’m running behind.

* *

For many Christians – the real ones, not the Talibangelical-types – this is the holiest day in the Christian calendar. Not Christmas.

As miraculous as Christ’s birth might have been, it was his life and his death that mattered. However, even if you’re not a believer, you can still understand and be awed by the story of Christ: A man came and stood up to the establishment of the time and was killed for it.

Whether he rose from the dead or not matters little in the end, when you consider the impact of his life.

He came and told the people that they were all equal. He told the people to love one another, to care for the poor, the widowed, the orphaned, the imprisoned. He sought no wealth and even threw the money-changers and vendors out of the Temple.

He didn’t die for defying Roman authority. He died for offending the sensibilities of the religious leaders who saw their congregants leaving to follow a no-name itinerant preacher.

He died for telling the hyper-religious and the wealthy that unless they put actions to words, they were not assured of a place in heaven.

He didn’t die for advocating against the government. He died for preaching peace, love, and brotherhood.

From the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

2  And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

In short, Son of God or not, Jesus was the original Dirty F*cking Hippie.

April 8, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Easter, Holidays, Religion, World Peace | 2 Comments

Jenn’s Sunday Sermon

After reading this at Sadly, No!, I had to wonder: Does religiosity make people stupid? Or does stupidity make people hyper-religious?

From Burnt Orange Report:

It’s not surprising that the earth doesn’t move for Warren Chisum, and maybe it’s not surprising that he blames a Jewish conspiracy for it. Still, it’s enough to set the world a-spinning that the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the most powerful committee in the House, distributed to legislators a memo pitching crazed wingers who believe the earth stands still — doesn’t spin on its axis or revolve around the Sun — that Copernicus was part of a Jewish conspiracy to undermine the Old Testament. That would be the same Old Testament that was written by the folks Chisum’s friends say are conspiring to undermine it.

Following the link at Burnt Orange takes you to this little place in cyberspace called “The non-moving Earth and anti-evolution webpage of the Fair Education Foundation, Inc.”

All of the evidence that is required to expose and destroy the counterfeit Copernican Model of a rotating and orbiting Earth–and the entire evolutionary paradigm resting upon that counterfeit–is set out in this book (HERE) & in scores of links on this web page.

[snip]

Indeed, the diligent reader will be astonished at the level of demonstrable hi-tech fraud, baseless assumptions, occult mathematics, etc.,–all part of a religious conspiracy!–that has been at work over many centuries implanting the incredible evolution myth about the origin of the Universe, the Earth, and Mankind.

On this web page the Bible is not used to prove anything scientific. Instead, the scientific facts–along with historical and religious facts– prove the Bible to be precisely what it claims to be, namely, the infallible Word of God.

Here’s a favorite belly-laugh inducer from the website: “True Science Confirms Bible Geocentrism”

The Christian Compromise with Copernicanism established the one and only criterion needed for the success of Satan’s evolution myth in the world first, then the churches. The criterion? Again, quite simple. Plain Scripture can and must be reworked to match the claims of “science falsely so-called”.

Another fun little spot in the Fair Education Foundation’s anti-Semitic rant: NASA is faking it all with virtual reality technology!!!1!!eleven!! [Warning – Font and background colors and/or text highlighting used on the following link may cause: eyestrain, epileptic seizures, migraines, incontinence, and/or impotence.]

“Virtual” Reality or “Actual” Reality?

“A work of art” *** “a dream” *** “an additional reality” *** “a new continent” […] ..a new space for liberation and universal understanding” *** “VR’s appeal… computers can be reality generators” *** “The VR fraternity…[has put] VR at the apex of the historical process…..”

These rhapsodic assurances from several qualified sources tell us what VR technology means to its devotees. They tell us what VR is doing and what it is capable of doing. Obviously, in the minds of its fans, this technology represents a paradigm shift in the role of computers. These advocates are talking about making real what is not real and calling it what it ain’t, namely, REAL. They are talking about a revolutionary Spiritual shift to a dimension of computer use which involves the black art of mind control, i.e., witchcraft….

The critical issues involved here are: a) Who creates this new reality that is not real? b) Who inputs it? c) Is the passion for creating computer-programmed deceptions about Space merely a tax-supported high tech video game for late-developing cyberpunks weaned on Star Treckian extraterrestrialism and Peruvian Grass?? Or: d) Are some folks with hard-core anti-Bible and even Kabbalist agendas behind these “reality generators”? e) Does premeditated deception become “Science” because it uses Gee Whiz technology?

And, NASA’s doing this because….evolution science and current astronomy are based on “Kabbalistic black magic using invented mathematics.”

And there’s more…so much more. If you really need some good laughs – especially at a time when El Pollo Loco seems intent on blowing up the world – this is the place. [Although, watch out for the crazy colors and weird highlighting. Why are the nuts of the world attracted to neon pink and day-glo blue backgrounds and purple/green/orange/red font colors? Do they really think using hot pink, fiery red, and super-blue highlighting is a good way of proving their serious, ‘sober’ scholarship?]

So, back to the question at the top: Religiosity Causes Stupidity or Stupidity Causes Religiosity?

The answer is probably: Half-dozen of one, six of the other.

The utterly devout (of any faith) get that way because they cannot and will not allow themselves to see, hear, or think of anything that doesn’t conform to their already preconceived beliefs. But, it is those who have a total lack of curiousity in – and no capability of understanding – anything outside their little sphere of belief who become devoutly religious.

The ones we need to fear, however, are those who become militantly devout – the Christianists, the Islamists, the Spaghetti’ists – precisely because their overweening attacks stem from fear. The fear that they will one day discover the truth: that they were wrong, and everyone else was right.

Those who believe in the ‘fixed earth’ – despite all available evidence – have their eyes tightly shut and their fingers clamped over their ears while yelling, “La-la-la…I can’t hear you….”

They absolutely, positively must stop you from thinking and/or talking about the real ‘reality’ because you might make them think a bad thought.

After all, the only thing worse that believing in nonsense would be….finding out your beliefs were nonsense.

*

PS: Be careful out there. If the sun spins ’round the Earth, then likely the Earth is also a flat disk and you could fall/fly off the edge.

February 18, 2007 Posted by | America, Christianity, Religion, Whacko Nut Cases | 2 Comments

Good ‘Christians’?

Yesterday the netroots was alive and agape at the news that Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon and Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare’s Sister had resigned their positions with the Edwards campaign.

Why? In part, because both felt they were taking attention from John Edwards’ campaign and message. But also because of threats on their lives (and bodies) by the so-called ‘Christians.’

These Christianists, angry at Amanda and Melissa for perceived insults and intolerance against their religion, as well as the profanity used by both, have responded in ways that defile their own religion, their own beliefs, the teachings of their own Church and their Lord.

Here’s a sample of the ‘Christian love” Amanda received:

Problem with women like you, you just need a good fucking from a real man! Living in Texas myself, I know you haven’t found that real Texan yet. But once your liberal pro feminist ass gets a real good fucking, you might see the light. Until then, enjoy your battery operated toys b/c most real men wouldn’t want to give you the fucking you deserve b/c the shit that would come out of you ears.

Such a good Catholic Christian, isn’t he? Just filled with the love of Christ! I had to pull out my Bible, because I didn’t remember the part where Jesus grabbed the woman who said curse words and said, Continue reading

February 14, 2007 Posted by | America, Blogs, Christianity, Politics, Religion, War On Women, Whacko Nut Cases | 2 Comments

Christmas – Pray for Peace

“What is Christmas? It is the fervent wish that every path may lead to peace.”– Agnes T. Pharo


Photo from: signonsandiego.com

* * * * *

From a peace liturgy at Wellsprings on the Web:

Bruised and black clouds shed heavy tears on the fields of Flanders,
fields become graveyards
in which were buried the flower of a generation

AND GOD WEPT
FOR THESE WERE HIS CHILDREN

Bruised and black clouds
shed heavy tears on the cities of Europe
of Japan, cities shrouded in the dust of desolation
camps wreathed in the smoke of human cremations
people in confusion whispering – “Please God, never again”

AND GOD WEPT
FOR THESE WERE HIS CHILDREN

Bruised and black clouds shroud cities
shopping streets
business centres
refugee camps
and people gaze on devastation
wrought by evil on innocence

AND GOD WEEPS
FOR THESE ARE HIS CHILDREN

Bruised and black clouds
shed tears over a whole world
bowed – bloodied by battle
cowed and weary of war
her roads clogged by refugees –
with nowhere but earth to call home

AND GOD WEEPS
FOR THESE ARE HIS CHILDREN

Photo from: Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace

* * * * *

A prayer for peace, from the Christian belief:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred,
Let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that
I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in forgiving that we
Are forgiven, and it is in dying

That we are born to eternal life.

Amen

From: ‘Christmas at War’ by Ava Lowery

 

Since I can’t figure out how to do the You-Tube thing, please go to Peace Takes Courage or FireDogLake to see Ava Lowery’s latest production, “Christmas at War” with Sarah McLachlan singing ‘Silent Night.’

And, if you haven’t seen it, watch “End This War” with music by Johnny Cash.

December 25, 2006 Posted by | America, Children, Christianity, Christmas, Family, Middle East, Prayer, Protest, Religion, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | 1 Comment

Jenn’s Sunday Sermon – Pray for Peace

Today is Christmas Eve. For those of the Christian persuasion, tomorrow is one of the most holy days of the year. As always at this time of year, I think of how little things have changed with regard to the less-fortunate of society.

A poor carpenter and his pregnant (virgin) wife arrived in a city and found no one willing to take them in. No family, no friends. The trip has been hard on them both, but worse for Mary.

Imagine Mary. About to give birth. She can’t see her feet. Her back hasn’t stopped aching for the last three months, she’s ridden across Israel on the back of a donkey – probably in labor the last few hours of the journey – and now she can’t even find a warm place to lay down and give birth.

At each door they knocked upon, they were told there was no room. Wandering around the city, searching for shelter, finding none as the day wore on.

Finally, one innkeeper gives what he can (without putting himself out). A stall in the barn. Mary likely looked at Joseph and said, “I don’t care. Just get me off this donkey.”

I don’t pretend to be like Mary, but I know the ‘joy’ of travelling cross-country at eight and a half months pregnant. In a Subaru Brat. Two seats. I couldn’t get comfortable for anything. The only clothes I fit into were sweats that made me look like a hippo. The most comfortable position was with my head on the passenger window and my feet in my then-husband’s lap.

We spent the trip fighting over the temperature controls and the radio station. He wanted it warm, I wanted it cold. He wanted country music. I wanted rock. By the time we reached Wichita Falls, all I wanted was a bed and painkillers and to not be pregnant anymore.

The TLF at Sheppard AFB was the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen (which I think is the point of Temporary Lodging Facilities. They don’t want you to like it enough to stay.) but I have never been so grateful for a bed. And, as bad as all that was, it sure beat a donkey ride and a cow barn.

The poor, Christ said, we will have with us always. And so we do.

Even in this time of giving and ‘goodwill toward men,’ the poor are blamed for their own situations. People with plenty to spare have all kinds of ‘reasons’ why some people, some group isn’t worth helping. We’ve heard a lot of them over the past year.

Katrina victims in NOLA and the Gulf Coast – “They should have found a way out.” and “They shouldn’t have lived there.” and “They’re all criminals and trash.”

Single parents working one or more jobs, earning minimum wage, barely making ends meet – they should have gotten and/or stayed married. Married parents working one or more jobs, earning minimum wage, barely making ends meet – “they need to pull themselves up and stop whining.”

Poor women who work are ‘selfish’ and should stay home with their children. Poor stay-at-home mothers are ‘lazy.’

Those forced into bankruptcy are “lazy” and “need to be more responsible” even though the leading reason for filing is catastrophic medical expenses.

Illegal Hispanic immigrants sitting in ‘detention facilities’, their American-citizen children left behind or imprisoned with them – “They broke the law.” (Never mind that illegal entry to the US is a misdemeanor offense.)

Is this is what the Republicans meant by “compassionate conservatism?” Is this what Christians call “goodwill toward men?”

Should Christ return tomorrow, he’s going to be mighty surprised by the lack of compassion for the poor, the imprisoned, the afflicted, that is shown by his supposed ‘followers.’ Perhaps instead of worrying about a ficticious ‘War on Christmas,’ they might take some time to actually listen and follow the teachings of their founder.

* *

Today’s prayer is from the Zoroastrian belief:

We pray to God to eradicate all the misery in the world:
that understanding triumph over ignorance,
that generosity triumph over indifference,
that trust triumph over contempt, and
that truth triumph over falsehood.

This prayer comes from Prayers for Peace.

December 24, 2006 Posted by | America, Children, Christianity, Christmas, Government, Prayer, Protest, Religion, War, World Peace | 2 Comments

Tis the Season

The War on Christmas? Apparently it’s on again, at least in this county. I made the mistake of wishing someone a “Happy Holiday”. With great indignity she replied, “I celebrate Christmas.” Well then. I then said “oh” and said I hoped it was joyful.

The second mistake was in not moving on immediately.

She informed me that this is a Christian nation, founded on Christian principles, and that she was sick of liberals who wanted to destroy ‘their’ holiday.

When I replied that if their holiday was about shopping until one was deeply in debt, wasting money and time buying expensive gadgets for overly-spoiled children, and shoving their religion in other people’s faces while simultaneously failing to live by the principles of that religion, then maybe it ought to be destroyed – well it wasn’t pretty. Much pearl-clutching and a sort of gasping fish face.

I’m probably off her Christmas card list. Darn. I probably won’t get the newsletter either. You know – “the newsletter”:

Bill is retired now and spends most of his time working on various projects [he’s seeing a 22yo stripper and just bought a cherry-red Corvette] including a new business: refurbishing old properties and reselling them! [He saw an infomercial; we’re going to lose our shirts.]
I’m busy with my charities [drinking heavily] and have started taking some gardening and self-defense classes. [Because if that bastard tries to divorce me, no one’ll ever find the body.] I help out with the new business occasionally as well. [Mostly bitching about how much money we’re losing.] It’s very interesting, working with your spouse. [I never knew how much I hated him until now.]

DarlingSon decided to take a year off college [was kicked out] and had some dealings in the chemistry and legal fields. [cooking meth in the basement; sentenced to 2yrs and probation]. He’s currently working with less-fortunate young men [has been assigned to a half-way house].

DarlingDaughter, you’ll be surprised to know, was recently married [hush-hush JP wedding] to her long-time [2 months together – a record for her] beau, and is currently spending time working in graphic arts [doing spit-and-India tattoos in the senior high lunch room] .

We’re very proud to announce that our first grandchild [not counting DD’s 6 illegitimate ones] will be making his/her appearance in early spring! I’m sure you share our joy with DD and her new hubby, William. [Spike]

The fact is, Christmas as it is celebrated now is a fairly recent amalgamation of various beliefs and rituals the ancient Church stole in order to bring in more converts. Besides which, money is king this time of year, not an ancient newborn.

I’m not Christian, though I was raised in the Protestant faith – three of them, in fact. I used to be “MethoBaptiTerian”. When we would move, Mom always took us to the closest Protestant Church.

Nowadays, I call myself a Zen-Humanist-Pagan, which is really just a name I made up to recognize that I have taken various teachings and rituals from a variety of beliefs, and combined them in a way that makes my life more meaningful. I celebrate the Solstice, but, because I have children, I choose to do some of the ‘traditional’ Christmas stuff, like putting up a tree, as well following some non-Christian traditions. (Want to scare your neighbors? Have your kids run around the backyard with (tiki) torches to ‘wake’ the sun! Let’s just say we won’t be doing that again!)

I don’t have anything against Christians, or anyone who chooses to celebrate Christmas, except when they want to force their holidays to be the only recognized holidays. The problem comes when their holidays are shoved down my throat by people who can’t even follow the precepts of their espoused religion.

I don’t want Christian symbols on government properties or in public schools or anywhere else where religion and state are traditionally separated. Not unless all religions are allowed to put their winter holiday symbols up as well.

I don’t think it’s disrespectful to say, “Happy Holidays” because it’s simply a shorter version of “I want to wish you well as you celebrate whatever holiday of whatever belief system you hold – if you hold one. Since I can’t tell what holiday you celebrate just by looking at you, I will simply express the hope your holiday season – however you celebrate it, if you celebrate it – is a joyful one.”

Let’s take on the first part of the myth: Jesus’ Holy birth – the Immaculate Conception, etc. While I’m of the belief that the man known as Jesus was a wise teacher, and that his teachings are important, his birth story is just another version of the same tale that existed long before his birth.

Mithras is the most likely source for the Virgin Birth myth, having existed at least 5 centuries prior to the birth of Christ.

From http://www.taivaansusi.net/historia/mithraism.html:

Roman Mithras was perhaps the greatest rival to early Christianity for many reasons. As well as being a popular pagan religion practised by the Roman Army, Mithraism had many similarities to Christianity. Mithras was born of a virgin, remained celibate, his worship involving baptism, the partaking of bread marked with a cross and wine as sacrificial blood, held Sundays sacred and Mithras was born on 25th of December. Mithraist called themselves ‘brother’ and were led by a priest called ‘father’ (Pater).

[snip]

These similarities frightened the early Christian leaders – that almost 500 years before arrival of Christ all of the Christian mysteries were already known. To combat this, Christian witters [sic] said that the Devil knew of the coming of Christ in advance and had imitated them before they existed in order to denigrate them. As Christianity gained strength and became the formal religion of the Roman Empire, the ‘Cult of Mithras’ was one of the first pagan cults to come under attack in the fifth century; Temples of Mithras, like most other pagan Temples, were destroyed and Churches build on them.

[snip]

According to Persian traditions, the god Mithras was actually incarnated into the human form of the Saviour expected by Zarathustra. Mithras was born of Anahita, an immaculate virgin mother once worshipped as a fertility goddess before the hierarchical reformation. Anahita was said to have conceived the Saviour from the seed of Zarathustra preserved in the waters of Lake Hamun in the Persian province of Sistan. Mithra’s ascension to heaven was said to have occurred in 208 B.C., 64 years after his birth. This birth took place in a cave or grotto, where shepherds attended him and regaled him with gifts, at the winter solstice. [all emphasis mine]

Sound familiar? As with nearly every other facet of the modern-day Christmas celebration, even the birth of Christ was appropriated from another religion.

Personally, I think all those who want to force Christmas on the rest of us should be forced to celebrate as the earliest citizens of our country did.

From Pagan Claus:

Christmas even started out controversially in North America. Reverend Rel Davis writes:

The festival of Christmas has always been a controversial one in Christianity. The Puritans banned Christmas altogether and during the Cromwellian period in England, anyone celebrating Christmas was jailed for heresy. Probably the most hated of all Puritan laws was the one abolishing Christmas and probably led to popular acceptance of royalty (nb: the Restoration) — at least the King allowed the masses to celebrate Yule!

In America, Christmas was generally outlawed until the end of the last century. In Boston, up to 1870, anyone missing work on Christmas Day would be fired. Factory owners customarily required employees to come to work at 5 a.m. on Christmas — to insure they wouldn’t have time to go to church that day. And any student who failed to go to school on December 25 would be expelled. Only the arrival of large numbers of Irish and northern European immigrants brought acceptance of Christmas in this country. [emphasis mine]

Christmas did not even begin to be a legal holiday anywhere in the United States until very late in the nineteenth century CE, with Alabama being the first state to make it so.

So, all you who want Christmas hailed all over the land…I expect you to be at work or in school on Dec. 25th. After all, that’s what the founders of our country apparently wanted.

December 10, 2006 Posted by | America, Christianity, Christmas, Family, Religion, Solstice | 2 Comments