Archive for religious right

Only Pat Robertson -- and his Flock -- Would Denigrate Robin Williams

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This is so far past Ick that new adjectives need forming and disseminating.

But then again, Pat Robertson's middle name is Ick.

Robertson brings it back to liberal sin and excess every time, but targeting the revered and only recently passed Robin Williams was a Christian Slime move of the first water.

Don't you just want to move next-door to that?

Here are a couple of Robertson doozies:

'There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore.'

dionpalin

'The flooding of New Orleans is a sign that God is tired of seeing his creation mocked by the Mardi Gras and its perverted display of debauchery and exposed breasts.'

Robertson has a catalogue of incidents (or perhaps a roomful of binders) that should have had him certified years and years and years and years and years ago. He's stuck somewhere between 1776 and 1945.

Sad, really … until you think about how many millions (perhaps billions) Robertson and his ilk of Ick have put the tithing squeeze on their subscribers/bank-roll/churchgoers to attain.

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Pat Robertson: Busily Sowing A Fear of Witchcraft Like It Is 1692

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Huge thanks to the folks at Raw Story for getting this offensive smut of Pat Robertson's reported and out on the airwaves.

As a direct female to female descendent of Rebecca Nurse, hung in Salem, Massachusetts a rather long time ago, this ticks me off. Royally. This is the best Pat can come up with? Is he just ripping off Alan Ball, catching a little True Blood cachet because he heard there were some Right Wingers in it?

{Sidebar: If you're a fan, you so know that there ARE Wingers in True Blood and they are SO well depicted it's as electrifying as Sookie in a Mood ... the Tea Party undercurrents are handled with deftness, and if you have been watching Ball forever, you know why his first HBO Series 'Six Feet Under' is still important as a wild, California-West Coast lens or socio-political record of the Bush culture and years.}

Back to the candidate for reigning King of the Regressive Right Asshattery, Pat Robertson. This ... blind, lame and deeply crippled philosophy, or transparently rampant superstition, is the sort of intellect of a man they build universities 'to' in places like Virginia? The husband pursued the collegial Arts at Lynchburg for a spell, bless his New Jersey heart, the tales are frightening and completely explain his time as a Dead Head.

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Witchcraft? Seriously?!?

Without further ado. Pat Robertson.

What a way to celebrate Bastille Day ... bring out the Senior Religionist Fringe!

In a nutshell, Pat Robertson answered a 700 Club Dear Abby letter from a mother claiming her son was in demon-induced agony by telling her to look over to Ancestry.com or the family Bible and find the wicked witch of an ancestress she was meant to identify and fixate blame on.

Rebecca Nurse was said to have gone to her death with the kind of dignity my generation might expect from Dame Judy Dench or the intrepid Ethel Kennedy.

Idon'talwaysListentoPatR

In the meantime, Pat Robertson is busy sowing fear, creating one more 'Other' to avoid, casting seeds of hate and demonizing those he imagines are out to get him. How much does Pat Robertson remind you of a paranoid conspiracy-theorizing guy with fully-stocked and staffed bunkers in at least two countries?

Somewhat more eccentric underneath than either J. Edgar Hoover at home or a randy Dick Morris ... The Full Vitter Truthiness Challenged Territories?

Excerpted from one of the great folks over at Raw Story, David Edwards, these eminently Tweetable, Bizarro Robertson 700 Club and All Purpose Christian talking points that really rang my alarm bell.

Instead of recommending that the mother seek medical attention, Robertson said that the boy could be “oppressed or possessed by demons.”

Sounds smart.
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You see, the mother had mentioned extreme belly pain in a teenage boy, distress akin to a gut punch - a Big Mac might have been the first culprit looked to. Or an aversion to organized religion at ungodly hours. But, no, Robertson had the cockamamie 'truth' to be touted in his absolutely un-researched reading of the situation, aka a shot at the most fashionable Hater target du Jour for Wingers, the occult or 'somebody in witchcraft'. Double points if the witch is a member of the LGBTQ community or a skin color other than 'pale'.

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“You need to get somebody with you who understands the spiritual dimension and doing spiritual warfare,” he continued. “If I were you, I would look back in your family. What in your family — do you have anybody involved in the occult, somebody in witchcraft or tarot cards or psychic things?”

“Has there something been there that you don’t know about. Some grandparent, great grandparent or something. Look into the family tree, and then get some people in there and cast this stuff out. But that does not sound like normal.”

So Robertson is advocating for exorcism, now? Has he been watching too much modern melodrama on the silver screen, got a wee streaming habit, there Pat? Global warming, No Way ... but looking back to cast out demons and witches is your spiritual and gastroenterological diagnosis?

Better reenroll in one of your Born Again colleges. Silly season doesn't even cover it.

Which leaves progressives faced with the farsical and fanciful or simply surreal set of circumstances to dissect. And an unendingly enormous appreciation of humor.

justshootme

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The American Tealiban

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The woman on the left is Holly "Hobby Lobby" Fisher, a misguided, under-educated dolt who believes that she's holding her "First and Second Amendment rights" in her hands in the picture above.

The woman on the right is Sherafiyah Lewthwaite, an international terrorist known as the White Widow who is part of the Al-Shabaab Islamic militant group, a religious zealot who takes her marching orders from her misreading and misunderstanding of the Quran.

Unfortunately, Ms. Fisher doesn't see the similarity in the two pictures or get that she is the American Tealiban In fact, she went on "Fox & Friends" to try to explain her stupidity.

Although the segment begins with some disgusting tweets aimed at her, allegedly from sick individuals she calls "liberals"(and for which there is no excuse), it quickly moved on to Ms. Fisher's own inane thoughts.

HOLLY 'HOBBY LOBBY': “It’s shocking for me that people would compare someone who is standing in front of our flag that represents our freedom on Independence Day. I’m holding my First and Second Amendment rights in my hand and it all represents freedom, and they want to compare me to a woman who is quite the opposite. She despises everything about this country and hates this country and would kill all of us if given an opportunity. I don’t understand where the logic comes from.”
...
“I expected less backlash with this than I did the first one because the picture is, like, America’s founding principles. That’s all that’s in the picture. And I really didn’t think it would cause the uproar that it has.”

I spoke about this story with both of today's guests: Susie Madrak of Crooks & Liars, and PR Maven, pundit and media mogul Cliff Schecter.

We also discussed the disconnect between the religious right (aka the Holier than Thou crowd) and the teachings of their savior Jesus Christ. As an atheist Jew, I'm more "Christian" than any of those hateful pricks who want to deport innocent children just because they weren't born here.

It's Opposite World...

I'm preparing for my trip to LA for the AFT convention, and then Detroit for Netroots Nation. So I'll cut this blog entry short. But I'll be back tomorrow with Amy Simon and some fabulous female facts, Stephen Goldstein with the No More Bullshit Minute, and whatever else the day brings. See you then, radio or not...

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Hate & Intolerance in the Name of God

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I understand that the religious right want to plunge the planet into apocalypse, but do they really have to talk what's left of the sensible and compassionate segment of the world's population with them?

From their intolerance toward anyone they deem "different" to their insistence on imposing their warped religious beliefs on the rest of us under the guise of "freedom," these zealots are some truly scary people whose actions show that they are anything but "Christian" (meaning living by the teachings of Christ).

The scene at the border crossings where hundreds of mostly unaccompanied children are entering the US is sad. What's even sadder are the videos we're seeing of the racists assholes in Murietta, CA, where bigoted citizens and their police counterparts not only blocked buses with loaded children who crossed the border, but shouted angrily at them things like "Get out," "go home" and "take your diseases with you."

I thought the United States of America was the land of immigrants, who came in response to "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Those miscreants are the epitome of the Ugly American who is sadly the fact of this country today.

The really insane thing is that these haters spew their vitriol in the mane of Christianity. As an atheist Jew, I'm more "Christian" than any of them, as I believe in taking care of those in need, not turning a blind or, or worse, to their pain and suffering.

Today on the show, I was joined by Claire Conner, who knows that hatred first-hand. She wrote of her childhood growing up with parents who were founding members of the John Birch Society in the book, Wrapped in the Flag: What I Learned Growing Up in America's Radical Right, How I Escaped, and Why My Story Matters Today.  

Responding the the more recent insanity of the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling, Claire wrote "I'm Terrified by these Zealots" for Crooks & Liars.

I am too.

It's Tuesday, that means GottaLaff joins me for the second hour of the show. In addition to our plans for another edition of The Vagina Dialogues© when I'm in Los Angeles next week, we talked about some of these stories too:

GW Bush signed law protecting young migrants, but, hey... #BlameObama

Retailer: "If we can minimize the humans in our company, then we prefer that."

TransCanada to small town: Here's $28K. Now shut up about tar sands pipeline project.

Conference caller: "Black people harvested cotton," Cochran “harvesting black votes”

One last thing... Keep the people of Japan - and the entire Pacific rim -- and the rest of the planet in your thoughts today. A giant "once in a decade" typhoon is bearing down today on Okinawa, forecast to go straight up the country for a direct hit on Fukushima.

See you back here tomorrow, as long as the planet is still here, radio or not...

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Give Me That Old Time Discrimination, Mississippi!

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IfYoureBuyingImSellingw244h244

Freedom Summer has just been commemorated here in Jackson, Mississippi. 50 years later, we are still fighting for civil rights here.

For younger people who may not know what 'Freedom Summer' was, the blockquote below is from their website: http://freedom50.org

In the summer of 1964, hundreds of summer volunteers from across America convened in Mississippi to put an end to the system of rigid segregation. The civil rights workers and the summer volunteers successfully challenged the denial by the state of Mississippi to keep Blacks from voting, getting a decent education, and holding elected offices.

50 years later, Mississippi's right wing has come up with a new wrinkle to deny people their rights: a religious justification for discriminating against anyone they want for any reason they want. A store owner can now discriminate against you in Mississippi if you're African-American, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, disabled, not a Christian, gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, a woman, or for any other reason he or she decides on the spur of the moment is reason enough to deny you goods or services.

Nice, huh? The business owner now has carte blanche to discriminate against anyone for any reason!. It's his/her religion! The business owner can always find a passage in the Bible (the only religion which counts down here for lawmakers) which says it's perfectly okay.

The religionists in Mississippi, led by Tea Party / Republican governor Phil Bryant pushed this law through calling it the 'Religious Freedom Restoration Act'.

As the song goes - 'Jesus died to save our sins...glory to God we're gonna need him again' - this time for another Freedom Summer for Civil Rights, just for different civil rights than were being suppressed in 1964.

Some more information on SB2681 - in this case from the Hell No on 26 and 27 Facebook Page:

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act SB 2681 goes into effect July 1st, 2014. Though masked in the cloak of religious freedom, this law is an open license for any business, if they chose to do so, to discriminate against any individual that does not meet their criteria. Thus, gender, disabilities, race, sexual preference, Atheism and other non Christian beliefs,...can be the basis for refusing you service. All under the guise of religious freedom, this is now legal! Hell No! on Mississippi 26 and 27 invites you to join us and tell Governor Bryant that this law is unconstitutional and the citizens of Mississippi will not accept it. We say Hell No, 2681 has got to go!

How can Mississippi have come to the point that at least one national website is warning its site visitors not to travel here?

BREAKING: GetEQUAL Issues Travel Alert for LGBT Travelers to Mississippi

It's simple: the religionists were losing the battle to suppress without a law saying they could. Now they have one.

However...there are still good people here who have no interest in discrimination.

A few references:

Coalition of Miss. businesses want LGBT customers to know they’re welcome

As SB2681 Passes, A Gay Mississippi Businessman Talks Back to the Far Right

Well, we'll have to see how stupid Mississippi business owners actually are if they decide to discriminate citing this act, but this is what it permits:

From the bill itself: Mississippi SB2681

c) "Exercise of religion" means the practice or observance of religion. "Exercise of religion" includes, but is not limited to, the ability to act or the refusal to act in a manner that is substantially motivated by one's sincerely held religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.
(d) "State action" means the implementation or application of any law, including, but not limited to, state and local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and policies, whether statutory or otherwise, or any other action by the state, a political subdivision of the state, an instrumentality of the state or political subdivision of the state, or a public official that is authorized by law in the state.
(3) (a) State action or an action by any person based on state action shall not burden a person's right to exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless it is demonstrated that applying the burden to that person's exercise of religion in that particular instance is both of the following:

(i) Essential to further a compelling governmental interest;
(ii) The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
(b) A person whose exercise of religion has been burdened or is likely to be burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, regardless of whether the state or a political subdivision of the state is a party to the proceeding. The person asserting that claim or defense may obtain appropriate relief, including relief against the state or a political subdivision of the state. Appropriate relief includes, but is not limited to, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, compensatory damages, and the recovery of costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

From Rethink Mississippi

That means businesses in Mississippi can discriminate against LGBTQ citizens in the same manner that they say “no shirt, no shoes, no service.” The shirtless don’t have legal protection from discrimination in Mississippi, and neither do gay, lesbian, or trans individuals. Unless employers have a private non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, LGBTQ employees can be fired at will.

And here's more: 2 stories from Buzzfeed articles:

Mississippi Approves Religious Freedom Bill, Governor Signs It Into Law
and
The Chef Who’s Leading The Backlash Against Mississippi’s New Anti-Gay Law

Don't forget to stop by the If You're Buying, We're Selling website.

I mean really, Mississippi - what the hell were you thinking?

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"I'm praying that my negative prayers thwart religious right's quest to browbeat nonbelievers"

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I'm an atheist, so I don't really do prayers. I hope a lot, I take action to create change, I vote, and I use what modest powers of persuasion I can muster up to convince others that there is more than one way to approach any given situation or policy. But prayers? Not so much.

I can't accept that the Invisible Man in the Sky (who apparently has a blonde, blue-eyed Middle Eastern son who came into this world via a virgin) exists. I can't fathom how anyone feels that their particular prayers take priority over someone else's rights, positions, or beliefs, someone who is supposed to be a fellow "child of god."

When an athlete offers thanks to his or her god for a victory, does that mean that their god deemed their opponents unworthy? Less special? Aren't we all supposed to be equally loved by their benevolent god? If the almighty one's got so much power, then why doesn't he/she... [fill in the blank]?

And why does the Christian majority feel compelled to convince the rest of us that their religion is The Best One of All? Because there are more of them than there are of us? So what? Why, as they try to get us to have faith in their faith (key word: faith), do they continue to exclude so many of us as they simultaneously try to entice us to "believe" their beliefs (key word: beliefs) ?

Why discriminate against those who are different than you? Or shame? Or aggressively proselytize? What happened to "live and let live" and "do unto others"?

I could go on forever. I say none of this to offend, and I hope my words are not taken that way. I understand why people embrace religion. I just can't relate to or make sense of believing in a magical being. And it stops being okay when others insist I do what's right for them, but not for me.

Which brings me to today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Negative prayer may be just the remedy for those of us who blanch at religious zealots' pious public displays of prayer to their chosen deities. It's worth a try: I'll beseech my deity to use her divine powers to hinder those who feel their notion of "god" is superior to all other deities that humans have ever worshiped. ("They're praying for the worst. Is that wrong?," Op-Ed, June 24)

If my incantation prevails, government-sanctioned prayers at public meetings will cease. That way I no longer will have to betray my religious proclivities by leaving when prayers start, per the disingenuous suggestion floated by the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority in the recent decision involving the town of Greece, N.Y.

Verily, I'm praying that my negative prayers thwart the religious right's quest to browbeat nonbelievers.

Dennis Alston, Atwater, Calif.

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Paul Broun (STFU-Ga) says Jesus will tell him where to go. So will we.

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atheist barbie v Paul Broun

Politico posted an interesting remark by Paul Broun (STFU-Ga), the wingiest of wingnuts from Georgia who just lost a primary election bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Did I say "interesting"? I meant grating.

Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue will duke it out in a run-off. Then the winner will oppose Democrat Michelle Nunn in the general election.

What's that? You're not familiar with Paul Broun (scroll)? Allow me:

Both Kingston and Perdue are going after Broun for an endorsement. Gee, who wouldn't want someone as level-headed and rational as Broun vouching for him? In fact, Kingston wanted one up close and personal, requesting to "sit down and talk" to him. Here's what Paul Broun had to say about that:

Broun is willing to talk, but he’s not sure at the moment if he’ll endorse either candidate.

“I will sit down and talk with them,” Broun said Thursday. “I’m just trying to figure out right now where my lord Jesus Christ wants me to go and what he wants me to do.”

Which grated on me. Severely. Between Michele Bachmann hearing voices in her head directly from the Invisible Blue-Eyed White Man in the Sky, to Sarah Palin's confusing Roger Ailes with her god, to Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry (among others) exploiting their version of god in their campaigns, and, well, don't even get me started on Mike HuckaPreach-- my atheist head is spinning.

Religion has no place in politics. The separation of church and state has been increasingly ignored in recent years, which is not only a threat to our crumbling democracy, it's offensive, and not just to me: Saying "prayers in the name of Jesus Christ before luncheons" made attendee "squirm."

That was in response to the Supreme Court decision finding that sectarian prayers in public meetings are constitutional.

Our public officials are supposed to represent everyone, not just those who believe what they believe. Religious discrimination, aggression, or exclusion are not what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

That aside, I personally find it annoying, disturbing, and/or obnoxious (depending on the circumstances) when politicians force their religion on an entire populace, gush faux Christisms as they hypocritically refuse to treat others as equals and with compassion, and publicly express their reliance on imaginary beings instead of good judgment, experience, and reason.

Enough with the holier than thou self-righteous b.s. Believe what you want to believe, but respect the rest of us enough to do so privately:

The Lord's Prayer:

"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.…

separation of church and state Jefferson

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