Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

C Street Fellowship Of Christians Supports Rape Of Children
December 11, 2012

Jeff Sharlet writes in his new book, “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power”, about the secretive group that helped cover up Senator John Ensign’s extramarital affair.

A stunning excerpt:

Family leaders consider their political network to be Christ’s avant garde, an elite that transcends not just conventional morality but also earthly laws regulating lobbying. In the Family’s early days, they debated registering as “a lobby for God’s Kingdom.” Instead, founder Abraham Vereide decided that the group could be more effective by working personally with politicians. “The more invisible you can make your organization,” Vereide’s successor, current leader Doug Coe preaches, “the more influence you can have.” That’s true — which is why we have laws requiring lobbyists to identify themselves as such.

But David Coe, Doug Coe’s son and heir apparent, calls himself simply a friend to men such as John Ensign, whom he guided through the coverup of his affair. I met the younger Coe when I lived for several weeks as a member of the Family. He’s a surprising source of counsel, spiritual or otherwise. Attempting to explain what it means to be chosen for leadership like King David was — or Mark Sanford, according to his own estimate — he asked a young man who’d put himself, body and soul, under the Family’s authority, “Let’s say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?” The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster. “No,” answered Coe, “I wouldn’t.” Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he’s among what Family leaders refer to as the “new chosen.” If you’re chosen, the normal rules don’t apply.

These are the men that Republican families trust to lead the country out of the moral wilderness those families believe we are in.

Now we have a good idea why the country has been going to hell, with Republicans leading the way. What the hell, if it’s okay by the Republicans to rape children, then it’s okay to invade countries illegally and slaughter foreigners; it’s okay to act like whores for corporations; it’s okay to deny health care to Americans; it’s okay to lie and cheat and deceive to get the government to follow your personal agenda of immoral war and torture and unending imprisonment without charges.

Where will these people take us? Once again, The Lion suggests the answer lies in the words of Jacob Bronowski, particularly when he speaks of arrogance.

Jacob Bronowski,in The Ascent of Man, at the pond in Auschwitz prison camp, squeezing the mud between his fingers…

“It is said that science will dehumanise people and turn them into numbers. That is false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

“Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known, we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: ‘I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken’.

“I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died at Auschwitz, to stand here by the pond as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.”

Advertisements

To See The Stars, To Know One’s Mind
August 26, 2012

I’m normally a pessimist regarding global warming, the depredations of the human race, and the big issues. And with justification, I think. Civilization is coming to an end because we screwed with the laws of physics and as a species we continue to demonstrate that we simply don’t understand the laws of physics and that they apply to us. So, civilization is over. Mass extinction is underway. Our intent, as a species, is to hasten it.

But this morning, while the sky was still dark, I went out on the porch and looked up. A bright planet to the east, I think Venus, sat like a jewel among the stars. So many stars, yet only a small fraction of what I could see if the lights of the town and the neighborhood were off. Even so. So many. So bright. So far. It was wondrous to look at them, to realize what they were, to understand how they got there, how they came to be, how they work. And equally wondrous to know that there is so much we don’t know about them, and how much we can learn.

That’s a feeling the religionists cannot have. To them their god made the stars and planets. Not for them the understanding of the subatomic processes that keep the stars glowing for billions of years. Not for them the incredible processes of a nova, a supernova, a stellar collapse. God did it. Religion, religious belief, god: those stunt the mind, weaken the intellect, narrow mental and emotional horizons, undermine the human species, and now, hasten life toward extinction.

Perhaps that is pessimistic, to think, to believe that most of life in this biosphere will soon disappear. On the other hand I’m not afraid of it, no more than I am afraid of my own death. Because I am an atheist the religionists tell me I will burn in eternal torment once I die, while they will go to some place of eternal bliss, such place usually described as one of the most inconceivably boring, dull, terrible places imaginable, where one’s whole being must spend eternity worshipping some hugely narcissistic being. I’ve always said that given the choice I’d take the torment because the really interesting people and interesting ideas would be found there. Religious people tend to be boring even in this life: apparently their idea of bliss is eternal boredom and enslavement to a narcissistic being, and their idea of hell is a ferment of ideas and questioning and seeking after facts and evidence and truths. They have much to fear, and much to torment themselves with.

I have none of that. I think it sad that we are so incompetent as a species that we are willing to destroy life on earth in order to satisfy the whims and stupidities and fears of our weakest minds, but I know that the laws of physics will operate no matter what we do. By understanding and following them, we might save the biosphere. Unfortunately, and in large part due to religious ignorance, willful ignorance it must be said, and human stupidity and greed and selfishness, we choose to ignore physics. Nonetheless I take comfort in the fact that the laws of physics do work, that they aren’t subject to the caprice of invisible beings, and that we can understand them. That knowledge gives me a sense of optimism, a sense that though we will extinguish most life, including our own, in time life will rise again on the planet, and it is to be hoped that it will be devoid of the flawed intelligence evolution gave us, intelligence that cursed the world.

As for the theists and the rest of the superstitious crowd, frankly I do hope they get to their heaven of eternal worship. I can think of no greater curse to call down on them while I drink my morning coffee and gaze at the stars.

#

The Crazies Who Want To Rule Us And Why They’re Not Qualified
July 3, 2012

Here’s the transcript of an interview by conservative radio jock Laura Ingraham. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to write an essay explaining why Ingraham and the other Conservacrazies, including those already in government, are not fit to be involved in governance at any level, including washing toilets in the local State House. This post will self-destruct in five seconds.

LI: Welcome to our show.

RT: Thank you for inviting me.

LI: You are a minister so I take it you follow the teachings of Jesus.

RT: Yes, that’s true.

LI: If Jesus were here today do you think he would counsel a woman to have an abortion?

RT: Jesus always showed compassion to women. He acted with respect even to the ones who were accused of sexual impropriety. I’m sure Jesus would do the same thing today, and that’s my model.

LI: [Angrily] You didn’t answer my question. So you think Jesus would applaud the murder of millions of innocent children, in the first, second, and third trimester?

RT: We know that abortion existed during the time Jesus was on earth, and for thousands of years before that. If he were opposed to abortion he would have said something about it.

LI: [More angrily] Where do you get the idea that Jesus knew about abortion?

RT: We know that abortion has existed for thousands of years, so I’m confident that Jesus would have been aware. There were many plants used as medicinal abortifacients in that part of the world. And yet his concern was for the way women were being treated.

LI: [Nearly screaming] What part of “Thou shalt not kill” don’t you understand?

RT: The Bible actually says “Thou shalt not murder.” I’m sure you would agree that every ending of a life is not murder.

LI: [Frustrated] Well you have your 40 prayers. I’ll pray for you and this interview is over!

LI: [Hangs up.]

The full story at Religion Dispatches. The comments there are interesting too.

This is a sample of why the Founders insisted on separating religion from the state. And it is a sample of why none of the current crop of Republicans should be allowed anywhere near the White House.

#

Christians Teaching Bigotry, Hatred, and Murder To Children in Public Schools–Your Children
June 2, 2012

In after-school ‘religious clubs’ Christian evangelists are teaching children how to be good little killers of unbelievers.

Literally. No metaphor, no figurative intent.

From an article in Daily Kos:

Paraphrasing the Old Testament scripture I Samuel 15:2-3, the Child Evangelism Fellowship’s new lesson plan teaches, "You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left." The manual then instructs the teacher to tell students, "That was pretty clear, wasn’t it?" Stewart continues,

"Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads:

"The Amalekites had heard about Israel’s true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment."

The instruction manual goes on to champion obedience in all things. In fact, pretty much every lesson that the Good News Club gives involves reminding children that they must, at all costs, obey. If God tells you to kill nonbelievers, he really wants you to kill them all. No questions asked, no exceptions allowed."

Stewart emphasizes, it doesn’t stop there. As I Samuel describes, Saul was not fully compliant with God’s orders to kill every last one of the Amalekites and their livestock – he let the king and some of the animals live. The lesson repeatedly hammers the point to students that Saul did not pass the "test" of obedience to God’s word.

The Kos article takes off from the work of Katharine Stewart, writing in The Guardian, quoted above. (Interesting we have to hear this from a British newspaper.)

These are the people who will tell you about the peace and love of their religion, and if you don’t believe them they will beat you until you do or just flat out kill you. Or have one of their children do it. Or have your child do it.

There is no moral distance between what Christians are doing and what warlords in Africa are doing when they kidnap and indoctrinate children to murder, to hack off limbs, to kill indiscriminately.

There is no moral distance between what Christians are doing and what the Taliban is doing, what Islamic fundamentalists are doing, what murderous thugs around the world are doing.

And if these perverts gain political power in this country, they will create a hell on earth that makes Hitler and his legions look like saints. Lest you forget, Hitler and his legions were Christians to the core.

Christianity is a moral sewer of lies and hypocrisy and willful delusion. Any religion that breeds the psychotic sickness that Stewart writes about is a moral sewer, and all religions breed this foulness, this moral stench, this bloody, putrid stain on the heart.

And when some Christian says that it’s just a small minority, that they don’t really represent Christianity, ask them what they are doing to stop their brethren from indoctrinating children into murder and hatred. And when they mumble some defensive bullcrap, which they will, spit right in their face.

The disgusting perverts of the Child Evangelism Fellowship and the New Apostolic Reformation represent the logical outcome of Christian doctrines. (Sarah Palin is one of these cretins.) They have one goal and that is to bring this country down into their moral sewer, to turn the United States into a mindless, murderous, hate-filled theocracy. Pol Pot and his ideological killers had their torture prisons and death camps, and the Christians will create the same in the United States, and wherever else they spread their stench.

And right now they are spreading their moral stink, their emotional evil, their mental sickness in your public schools, among your children, with the blessing of the United States Supreme Court, and the blessing of every Christian who does not act against these hell-filled teachings of their brethren.

Are they active in your schools? Do you want to find out?

Or maybe you should wait until your child comes into your bedroom spouting Biblestink and wielding a machete.

#

The Inquisition Lives! Or You Never Know When To Expect Joey Ratz.
May 25, 2012

From the BBC:

The Vatican has said it has detained a person it suspects of leaking a series of confidential documents and letters to the media.

The leaks have described alleged corruption, mismanagement, and internal conflicts among top Holy See officials.

The Vatican said the person was being questioned by Vatican magistrates, but gave no further details about their identity.

The "Vatileaks" scandal, as it is known, has enraged the Holy See.

Last month, Pope Benedict XVI set up a special commission of cardinals to investigate the leaks.

"The inquiry carried out by Vatican police… allowed them to identify someone in possession of confidential documents," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told journalists.

"This person is currently being questioned."

In the Vatican dungeons, no doubt.

#

The United States of America in The Year 2050
May 25, 2012

The Dominion is the current government of the United States of America. It is a Protestant-rooted government, now in power since 2020, when it took over the previous government and replaced it with a theocracy.

The movement had its roots in right-wing conservatism, beginning with the corruption and weakening of American democracy under Ronald Reagan. Further degradation of the American Republic occurred under succeeding Presidents, and culminating in the final nails in the proverbial coffin pounded in by George W. Bush and Barack Obama, both under the baleful influence of the terrorist campaigns of Osama bin Laden and a variety of terrorist networks. In effect the Americans were terrified by fanatic theocrats  into creating a dictatorship of theocrats.

The initial movement, rooted in the Tea Party, was funded secretly by a cabal of billionaires and millionaires, including many who were responsible for bringing down the American and world economies late in the first decade of the century. These men, including the Koch brothers and other wealthy right-wing families, wanted to have the power of government to themselves, to create the American world so that it would benefit them and to hell with the four hundred million American citizens who actually made their wealth possible.

Their miscalculation involved the religious right, especially the people of the Dominionist movement, a Christian sect that believed it should, could, and would rule the country and create a nation that functioned according to Biblical law tempered by the philosophy of Jesus Christ. The cabal of wealth attempted to use the religious right, including the Dominionists, to further their own agenda, knowing that the American people were not, generally speaking, the brightest lights in the closet and would fall hook, line, and sinker, for a movement professing to clean up Washington and bring morality back to the nation. They were right, of course, especially given that they were responsible for the degradation of education and the dumbing down of the press.

What they didn’t count on was the determination of the Christian sects to rule, especially the Dominionist sect. Intellectually the cabal was outmatched by the Dominion, despite the Dominion religious delusion. But the Dominionists believed in their delusion, believed wholeheartedly that they were the chosen ones, born to lead the nation into the bosom of Jesus Christ, even if a few people had to die under torture on the way to the promised land. Not a few of those were members of the cabal.

The cabal pumped money into political campaigns that featured seemingly moderate candidates with a religious bent, candidates who were Dominion but who were careful to keep their deeper views under wraps. As the cabal controlled the press and the press had long since decided to act like lapdogs to wealth and power, the electorate, most of it, bought the story of a return to honesty and integrity in government and were willing to admit a strong religious element as well. So seat after seat, in the House and the Senate, the Dominion gradually took over Congress. It took only a few years. In 2020 they took the Presidency, throwing out the incumbent, a man wholly owned by the cabal. In 2020 the Dominion had taken over the government of the United States, legally, at the ballot box, although they were dishonest about it.

In 2020 the gloves came off. The military, long a hotbed of Christian religious fundamentalist fever, went along with the new program and became a domestic enforcement arm of the new government. Throughout society Catholics and Jews were eased out, or thrown out, of positions of influence, replaced with loyal Protestant hacks. The courts were turned into religious courts. The schools were required to teach the Bible and Dominionist theology. Liberal professors and administrations in colleges were removed, replaced with dogmatists. Teaching evolution was outlawed. Social Security, Medicare, the entire Democratic New Deal platform of programs, all were scrapped under the guise of personal responsibility and self-reliance and dependence on the god of the Dominionists.

And the people bought it. They had long since allowed themselves to be castrated by a corporate press, by a consumer ideology, and by a weak education system. There was grumbling, of course, but the grumblers somehow managed to disappear and after a while the grumbling stopped and people got on with their lives as best they could, and kept silent while at it – after all, there seemed to be spies everywhere – you couldn’t trust the neighbors anymore.

There were during this time many battles between the Dominion’s military arms and various Protestant sects that disagreed with Dominion theology, though very few of them disagreed with the religious takeover of the government. These were street battles, militia wars, gang fights even. Though fewer, they continue into the present.

The Dominion’s foreign policy caused consternation in the world, though it was cheered by the wingnut yahoos on the home front. After all, they controlled the most powerful armies and arsenals in the world, and were quite willing to use them in the name of God. The Vatican War in 2030, though it lasted only a few hours until Vatican City was reduced to rubble, put the world on notice, and the world cowered. The Europeans knew what they were up against: their history was full of the depredations of religious tyrants, and since the Europeans were no match for the military might of America they simply stood back and waited for the drama to play out.

The nuclear destruction of Tehran, Baghdad, Cairo, and Beijing followed soon after the Vatican War, and then there was no one to pose a credible threat to the Americans. The Russians simply crawled into their shell and the world hunkered down to wait out these new, deadly Americans.

#

American Military Has Forgotten 9/11, Learned Nothing
May 13, 2012

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has revealed that…

…officers from all four branches of the U.S. Military were instructed at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA, that the “option” of waging total war on civilian populations of the Muslim faith in a manner similar to the “historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki” should be openly embraced and explored.

The tenor of the ideas taught, and the arrogance and utter stupidity of the teachers, and of the military itself in allowing these teachings, can be summed up in this quote from the MRFF article:

“We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’…This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.” Such phrases, as uttered by JFSC faculty member Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley, constitute openly genocidal hate speech — the likes of which have led to some of the worst horrors in modern history.

Those statements are the ravings of arrogant minds, of minds disconnected from reality, of minds that accept, as Jacob Bronowski noted, no test in reality. These minds are unhinged, are cast loose from the moorings of the real world. And these statements are the core of the education being given to American staff officers, the people who run the military.

The article goes on to note:

Firm countermeasures must be put in place to prevent the further propagation of criminal tactics and military strategies, as exemplified by the hypothetical destruction of Mecca and Medina (the paramount holy cities of the Muslim faith), and the reduction of Islam “to cult status” at the hands of a global “anti-Islamist” coalition bizarrely envisioned by JFSC faculty member Lt. Col. Dooley.

Destroy Mecca and Medina?

That is the statement, hypothetical or not, and one must suspect that it was not a hypothetical but a genuine belief, given the context, that is the statement that tells us that the United States Military has not only forgotten 9/11 but has lost its collective mind.

On 9/11 a handful of religious fanatics (a breed that currently pervades the entire American military command structure, according to the work of the MRFF) destroyed commercial buildings in New York City and part of the Pentagon, and killed, all told, some three thousand people.

The result was that the people of the United States united behind a religiously deluded President and went on a rampage in the Islamic world, a rampage that served no purpose, that destroyed two countries (three if you count the damage the United States has inflicted on itself), and that has done, in final effect, nothing to stem terrorism.

Do the geniuses at the JFSC think that bombing Mecca and Medina, located in the lands of an ally, Saudi Arabia, will bring the Islamic world to its knees? Do they think that inflicting massive civilian casualties (which we have already done in Iraq and Afghanistan, to virtually no avail) will make the Muslim world bow down to us, beg our forgiveness, and offer us free oil for a hundred years? That appears to be what the United States Military thinks and is inculcating in its command staff.

No. The Islamic world will do what the United States did. They will unite behind a leader, or a series of leaders, and there will be no place in the world, including at home, where Americans will be safe from the insanity an attack on Mecca and Medina will unleash. There will be no fleets of Islamic planes and ships attacking the United States, but no American corporation will be able to operate overseas; no American tourist will be safe anywhere in the world; no American politician will be safe walking from his front door to his car in the morning. And it is likely that following such an act against the Islamic world our allies in Europe and Asia will abandon the United States. With good reason: the United States will have become a bastion of madness and terror, a snakepit of delusion and mass hallucination, a genocidal horror loose in the world.

But our military geniuses apparently haven’t a clue. They have allowed the Christian crazies into their ranks and would seem to have bought into the Christian delusion of religious dominance of the world through the use of American military power. Christianity is at best a delusion, but coupled with military and political power it is a disease, a virulent sickness, a  mind-destroying plague that must be stamped out of our military, from top to bottom, without mercy.

And the sooner it is excised as well from our political life the better. America is a diseased nation, and the disease is religion. It leads to national madness, and the virulence infecting the military will feed into the plague infecting the civilian governance. The world, and the nation, will pay a horrible price for such delusional arrogance and madness.

#

Women Are Dirt And Should Be Beaten: New Afghan Law
March 8, 2012

Yup, after ten years of a senseless war carried on by Americans in Afghanistan to make the place safe for women and democratic politics, the politicians the Americans put in place and that the Americans support with money and guns and blood, much to the detriment of America, have declared that women can be treated like dirt. Legally. No questions asked. (And of course the American White House and the American military won’t ask any questions, because that might amount to criticizing our dear ally – you know, President Karzai, otherwise known as Karzai the Korrupt Beyond Belief American Puppet.)

It says so, right on Hamid Karzai’s website. Women are dirt. Women are crap. Women are the gunk between men’s toes. And Karzai is the president of Afghanistan and he endorsed the new policy in a press conference. It’s official: Women Are Dirt. Karzai and the imams say so. Rejoice, brothers!

This is what all you dead American soldiers died for. This is what you got your brains rattled for. This is what you left your legs and your arms in that misbegotten country for. Oh, and forget al Qaeda, they’ve moved on: they don’t need Afghanistan, haven’t needed it for eleven years. What, you didn’t get the memo? Neither did your bosses in the Pentagon and the White House and the Congress.

Read the story at The Progressive site.

#

Pope Santorum? Bringing Back The Inquisition
February 20, 2012

The last thing this country needs is a wannabe Catholic Pope sitting in the Oval Office of the White House and governing from a corrupt and ignorant ideological theology. But that’s what millionaire ex-Senator Rick Santorum is offering. A sampling of his remarks, including the latest accusation that President Obama isn’t governing according to the Christian Bible, never mind what the Constitution says:

Obama’s agenda is "not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology," Santorum told supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement at a Columbus hotel.

When asked about the statement at a news conference later, Santorum said, "If the president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian."

“America is a country that was founded on the concept that our rights come to us from our creator, come to us from God. He doesn’t say just do whatever you want to do with them, in fact he has laws we must abide by. In our case we have civil laws, but our civil laws have to comport with higher laws,” he said.

In 2005, then-Senator Santorum put forth an amendment to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to expand then-current law to allow religious organizations that are recipients of federal funds under the Social Services Block Grant to discriminate in employment based on religion.33 The New York Times has referred to him as “the nation’s pre-eminent faith-based politician.”

“I knew when I won [my Senate race] that I had a constituency of one [God]. [My experience in the Senate] opened up to me why I was there and what God had called me to do.”

In 2001 then-Senator Santorum proposed incorporating pro-intelligent design language into the No Child Left Behind bill, that portrayed the theory of evolution as not widely accepted. He said that anytime evolution is taught, children should also be taught why the subject “generates so much continuing controversy”. In a recent interview he said, “Science will only allow things in the classroom that are consistent with a non-creator idea of how we got here, as if somehow or another that’s scientific.”

“As long as abortion is legal, we will never have rest because our law doesn’t comport with Gods law,” he said. Santorum signed a “personhood” pledge that invokes religion and “God” and states, “I oppose assisted suicide, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and procedures that intentionally destroy developing human beings. […] Abortion and the intentional killing of an innocent human being are always wrong and should be prohibited. […] If elected President, I will work to advance state and federal laws and amendments that recognize the unalienable right to life of all human beings as persons at every stage of development, and to the best of my knowledge, I will only appoint federal judges and relevant officials who will uphold and enforce state and federal laws recognizing that all human being at every stage of development are person with the unalienable right to life.”

Santorum said marriage equality is ”messing with the basic family unit.” And supports a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. Santorum said the overturning of sodomy laws is not constitutionally based. “The state is not doing a service to the child and to society by not putting that child in a home where there is a mother and a father. […] This is common sense. This is nature. And what we are trying to do is defy nature because a certain group of people want to be, want to be affirmed by society. And I just don’t think that’s to the benefit to society or the child. […] I don’t believe in same-sex adoption nor do I believe in same-sex marriage,” he said.

His campaign website states that he wants to “Restore conscience clause protections for health care workers.”

“One of the things that you don’t know about Obamacare and one of the mandates is they require free prenatal testing in every insurance policy in America. Why?  Because it saves money in health care. Why? Because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care that has to be done because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society.”

And to prove Santorum is not just about imposing his ignorant theocratic ideology on everyone in  America, here’s a quote from Ohio demonstrating his environmental chops:

Rick Santorum, at a campaign stop in Ohio, criticized liberal environmentalists that put the "Earth above man."

"Unlike the Earth, we’re intelligent, and we can actually manage things," Santorum said. In reference to liberals, Santorum said, "When it comes to management of the Earth, they are the anti-science ones."

This is the guy who wants creationism taught in the schools.

When America looks like Rick Santorum, then there will no longer be America. In its place will be something sick, psychotic, diseased, ignorant, and murderous. It will look like Europe during the height of the  madness of the Inquisition. And the country is beginning to look a lot like him and his kind, from the lowliest Protestant fundogelical sect to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Ignorance and stupidity and evil know no religion, but both are at home there, in force.

Time  to take up a collection to send Santorum to Rome so he can run for Pope in the thirteenth century.

#

Jessica Ahlquist Unprays Prayer Banner: Christians Come Unglued
February 8, 2012

Jessica Ahlquist is a Cranston, Rhode Island teenager who objected to the display of a large Christian prayer banner on the auditorium wall of Cranston High School West.

The display was illegal, according to the courts and laws of the United States.

The Cranston school authorities refused to remove the banner, and Ahlquist, with the aid of the ACLU, sued. Ahlquist is an atheist.

She won the suit and the banner was ordered removed.

Throughout the process Ahlquist was subjected to the vilest verbal and written abuse imaginable, including death threats, from… wait for it… Christians. Apparently no suffering is too great to inflict on a teenage girl who insisted that her school obey the law of the land. Ahlquist required police protection in and out of school.

The school system, in addition to the costs of defending the suit, is also being asked to pay $173,000 to the ACLU to cover their costs.

The vileness of the Christian reaction beggars belief. Samples of the sort of threats and abuse can be found at various places on the Web, including the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, as well as many other places. Christians are not shy about threatening to kill people who disagree with them, who don’t believe as they do, who laugh at them. They are usually quite shy about identifying themselves when they make their threats. A sampling from the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s newspaper is enough to make decent people puke.

But here’s what started the whole deal. Here’s the prayer.

school-prayer-ahlquist

The prayer was written by a student in 1960, and was hung, as an eight-foot-tall banner, in the auditorium in 1963.

Here’s the text of the prayer in case it’s not clear in the image.

School Prayer
Our Heavenly Father

Grant us each day the desire to do our best. To grow mentally and morally as well as physically. To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers. To be honest with ourselves as well as with others. Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Teach us the value of true friendship. Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.

Amen

Obviously a prayer. Undoubtedly Christian, given the Christianism of the community. There are no accompanying prayers from Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, animists, et al. Just this one.

The judge, a Reagan appointee, a Christian, and a conservative, found that it violated the law and ordered it removed.

But here’s the thing. The sentiments in the prayer are reasonable, the sorts of things students, and adults, might well aspire to.

But the context, the frame, weakens the sentiments, as well as making the whole thing run afoul of established law. “School Prayer”. “Our Heavenly Father”.  “Amen”.

The whole problem could have been avoided. Something like this perhaps:

Cranston West Students…

Desire to do our best. Seek to grow mentally and morally as well as physically. Work to be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers. Desire to be honest with ourselves as well as with others. Want to be good in sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Seek the value of true friendship. Conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.

That’s all they needed. No need to get on their knees and beg the invisible sky god for something that was already within their power as human beings. No need to insult people of non-Christian faiths. No need to cough up a couple of hundred grand in legal fees.

But nope. Gotta dirty up their knees. Gotta act like weak little pussies who can’t handle the simplest things in life without begging the invisible hoo-ha to run their lives for them. Can’t think for themselves or make a decision about morals or values without bowing and scraping and begging the supernatural for help.

Apparently Ahlquist is the only one of the whole crowd who has any balls and a mind of her own.

And the upshot of it all? Vile attacks on the girl who pointed out the obvious and sought to correct a wrong. In fact, so disgusting and widespread were the perverted reactions of Rhode Islanders that a state Representative named Peter Palumbo, on radio station WPRO, called Ahlquist an “evil little thing”, and a pawn “being coerced by evil people…” A State Representative. A legislator. An upholder of the law. But oops, apparently also a Christian, and Christian perversion and bigotry and hatred trumps American law, doesn’t it?

If their Christ ever existed, he’d be spinning in his tomb and puking up his guts over the actions of his followers these days.

#