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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

We are coming down to the finish line in the 2014 Mid-Term elections.  All of the major media are predicting that the Republicans will gain control of the Senate and thus the Congress.  This prediction is in the face of about 8 different elections still running neck-and-neck.  But, the media is counting on the usual low turnout for mid-term elections as proof that Republicans will win this time.  Historically, the higher the turnout the better Democrats do.  The lower the turnout. the better Republicans do.

Many people usually look at the mid-terms as something that simply wastes time.  There is no presidential election and therefore, they believe it won’t make much of a difference.  That is totally wrong thinking.  Especially in this mid-term election.  Fact.  Despite the usually low turn-out for mid-term elections, private conservative PACs are spending record amounts of money on this election.  If they are so convinced that their candidate is the people’s choice, why so much money?

Since the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United decision, our election process has become something that would normally carry a sign that says “for sale.”  PACs don’t have to say where the money is coming from.  Bribery apparently is legal now, witness the Norquist Pledge.  The fact is that when a small group of people are able to purchase elections and control the winning candidates, we have lost our democracy.  We have moved into an oligarchy.

Poor Mitt Romney is still living in his little fantasy world.  According to poor Mitt, if the Republicans gain control of the Senate, gridlock will suddenly go away and “bills will get passed”.  He even thinks that Immigration Reform will get passed.  Apparently, poor Mitt hasn’t been listening to the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Witty Mitch has already said that if the Republicans win the Senate, he plans on passing legislation that will surely be vetoed by the President.

The first piece of legislation he plans to pass is the total repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  He doesn’t have any plan to replace it, he just hates it so much that he wants to repeal it.  There are about 600,000 people in his own State of Kentucky that got insurance for the first time in their lives.  Should McConnell get his wish, those 600,000 people will suddenly find themselves without health insurance again.  But, witty Mitch doesn’t care about them.  The Koch Brothers are against the ACA, so it must go.

Poor Mitt also apparently hasn’t kept touch with the in-fighting inside the Republican Party either.  Does he really believe that the wonderful Canadian Senator Cruz has any intentions of actually governing?  Does he really believe that should any “moderate” piece of legislation be introduced by a Republican Senate Cruz won’t be filibuster it?  The Canadian Senator hasn’t shown any respect for the leadership of the party up to this point.  Does poor Mitt really believe he will “buckle under” if the Republicans win?

Since President Obama was elected, there have been a host of bills passed by the Senate that has died in the House.  He did manage to get the ACA passed in the first two years because the Democrats controlled the House.  But since then, Immigration Reform, The Fair Wage Act, Jobs For Veterans act, Transportation and Infrastructure Bill, and a host of others have languished in the Republican House.  And who was one of the biggest antagonists in the House?  The de-facto Speaker of the House Senator Ted Cruz.

The Republicans led by Cruz caused the last government shutdown.  Does poor Mitt really believe that the first order of business of Cruz won’t be to shut down the government again?  All in the name of repealing the ACA?  I can see it now.  The Senate will pass a bill repealing the ACA.  The House will support it and pass it as well.  The President will veto the bill.  Since the Republicans won’t have enough votes to override the veto, the bill will die.

The next step will be Canadian Senator Ted Cruz ramping up his fellow wacko right-wingers to fight anything like raising the debt ceiling or creating a budget.  That will cause the government to shut down.  Cruz will go on air and tell the country it is the President’s fault because he won’t sign the repeal legislation.  He may even go so far as to say that once the President signs the bill, the government will be able to reopen.  He is a master hostage taker, after all.

All the while, senior citizens needing their social security checks and their medicare bills paid will do without.  Veterans will do without their medical and retirement benefits.  For example, someone who relies on their social security check won’t get it.  Retired veterans won’t get their pension checks either.  Banks will start calling in loans like mortgages and the average American will suffer all the while Cruz and his Congressional cronies keep getting their checks.

But, you have to remember who is behind this scheme.  Neither witty Mitch nor Canadian Cruz are smart enough to plan all of this by themselves.  No, this is coming from places like the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, and the Heritage Foundation.  None of which really give a shit if seniors and veterans lose their homes or starve, for that matter.

Oh, I can see a lot of other wonderful pieces of legislation coming down the pike.  You will most definitely see a Personhood Constitutional amendment simply to outlaw abortion.  You will see a massive tax cut for the 1% and a raise to the rest of us.  You will see a bill eliminating the Department of Environmental Protection.  You will see a bill eliminating the Department of Education.  You will see bills deregulating every form of business.  You will see a bill eliminating the Minimum Wage.  You will see all Consumer Protection Laws repealed.  You will see a bill to build a “Berlin-type” wall at our southern border complete with gun turrets.  I wouldn’t be shocked if you saw a bill declaring an Official Religion, needless to say it won’t be Islam.

All anyone had to do during this election cycle was to listen carefully to the ads that were produced by the Koch PACs, Citizens’ United and other Conservative PACs to hear all of these being proposed.  They are nothing new.  The Conservatives have been preaching them for years.  So, don’t be surprised when they try to make them law.  Is that what poor Mitt thinks is “governing?”

Finally, no one will be surprised when the “impeach Obama” cries are started.  They don’t have any grounds to impeach anyone, much less the President, but that won’t stop them from trying.  We will be faced with the most turbulent two years of “governing” in our history.  That is what we face if the Republicans gain control of the Congress.

So, as you can see, it all comes down to turnout.  Republicans have tried to artificially keep voter turnout low through their Voter Suppression laws.  Now they are counting on you not to care enough to let them have power.  Maybe the question is “would you rather live in a democracy or in an oligarchy?”  If you think oligarchs like the Koch Brothers should run the country, that is what you will get.  If you believe we need to keep living in a democracy, you will turn out to vote.  It is that simple.  Nothing but your future and your children’s future depends on it.

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At the start of every ballgame or other function, people stand and sing the national anthem.  They proudly sing those words written during the War of 1812.  The song ends with “the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”  With the ending everyone cheers and settles in to watch whatever event they are at.

Since 2011, veterans all around have been told “thank you” for your service.  There are so many “thank you” events that it is beginning to turn my stomach.  Maybe one of the reasons for my acid reaction to those “thank you” is because they have come so absent-mindedly and automatically.  No thought is given to those words before they are uttered.

I grew up in the 50s and 60s.  I lived through the civil rights fights.  I saw how terrible discrimination was to my fellow citizens.  During the 60s the Vietnam war became a hot button.  Youth around the country rebelled against society.  The Hippie movement started and the saying was “turn on and drop out.”  Bust most of us didn’t drop out.  We fought against the war and against discrimination.

In 1970 I entered the service.  I served my country from 1970 to 1990.  I served under 5 presidents and saw the changing of the country.  In 1980, Ronald Reagan became president.  He talked about that “shining city on a hill” that the rest of the world wanted to be like.  But, it was also Reagan who stood by and watched as hundreds if not thousands of our fellow citizens died from AIDS.  Reagan didn’t want to do anything because at first it mostly affected gays.  It wasn’t until more straight people became sick and died from AIDS before he started to actually talk about it.  He never really did anything about it.

Reagan started the “divide and conquer” mentality of the Republican Party.  He was very anti-union and broke the Air Traffic Controllers Union because they had the audacity to strike over better pay and working conditions.  Rather than deal with the problem, he simply fired them all.  That was the first shot fired across the bow of “liberty”.

Since 9/11 we have been at war.  First it was Afghanistan, then it was Iraq.  We were finally able to draw out of Iraq, but we are still fighting in Afghanistan.  In Iraq, the government there at the time did not want us to keep forces in the country.  So, we completely left.  Then, in recent years, ISIS started gaining ground.  The new government requested our help and we are now bombing the country again.  So far, the only “boots on the ground” are advisors and trainers.

In Afghanistan, their government wants us to keep a force there after we draw down.  So the war in Afghanistan will continue for an unforeseeable future.  We have lost thousands of our men and women in these wars.  Our wounded are in the thousands as well.  Yet, the Republicans in congress has continually cut the budget for the Veterans Administration.  Meaning thousands of our veterans are not getting the help they need.

But, I guess we are supposed to accept “thank you” as our payment for the hardships we face.  It has always been very easy for the country to send our troops to war.  It has always been almost impossible for our country to offer the help and medical treatment we need once we come home.  It is almost like veterans are supposed to just fade away when the country is finished with them.  Isn’t a thank you enough?

Back home things really started getting nasty in 2000.  We all remember the presidential election that year.  The one with the hanging chads.  That was when the Republicans decided that everyone should not be allowed to vote.  They started introducing legislation at the state level called Voter ID laws.  Their main argument was to stop in person voting fraud.  Let it be known that in Texas, one of the states with the most restrictive Voter ID Laws, that between 2000 and 2012 over 20 million votes were cast.  In that time, there were a 2 cases of in person voter fraud.  But, that didn’t stop them from yelling about voter fraud.

Of course the real intention of these Voter ID laws is to keep minorities, young people, and senior citizens from voting.  That is because these groups tend not to vote Republican and many don’t have a “state approved” ID card.  I find it amusing that in these Voter ID law states, a gun registration card is a valid ID, but a student ID card from the State’s University is not.

Then states started banning same-sex marriage.  They had to have only “one man and one woman” marriages.  See, if you allowed same-sex couples to marry, straight marriages will begin to fall apart.  The very thought of giving same-sex couples the same civil rights as everyone else is simply too abhorrent to even think about.  If you don’t look at homosexuals as “real people” it is easy to discriminate against them.

Banning same-sex marriages wasn’t good enough for these right-wing crusaders.  They started to introduce “freedom of religion” laws.  Sounded catchy.  But, these laws only had one objective.  Allow private business to discriminate against anyone who did not have the same belief system as the owner of the company.  Though it mostly went after gays, it was intended to be broad enough that any group that was looked down upon to be legally discriminated against.  You know people like interracial marriages or Muslims and Jews.

Abortion was another civil right that has been attacked.  According to the right-wing, women simply don’t have the mental capacity to make their own decisions about whether or not to carry a pregnancy to full term.  The state had to step in and make sure they made the choice for them.  All of this in the name of “getting the government out of our lives” which is an infamous battle cry of the far right.  That wasn’t enough either.  Now they are going after birth control as well.

Right-wing activists started fighting against the minimum wage.  While people were beginning to fight for a minimum wage increase, the right-wing started waging a war to end the minimum wage altogether.  This plan was backed by corporations who thought they could increase their profits simply by paying their workers less.  On top of that, women are being paid at least 70 cents on the dollar less than men doing the same work.  But, since they are women, they should just shut up and not complain about it.  After all, men are nice enough to even allow them into the workforce.

The reality is that the people we used to call WASPs are becoming terrified that they are losing their grip on power.  It is becoming clearer to them that their days are numbered.  In order to sustain their power, they need to rig the system so the rest of our citizens are marginalized and denied basic civil liberties.  In the name of Christianity, things like welfare, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security have been attacked and cut.  Seems the Conservative Christian Cult doesn’t believe that helping the needy is really part of Christianity.

We have turned into a country where women are continuously objectified by the morons.  Abuse and rape are being blamed on the victim not the abuser or rapist.  Women are not only treated as second-class citizens, but they are considered “bubble-heads” who cannot think for themselves.  Homosexuals are demonized simply for being themselves.

Rights are being based on the religious beliefs of a very few and not on the constitution.  Unarmed people are being shot to death by an ever-increasing militarized police without the shooter being prosecuted.  After all, they must have had it coming.  Immigrants are being criminalized with no immigration reform on the horizon.

We have become a country where your civil rights are being decided by billionaires and bigoted nut cases in a dark room somewhere and not by the constitution.  If this continues, how much longer will it be before all of our rights are denied.  The real battle against civil rights is being fought at the state level more than the Federal Government.  State Legislatures controlled by Republicans are terrified they will lose their grip on power.  That is something they are determined not to have happen.  They gerrymander voting districts and pass laws that are intended to disenfranchise voters they don’t like.

When you go to the voting booth this mid-term, ask yourself one question.  Are we really the “land of the free and the home of the brave” anymore?  If you are a right-wing conservative, you will probably say yes because your rights are not being denied.  If you are anyone else, you may have your doubts.  Maybe those doubts will be enough for you to cast your vote for equality and freedom and against the right-wing nuts.

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The mid-terms are just a couple of weeks away.  There are some that predict that the Republicans will gain control of the Senate.  While others say it is still possible for the Democrats to keep it.  There are some conservatives that are almost giddy over the prospect of taking over the Senate.  Due to the gerrymandered districts, it is almost impossible for the Democrats to take over the House.

The real fact of the matter is that it really doesn’t matter if the Republicans take the Senate.  All it will mean is that the stagnation we have seen in Washington since Obama became President will get even worse.  All it will mean is that the Republicans will use their “hostage taking” practices even more than they have in the past.  That is not a good way to run a country.

We all know that the vast majority of the Republican agenda would not be signed by the current president.  Even if they take the Senate, the Republicans won’t have enough votes to over ride vetoes.  That means in general nothing will get done, except a lot more President Obama bashing.

There has been a lot of talk about the differences between the Republicans and Democrats during this cycle.  But, in my opinion, all of this talk has missed the point totally.  This isn’t about traditional Conservative vs. Progressive politics.  This is about whether or not we live in a country with equal rights and justice for everyone.  It is about whether or not we continue to be one of, if not the, true democracy in the world.  If the current batch Republicans were ever to win both houses of Congress and the White House, our democracy will take a drastic turn for the worst.

If you take a few minutes to look and listen to the current Republican Party, you will hear nothing but hate and discontent towards everyone who doesn’t agree with their backwards thinking.  If you believe income inequality is wrong, you are against Republican candidates.  If you believe that people should be allowed to marry whom they want, regardless of race, religion, or sex, you are against Republican candidates.  If you believe that women together with their families and doctors should be allowed to decide on whether or not to have an abortion, you are against Republican candidates.

Republicans have waged a war against women’s rights for decades.  They have fought against the right for workers to unionize for decades.  They have fought to force Conservative Christian Cult’s beliefs on the rest of society.  They are fear mongering idiots who believe that the only way to win an election is to take the right to vote away from different groups of people who just might vote Democratic.

The current batch of Republicans have formed an evil alliance between Conservative Christian Cult, Ultra-Conservative billionaires, Tea Party, and Racists.  Sorry, but that is the only way to describe this alliance.  Conservative Christian Cult members want to force their brand of Christianity on everyone else.  If you don’t follow their religious beliefs, you are considered a Christian in Name Only (CINO).  They say they are against the government meddling in your religious beliefs.  Yet they want a “Personhood” amendment that would totally ban abortions.  Even if your religious beliefs says it is okay.  They are against marriage equality.  They are even against the right of gays to live in peace.

The Tea Party is the ultra-conservative wing of the Republicans.  They will tell you that if you are not a Tea Party Member, you are a Republican in Name Only (RINO).  They just want to form a government that throws the poor under the bus.  You will hear all kinds of arguments against Welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and Taxes.  But you won’t hear a word about the subsidies given to oil companies, utilities, farmers, etc.  These people also want government “out of our lives”.  Yet they are also against abortion and equal marriage rights.  It seems like every time a Tea Party candidate talks about liberty, they are demanding that about half of the country’s population not be allowed those same liberties.

The billionaire club led by the Koch Brothers simply want to form a dictatorship based on the philosophy that the country should return to the “good ole days” of the 19th century and the Robber Barons.  It is perfectly right for them to make millions of dollars every year, but the rest of us should have to work our asses off just to get by on $2 per hour.  It is the Tea Party and the Billionaires who want to eliminate the minimum wage and pass laws outlawing unions.

I don’t think we have to discuss much about the Racists.  You just need to look at the voter suppression laws that have been passed in several states to know their agenda.

In this mid-term election, one party is screaming about liberty all the while they are passing laws that take liberty away from anyone who isn’t like them.  They are screaming about getting government out of our lives, all the while they are passing laws that put government in the lives of women.  They are preaching about the American dream all the while they are fighting laws like raising the minimum wage and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

They have been screaming about our “porous southern border” but say nothing about our porous northern border.  They claim that Ebola will wipe us off the face of the planet, yet they continue to cut funding for the CDC and NIH.  They wanted a “Czar” for the fight against Ebola, yet screamed when one was named.  Their hypocrisy has no limits.  They believe that if they continue to fear monger, we will fall for their demagoguery.

In the last several years The Republican Party has seen a renaissance.  Unfortunately, unlike the renaissance in the past, this isn’t one of enlightenment, it is a return to the Dark Ages where religion and the wealthy rule the country.  We have already seen places that prove the Republican Platform is destructive to liberties and opportunity.  Just look at Kansas and Wisconsin.  These were supposed to be Conservative Republican utopias.  Yet they have turned out to be anything but utopia for the common citizen of the state.

There is still time to fight back.  To use their own phrase, “it is time to take our country back.”  This time we need to take it back from this evil alliance and restore freedom and democracy to the greatest country in the world.  But, we can’t do that unless you go to the polls and vote this mid-term.  Let the Republican Party know that they cannot bullshit us anymore with their fear mongering and their lies.  We have grown past the 19th century and refuse to go back.

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Last week there was that great gathering of conservatives called the Value Voters Summit.  Every time I research this Summit, I can’t help but think the name is an oxymoron.  Think about that.  Value Voters Summit.  It kind of makes you think that people with real values are attending the summit looking for candidates who share real values.  Then, out pops speakers like Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, and others.  It appears that “Value Voters” don’t really have any “values” like they want you to believe.  Unless you consider greed, homophobia, Islamaphobia, and hatred of the poor as values.

Then, I couldn’t help but think that I had fallen through a time-warp or something.  I felt like I had gone to sleep and woke up in the middle-ages.  I heard Michelle Bachmann actually call for another Crusades.  Now, she didn’t actually use the word Crusades, but it was apparent that was what she meant.  In her speech, she said:

“Yes, Mr. President, it is about Islam!  And I believe if you have an evil of an order of this magnitude, you take it seriously. You declare war on it, you don’t dance around it. Just like the Islamic State has declared war on the United States of America.”

Now, if you studied any history at all, you can’t help but conclude that Ms. Bachmann is actually calling for a Crusade against Islam just like in the middle-ages.  Of course she failed to say that if we did “declare war on Islam” we would be fighting in almost every country in the world including in our own country.  See Islam is everywhere.

To be honest with you, I can’t remember who came up with the idea first.  Was it Michelle Bachmann or was it Bill O’Reilly?  See, old Bill has a solution to the problem as well.  And, it sounds very similar to Bachmann’s.  Bill said on his show that the answer is to put together a 25,000-person, well-paid, mercenary “world-wide strike force.”  He then said:  “You wouldn’t believe how many military people who have called me and gone, ‘that’s a great idea.’

Well, he was right about one thing.  No one believed him about the military people who said “that’s a great idea.”  As a matter of fact, no one on FOX News thought it was a very bright idea either.  Even Charles Krauthammer said: “You’ve gone from out of the box to off the wall. Do you really want to be running around the world responsible for a band of desperadoes?”

A guest military expert said: “It’s a terrible idea. We’re not going to solve this problem by creating a band of Marvel’s Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy.”  I guess it is kind of bad when your own side calls you nuts!

But, no one dared say anything bad about Michelle Bachmann and her call for a crusade.  I don’t know if no one paid any attention to her, of if she has fallen so low on the FOX radar that she doesn’t get a mention anymore.  But, anyone with a brain can tell you that those kinds of words are exactly what ISIS is looking to play up.  What better way to recruit more “converts” to their cause than play a recording of Ms. Stupid calling for a war against Islam?

There were a lot of other stupid moments at the Value Voters Summit as well.  Like Sarah Palin saying the White House is at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Just think, she was supposed to be McCain’s Vice President.  Guess it is a good idea he lost, she would still be looking for the White House for her first meeting.

She even weighed in on the ISIS thing too.  She said:   “Bush’s war was bad, but Barack’s bombs, oh baby those red lines, the strategery [sic] there that was thought up on the back nine, Barack’s bombs, oh they’re the bomb.”  Yes, she used the word “strategery.”

I don’t usually get to worked up about the Value Voters Summit.  I fully understand that the attendees don’t have any moral values.  But, when members of Congress, even out-going ones like Michelle Bachmann, start calling the second largest religion in the world “evil” and calls for the U.S. to “declare war” on it, we need to take notice.

Even more frightening than her speech was the applause she received for it.  Apparently, the Value Voters who attended this summit agree that we can declare war on a religion.  These are the same idiots who claim “religious persecution” because our laws won’t allow them to discriminate against those they don’t like.

This is the type of lunacy that creeps up when politicians are more interested in establishing a theocracy than working to make our country better.  The mid-terms are coming up.  You have a choice between reason and these folks.  Which are you going to choose?

 

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There has been a lot of talk lately about Libertarianism in the Republican Party.  Everyone seems to think that Rand Paul is a Libertarian like his father, Ron Paul is.  However, most people who refer to Libertarianism don’t really know what that really means.  First off, if one is a true Libertarian, then one has to decide if he is a Capitalist Libertarian or a Socialist Libertarian.  There are wide differences between the two.  For example, the Capitalist Libertarians advocate for laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights such as land, water, infrastructure and others.  While Socialist Libertarians seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of means of production in favor of their common or cooperative ownership and management.  Then of course there is the minarchists who seek to abolish the state as an illegitimate political system.

I think it would be safe to say that those who claim to be Libertarians in the Republican Party wouldn’t consider themselves as Socialist Libertarians.  Nor, do I suppose they would be minarchists either.  I believe we can safely say that they are firmly entrenched in the Capitalist Libertarian wing.  Or, are they?

Libertarianism is based on the philosophy that individual liberty trumps government control.  There are a lot of ideas that Libertarianism have that fall in line with the current batch in the Republican Party.  There are also a lot of other items that fly in the face of true Libertarianism.  True Libertarianism believes that individuals and corporations are best suited to handle all of the economic problems in the world.  They believe that the government should play no role in business regulations.  After all, the people who are running the businesses know best.

This includes banking regulations.  Libertarians believe that all banks should be allowed to compete in anything they want.  Even though they were the main cause of the 2008 meltdown.  They believe that, although the ecology of the planet must be protected, they believe that the “owners” of the land are the best people to tend to it.  They believe that the government cannot and should not regulate pollution emissions or energy production.

Of course they also believe in “free trade” uninhibited by government regulations.  Oddly enough, they believe that people should be able to cross borders just like commodities.  They do call for some regulation at the borders to keep out criminals or others who would do the country harm, but they don’t seem to believe that immigration for the sake of work should be restricted.  Sounds like an open border to me.

Libertarians also believe that income taxes are illegal.  They advocate for the elimination of income and corporate taxes and they want the IRS abolished.  They don’t say how they plan to pay for their “limited” government, but definitely won’t be through income taxes.

Finally, they firmly believe that the government has no role in regulating wages or bargaining rights.  They say that corporations have the right to bargain with unions or not.  There should be no minimum wage law because it is the responsibility of each person to “negotiate” wages with the owners of corporations.

With all of this in mind, some current Republicans can call themselves Capitalist Libertarians.  But, there is a whole lot more to Libertarian philosophy than simply economic issues.  There are social issues as well.  This is where the current crop of Republican Libertarians depart from the Libertarian philosophy.

For example, true libertarians believe that if a person wants to use what is now defined as illegal drugs, they should be allowed to do so.  They want the “war on drugs” ended and all drug use made legal.  They also firmly believe that what a person does with his or her body is nobody’s business but the person.  This includes abortion.  Libertarians believe it is up to the individual to determine if abortion is right for them.  The government should have no role in allowing or disallowing abortion rights.

Libertarians also believe that consenting adults have the right to engage in sex or marriage with whomever they wish.  They are for same-sex marriage and say that the government has no right to deny civil liberties to same-sex couples.  All they want the government to do is recognize a marriage as a marriage regardless of who the parties are.

They are also against interventionist wars.  They only want a military of sufficient size to defend the country against aggression.  They are totally against intervening in foreign wars or troubles.  Basically, when it comes to military intervention, they are isolationists.  Let the world burn as long as it doesn’t affect us.

These are just some of the things that true Libertarians stand for.  Problem is, that there are very few real Libertarians in this country.  Like other groups, they like to cherry-pick the items they like and throw out the ones they don’t like.  But, since Libertarianism seems to be a hot button in the Republican Party, more and more are trying to align themselves with Libertarian philosophies.

The number one person in the party that is acclaimed to be a Libertarian is Rand Paul.  The only reason he is considered to be a Libertarian is because he is the son of Ron Paul.  Ron Paul was probably as close to a real Libertarian as anyone I know.  He even ran for president as the Libertarian Party candidate.  But, lineage is as close to a comparison as Rand can get to Ron in terms of Libertarianism.  Rand Paul is simply a right-wing conservative who is trying his best to masquerade as a Libertarian.

All you need to do is look at his speeches.  He waffles back and forth on issues like a wind-blown leaf.  First he is for immigration reform, then he is against it, then he is for it, and then he is against it.  It is the same on every issue he talks about.  Remember the “run and hide” gambit he did in Iowa?  When a “dreamer” wanted to talk to him and Rep. King, Paul almost choked on his hamburger and ran away.

I actually feel sorry for the Libertarian Party.  They have to stand on the sidelines and watch these con artists act like they are Libertarians when everyone who knows anything about Libertarianism realizes they are not.  When it comes to economic issues like abolishing government regulations, privatizing public schools, eliminating departments like the EPA, OSHA, and the Department of Education, right-wing Republicans are similar to Libertarians.  When it comes to social issues, the right-wing Republicans are totally opposite.

I think that whenever we hear about a Libertarian movement in the Republican Party, we only need to know that it is nothing more than a publicity stunt to gain ink.  There is no Libertarian movement in the Republican Party.  Like everything else, they are merely cherry-picking things they like and pretending to be something they are not.  Maybe the acronym GOP should stand for “Grand Old Pretenders.”

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There have been screams from the right for years about how tax-payer money is spent.  They scream about tax-payer money being used to fund abortions for example.  There have also been screams from the right about unions using union dues for campaign contributions.  They want to make sure that any union member can “opt out” of their dues being used to support candidates.  We all know that if unions were endorsing Republican Candidates, this “opt out” wouldn’t be necessary.

Their argument has always been that tax-payer money cannot be used for things like these because everyone doesn’t agree with them.  So, if you disagree with abortion for example, your tax money should not be used to fund abortions, even for military personnel.  On the surface, that seems logical.  But, on the other hand, they have no problem with using tax-payer money to pay for things like Christmas scenes on government property.  They call that religious freedom.

Well, the State of Kentucky has just taken this one step further.  It seems that the State of Kentucky is recognizing a particular religious cult.  They are willing to offer tax incentives and tax-payer money to them to show their support.  Of course, Kentucky is saying they are doing this not to recognize a religious cult, but rather to create jobs.

Here is the story.  Ken Ham and his nuts are planning to build a life-sized Ark based on the biblical story of Noah and the flood.  The Ark Encounter is being built by Answers in Genesis, which also runs the Creationist Museum in Kentucky.  The issue is that this clearly religious organization has been approved by the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority, a state-run agency, for a great deal of state money. Yep, this religious group has received preliminary approval for an $18 million tax incentive.

However, the State is turning a blind eye to the fact that the people who apply for these jobs will be subject to discrimination based on their beliefs. Daniel Phelps, a geologist, president of the Kentucky Paleontologist Society, and vice president of Kentuckians for Science Education, pointed out:

“However, it is apparent that Ark Encounter is likely to discriminate against non-Christians. Moreover, Catholics, mainstream Protestant Christians and some conservative Christians who have different doctrinal beliefs are also unlikely to be hired.

The job description included this statement: ‘Our work at Ark Encounter is not just a job, it is also a ministry. Our employees work together as a team to serve each other to produce the best solutions for our design requirements. Our purpose through the Ark Encounter is to serve and glorify the Lord with our God-given talents with the goal of edifying believers and evangelizing the lost.’”

The entire job description requires a salvation testimony, a creation belief statement and a confirmation of your agreement with the AiG Statement of Faith.  That “Statement of Faith” includes these items.

“Those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment, but believers enjoy eternal life with God.”

And:

“The only legitimate marriage sanctioned by God is the joining of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other, and has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s gender, or disagreement with one’s biological gender, is sinful and offensive to God”

And:

“By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.”

It doesn’t take much reasoning to figure out that this Statement of Faith, which is required by anyone who will be employed will lead to discrimination against non-Christians, Catholics, LGBT persons, atheists, or anyone else who does not agree with the Statement of Faith.  Yet, As Phelps put it: “The tax incentive, along with the city tax breaks, and the parcel of land sold to the project at a discount by Williamstown, plus $200,000 cash given by the Grant County Economic Development Commission is clearly a case of government entanglement with religion.”

The State may claim that this tax money is being used to create jobs.  But, it is being used to create jobs for a small minority of people.  It will be used to discriminate against anyone who disagrees with the Statement of Faith but still needs a job.  As a result, there can be no conclusion other than the one that says the State of Kentucky is guilty of “recognizing” a particular religion.  That is an obvious violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that says “the government shall not recognize an official state religion”.

Kentucky, the home of the renowned constitutionalist Mitch McConnel, seems to think that the First Amendment doesn’t pertain to them.  But, that is the way it always works.  Vilify your enemies and reward your supporters.  Even if it breaks the law.

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Maybe we should give half props to FOX News.  For a long time now, they have been crying that there is a war on religion in America.  They are half right.  Of course, they claim it is a war on Christianity.  That is the part they have wrong.  The real war on religion is being waged by the Conservative Christian Cult against everyone else.

The Cult is truly amazing in cherry-picking the parts of religious beliefs that they will accept.  They then denounce everyone else as heretics because their religious beliefs don’t jive with the Cult’s.  There are lots of examples which we will discuss.  The main point is that in their zeal to “convert” the world to their way of thinking, they are willing to shred the right to practice your religious beliefs as guaranteed in the First Amendment.  Some have even gone so far as to say the First Amendment only applies to Christian beliefs.  Even if that were true, which it is not, they are still violating the First Amendment because they continue to persecute other Christians.

This year the Supreme Court ruled that “buffer zones” established by states in front of abortion clinics were not legal.  They believe that if a woman wants to get an abortion, the Cult has the right to attempt to interfere with that process, even going so far as to accost women and employees of the clinic to even get inside in peace.  I suppose that means that if a group of people show up in front of a Cult church and started accosting those attending services, that would also be legal.  I would love to see a group try that angle.

Imagine a group of protesters standing in front of a Cult church screaming to the attendees that they are devil worshipers, or other such nonsense.  Even going so far as to trying to block their entrance into the church “for their own good”.  I don’t think it would be too long before the police were summoned to get rid of the protesters.  The Cult believe they can do whatever they want, but no one else can use their tactics.

The fight over abortion is purely a religious fight.  Whether you believe abortion is “right or wrong” is totally down to religious belief.  The Cult says life begins and therefore the fetus is a person upon fertilization.  Other people with religious beliefs don’t think that way.  That is what the abortion fight is all about.  One narrow view of life against other views of life.

The Cult doesn’t want you to know this.  They try to make it out to be “protecting the unborn person”.  That is what all of these “personhood amendments” they keep trying to get passed is all about.  They are trying to force their religious belief on everyone else.  That in a word is “religious persecution”.

There are a lot of people who consider themselves to be good Christians who favor the right to have an abortion.  But the Cult has labeled them as Christians in Name only.  A favorite catch phrase of theirs.  If a woman’s religious beliefs tells her it is okay to have an abortion, denying her that right is religious persecution.  There is simply no other way to look at it.

There are several states with laws and/or State Constitutional Amendments banning same-sex marriage.  Yet, many churches and religions recognize same-sex marriage.  The Cult says “NO, that is the same as bestiality”.  What nonsense.  The whole premise of the Cult’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage, is again wrapped up in their narrow view of what is in their beloved bible.  Other Christians and other faiths, don’t subscribe to that narrow view.

Therefore, if two people of the same-sex decide they want to get married, and their religious beliefs say that is okay, denying them the right to be married is religious persecution.  Sorry, but the Cult’s argument that the others are “simply wrong” doesn’t cut it.  They are persecuting other beliefs only because they differ from theirs.  The Cult even tried to get legislation passed that would allow them to discriminate against gay couples in normal business affairs.  Again, religious persecution.

Not only that, the Cult is famous for its hypocrisy.  Take the case of  Tennessee. Rep. Scott DesJarlais who is running for his third term for Congress as a “family values” guy.  He recently won his primary for reelection despite the fact that DesJarlais has a long history showing that while he firmly believes women should have to lose their basic human rights in the name of family values, he, as a man, has never shown any interest in making even the tiniest sacrifice for those same values.

It seems that he believes women who are facing an unwanted pregnancy that could derail their lives should suck it up and be made to suffer in the name of “life.” But when faced with the prospect of an unintended pregnancy that could hurt him, he suddenly became a big fan of abortion. It has been reported that DesJarlais encouraged, some would even say badgered his mistress to get an abortion during his first marriage. He also supported his first wife’s abortions.  Yet, he believes that he can run on a pro-life platform.  Apparently the Cult members in Tennessee agree with him.

The Hobby Lobby case proves this point even further.  The Cult member owners of the company claim to have “deeply held religious” beliefs about certain forms of contraception.  They argued in court that they shouldn’t be required to provide those forms of contraception in their health plans for employees.  SCOTUS said absolutely right.

Yet, there are many women who work at Hobby Lobby who believe all forms of contraception are perfectly fine.  Their religious beliefs do not forbid them from using them.  As a result, these woman are being persecuted for their religious beliefs by a company that claims to have deeply held religious beliefs.  Problem is their religious beliefs trump those of their employees.  What else can you call it but religious persecution?

These are just a few examples of religious persecution that is ongoing in America.  FOX was correct in pointing out that it exists.  They were just wrong in who is actually perpetrating this persecution.  In my view, the fanaticism of the Cult’s persecution of the “non-believers” is very similar to other fanatical groups.  So, the next time you hear the Cult scream about religious persecution, remember it is them waging war against your religious beliefs, not the other way around.

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