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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

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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I regularly read news papers and watch news television during the day.  I need to keep up with what is going on in the world, and I make sure I have different points of view on each story.  Mostly, you can tell a political lean of a news paper or news station easily.  Each side is quick to make sure their like or dislike for something is based on their political view and what is wrong with America.  But, when it comes to rape, I find that none of the mainstream, or non-mainstream media for that matter, really give a shit about rape or the victims.

When rape does hit the headlines the news media is quick to not only say a woman had been raped, but then conjectures on “why” she was raped.  Many have even gone on to write editorials pointing out what they think causes rape.  Naturally, the perpetrator of the crime is never mentioned.  Only the victim.

USA Today was the latest to wade into the foray.  They wrote an op-ed that basically says that rape on college campuses is due to, now get this, “women drinking too much”.  We hear this stupid nonsense all of the time.  It seems that whenever a woman is raped, it is because they either drink too much around men, dress too provocatively, behave improperly, or just use bad judgment when picking their friends.  It always seems to fall back onto the victim not the perpetrator.

How is this even possible?  Why is it that people have to blame the victim for being a victim of an abusive crime?  Why isn’t it the fault of the man who is committing the crime?  There are various opinions as to the cause of the problem, and some people have made very serious suggestions on helping to fix the problem.

For example, Dana Bolger of Know Your IX wrote a rebuttal in the same newspaper that puts the argument of the editorial board to shame.  She wrote:

Rape is a powerful tool of social control, used to keep us in our place. Like rape itself, the endless chorus of “don’ts” keeps us quiet and submissive. But it neither reduces violence nor comes without cost: It keeps us out of public space, afraid to take risks. It does violence’s work for it.

To reduce rape, we can challenge the conditions of inequality that allow gender violence to flourish. Begin consent education in elementary schools, teach boys not to rape, and hold perpetrators accountable in our colleges, churches and families.

The alternative — to deny women the opportunity to move freely and live full lives — reaffirms the very effects of violence it seeks to mitigate.

We continue to have these problems because it has been inbred into our culture.  We have been taught from an early age that women are not to be treated as equals.  We allow the predatory behavior of men towards women simply because it is really controlling them.  Men are entitled to what they want while women are to submit to the will of men.

This is taught everywhere.  Every time an athlete is accused of rape and gets away with it because of his “entitlement” to be pampered we teach our boys that it is okay to rape a woman.  Every time a minister preaches from the pulpit about how women are to submit to the wishes of her husband, we teach boys that it okay to expect whatever they want from women.  Every time someone in the media blames the woman for being raped because of her drinking or how she dresses, we teach boys that it is okay to rape women.

This a real culture that men perpetrate all too often and apparently want to keep.  It is nothing but entitled control over the opposite sex.  Somehow blaming the victim of rape seems to make these men feel really good about themselves.  After all, she must have had it coming.  Of course all of that is total stupidity.

Like most social problems, this one will not go away until there is more done to prevent rape in the first place.  And prevention does not start with blaming the woman.  It starts with respect for everyone.  It starts with educating our boys that rape is a crime and they are not entitled to have sex with a woman if she does not consent.  I am sick and tired of hearing about that “poor boy” or “poor man” and what the crime will do to his life.  I am more interested in what the crime will do to the woman’s life.  She was the one attacked, not him.

Rape is a vicious horrible crime.  What is even worse, is making the victim the cause of this crime.  If you ask any man who has a daughter or wife what they would do if their daughter or wife were raped, you will probably hear the same response.  “I will kill the SOB that did it.”  But, if it is his son who committed the crime, you will usually hear that “she probably had it coming”.  Until that second response changes, the problem of rape will continue and women will continue to be blamed for being attacked!

Sometimes I wonder if man really evolved, or if we are still in the cave.

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School’s out for the summer!  Our wonderful Congress has taken their usual August recess.  That is a normal thing this time of year.  These politicians will go back to their districts and hold town hall meetings and espouse their wonderful achievements.  Problem is, they don’t have any wonderful achievements to espouse.

The previous two Congresses were the least productive in modern history.  The current Congress is on track to even beat those two in futility.  I know it is hard to believe, but that is the fact.  Congress has left town in a rush to get “reelected” to their meaningless position.  There was a time when holding public office was an honorable endeavor held by people who wanted to make the country better.  The current crop of legislators are anything but honorable.

As the children take their usual recess, huge problems still face this country.  We still have a mess on the border.  There are still thousands of undocumented children waiting for their “cases to be heard” as the 2008 law says they must.  What has Congress done about this humanitarian problem?  Nothing!  Yes, the House passed a bill, but they added so many inhumane elements to it that it will never get through the Senate.  That is once the Senate comes back in September.

Some of these elements do not even include anything to do with the humanitarian problem at the border.  They deal with things that are best covered in a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  But since the House has no intention of even talking about comprehensive immigration reform, they tack on objectionable amendments to laws just so those laws can be killed.

There are still millions of people working 40 hour work weeks for below poverty pay.  There is still an attack on any religious beliefs that to not follow the “white” Christian beliefs.  There is still no immigration reform.  There is still no national marriage equality.  There are still voter suppression laws on the books in several states.  There are still millions of people without health care because Republican states refuse to expand Medicaid.  There are still way too many people out of work.  Our infrastructure is still falling down around our ears.

They did manage to pass a bill that will allow the VA help our veterans better.  But, as usual, they have nothing in it that will address the over 1 million homeless veterans.  Nothing that will address the fact that millions of veterans need food stamps just to survive, which the Republicans want to cut even deeper.  They have basically put a band-aide on a gaping wound our veterans suffer from every day.  They authorized about half of the money the VA really needs.  They say they will address the rest in the “normal budget process”.  Which means the VA won’t get any additional money they need because the Republicans will insist on cutting other safety nets to “pay” for any additional money for the VA.

The one piece of legislation the House is very proud of is the one authorizing the Speaker to sue the President.  That is one bill that every Republican in Congress could get behind.  Wasting millions of tax dollars on suing the President as a political stunt is something they are very proud of doing.

It has been often said that allowing the inmates to run the asylum is a bad idea.  Yet, Mr. Boehner has allowed just that to happen.  The inmates in the GOP are now running the asylum.  Thanks in large part to Mr. Boehner’s inability to actually “lead”.  As a result, a “junior Senator from Texas” has become the de facto Speaker of the House.  Way to stand up to the inmates, Mr. Boehner!

If it was just the inmates in Washington that were running the asylum, I wouldn’t be so worried about it.  But, the inmates are running the asylum in many of the states as well.

The party that says it wants “government out of our lives” are very willing to put government into our lives if it will force everyone to think as they do.  They want “government in of the lives” of the poor by killing social safety nets and making sure they can’t vote because they believe the poor are just not smart enough to trust to vote Republican.  They want “government in the lives” of women and their reproductive choices because they don’t think women are smart enough to make their own decisions.  They want “government in the lives” of LGBT community because they must make sure they don’t have equal rights as the rest of the “normal” world as they see it.  They want “government in science” so they can foster the myth of creationism as the “real” science simply because it doesn’t interfere with profit-making for their big donors.   They want “government in the lives” of the working poor by saying that a Federal Minimum Wage is “hurting” their chances to move ahead.  They want “government in children’s lives” by making sure they don’t learn anything while allowing for profit school companies to make millions in profits without having to actually teach anything viable.

In a time when the country faces many challenges, we are stuck with school children who cannot make decisions.  We are stuck with a group  whose only real concern is hate for anything that doesn’t look or think like they do.  We are stuck with the inmates running the asylum.  I have always been an optimist when it comes to the future of our country.  I must admit, that with the current crop of school children in Congress, my optimism is shaky.

There is one bright side.  With school out for the summer, they can’t pass anymore bills that harm the country.  But, then, they don’t pass bills at all, so maybe that is a good thing too.

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As we look around the world, we see very troubled times.  We see wars and dissatisfaction.  There is civil war in Iraq.  There is civil war in Syria.  There is civil war in Ukraine.  There is civil war in many countries in Africa.  The Israelis and Hamas are warring again.  This is nothing new.  There have been wars among people since we first learned how to use a club as a weapon to kill someone else.

At first, wars were fought over hunting grounds.  Then they turned to agriculture and water areas.  As man evolved, war became more personal.  Power was the name of the game.  Empires needed to be built and war was the best way to achieve that.  As we evolved more, gods became the rallying cry.  In every civilization, the gods of one people were considered superior to the gods of another.  That led to the justification that we can kill in the name of our gods.

That justification has remained right up to today.  “God is on our side” is the rallying cry to justify waging war against another culture with different religious beliefs.  Now, all wars are not based purely on religion.  They are mostly based on power.  Yet, we justify our desire for that power through religion.

It is this justification that makes it so dangerous for us right now.  The Conservative Christian Cult is sounding the war cry again.  We need to send troops into Syria.  We need to send troops into Iraq.  We need to send troops into Iran.  We need to send troops to help the Israelis in their war against Hamas.  We need to send troops to the Ukraine.

The Cult and their talking heads at FOX News are the ones calling for war again.  They use phony excuses like the President hasn’t been tough enough.  But, what they are hiding is their true reason for these wars.  They actually want to start another world war.  They will even be thrilled to have a global nuclear war break out.  That is because in their fantasy world, they won’t be around to see the consequences of such a war.

The Cult and their talking heads want to start a holocaust.  They want to see Armageddon take place in our life time.  They have been working for years to make it happen.  Now, they figure they have the right opportunity at the right time.  They just need to get their people in power so it can begin in earnest.

Since religion became such a large part in people’s lives, Armageddon has been seen as the “cleansing” of the world from sin.  Those Cult members who truly believe in Armageddon believe it is their duty to bring it about.  That is why they are so eager to get involved in foreign conflicts.  Especially foreign conflicts that involve those “other religions”.  Have you ever wondered why the Cult is so aggressive toward the Palestinians and so forgiving of the Israelis for building settlements in Palestinian Territory?  It is because they know that more Jews living in Palestinian Territory will heighten tension and start the blood flowing.

They aren’t worried about the end of the world.  They want it to happen.  They don’t worry about it because they have fallen into the fallacy that they won’t be around for it.  In the 1800’s a young Baptist farmer named William Miller (1782-1849) predicted the end of the world.  He even went so far as to say it would happen on October 22, 1844.  But, not to frighten his followers, he came up with the “rapture” to protect them.  According to Miller, just before the world ended, the true followers would be whisked into heaven and not face the tribulation the rest of the world would face.

Of course the world did not end on October 22, 1844.  We are still here.  Since many of his followers sold off everything they had this prediction is still called “The Great Disappointment”.  But, the Cult has latched on to this fantasy of the “rapture” and keep telling their followers they needn’t worry about the end of the world since they won’t be around.  When you think about it, it is really scary stuff.  They will tell you that it is god’s will.  Which is a nice excuse so no one has to take the blame.  This is why they are so keen on getting the conflict started.  Their warped belief that their god is stronger than your god has led them to believe they are immune.

One year, a co-worker came to me with a list of candidates he liked.  He suggested that I vote for all of the candidates on his list.  When I asked him why they were so great, he commented that they “were all good god fearing Christians.”  I thanked him for the list.  After the election, he asked if I used his list.  I assured him that I did.  I voted for every single opponent of everyone who was on his list.  I never got another list after that.

Unfortunately, that is the mindset of the Cult.  They want us to elect their followers to office so they can get things started.  They are so wrapped up in their own little make-believe world, that they have no compassion for anyone else.  That is why their fight to gain control of the government is so frightening, and why we need to make sure they don’t get the power they so crave.

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Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Those are the words inscribed on the Statue Of Liberty.  We have lived by those words for a couple of hundred years.  Yes, there have been exceptions based on racism, but for the most part our immigration system has worked because of the belief in these words.

There was the time when it was illegal for Chinese Immigrants to enter the country.  We have had times when almost every immigrant group faced discrimination after they came here.  The Irish, Poles, Czechs, Italians, etc.  Every group has faced some kind of discrimination after immigrating to this country.

We are facing another example of mass immigration.  Problem is that there really isn’t an immigration system in place anymore.  Republicans in Congress has refused to allow a vote on any immigration reform plan.  They claim they are waiting for the President to “enforce” the laws.  That is a remarkable statement.  This President has deported more illegal immigrants than any President before him.  The Republicans want the current mass immigration problem at the border dealt with by “immediately deporting” all of those children.  Problem is that under George W. Bush, the law he had passed, says that cannot happen.  When especially dealing with children, we need to care for them, and they must be brought before a judge in order to determine if they are to be deported.

So, by not immediately deporting these children, President Obama is following and “enforcing” the law.  If the President should “immediately deport” all of these children, he would not be enforcing existing laws as the Republicans want.  Besides that, if the border is so open, how come we are catching so many people crossing it?  If there was not sufficient enforcement at the border, surely these people would not be in custody right now.

We have faced other “mass immigrations” in the past.  No one will forget the mass immigration of the Irish due to the potato famine.  Even though they were treated harshly when they arrived, no one was calling to close the border to them.  More recently, I was in the Coast Guard when the Boat Lift from Cuba occurred under Reagan.  No one was calling for them to be sent back to Cuba.  We also had to deal with a mass immigration effort from Haiti.  There was the mass immigration from Cuba when Castro took power in 1959.  Hell, even Ted Cruz’s father, after fighting on the side of Castro, paid a bribe to get out of Cuba and into the U.S.

These mass immigration problems are not new.  The only thing new about them is that now we are facing a problem with “those people” instead of “the right people”.  The Irish were allowed in because they were European, but discriminated against mostly because they were Catholic.  The Cubans were looked upon as “victims of communism” so they got a free pass.  The new mass immigration, mostly children, aren’t given that same courtesy.  In the eyes of Republicans, they are simply looked upon as “law breakers” and must be deported immediately.

The self-proclaimed prophet, Bill O’Reilly, said on his show Tuesday, to prove the “difference” between other immigrants and the current immigrants, that his “immigrant ancestors” didn’t accept government assistance.  He fails to mention that at the time of his “immigrant ancestors” there were no government assistance programs.  If there had been, I bet they would have accepted them!

His guest on the show was Kristen Powers, a FOX News contributor and USA Today columnist.  She went after O’Reilly and said:  “We advertise to the world, give us your hungry, your poor, your tired.  But no, not according to Bill O’Reilly. According to Bill O’Reilly, let’s bundle up the children and send them back.”

O’Reilly then got mad, sarcastically telling Powers that she holds “the high moral ground” because she “want[s] an open-border situation that lets everybody in … You want an open-border, you want to accept them all … And I am a cruel barbarian.”  Finally, a comment from O’Reilly that I agree with.  Yes, Bill, you are a cruel barbarian!

This crisis is not what the Republicans want you to think.  They want you to believe this is not about people looking for a better life in the U.S. because their country is in total chaos.  They want you to think that these people just simply want to illegally cross into the U.S. because they will be able to live on government assistance.

That is total nonsense.  These people, especially the children, are trying to escape violence that threaten their very lives.  They come from countries that are fighting drug cartels, and other violent groups.  They are looking to live in peace and freedom.  But, what makes them “different” from the Cubans in the 1980s?  Cubans have a tendency to vote Republican.  Because of the Republican stand against immigration reform, these people, if granted citizenship in the future, tend to vote Democratic.  And, that is what this is all about.

President Obama has asked Congress for more money to deal with the problem.  He wants to increase the number of judges so these cases can be legally expedited, among other necessary things.  But, the Republican Party is already balking at the expenditure.  Why?  Because they want to force the President to do what they want.  Break the law!

I often find it amusing that the Republican Party has wrapped itself in the Conservative Christian Cult’s flag and consider themselves “god fearing, good Christians”.  All of their actions prove that they are just the opposite.  And, they wonder why more and more people are turning away from their “religion”.  Maybe rational people just can’t stomach belonging to a religion so steeped in hypocrisy.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Beautiful words we should all live by.  Too bad the Republican Party won’t!

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Tomorrow is the 4th of July.  It is a day we celebrate our nation’s birth.  All across the nation we will hear the national anthem being sung and end with the words “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”  Others will stand and say the pledge of allegiance.  It includes the words, “with liberty and justice for all”.

The right-wing will proudly stand tall and sing, or say these words loudly.  They will utter them with false conviction.  They will go on the podium and give speeches rallying their base to “fight for liberty”.  They will use hallow words like “we want to thank all of our men and women in uniform for their service”.  They will utter all sorts of patriotic slogans.  At the end of the day, all of these words and slogans will ring as hallow as they do today.

In Afghanistan our troops will be on patrol.  Fighting for our country.  In Iraq, newly arrived troops will be helping to train the Iraqi Army to fight the insurgents.  All around the world, our men and women in uniform will be working.  The far right neocons will use tomorrow to pump up their rhetoric about fighting terrorists.  They will use that argument to call for a re-invasion of Iraq.

Yet, tomorrow, there will still be millions of people out of work because our Congress won’t do anything to help them get jobs.  Tomorrow, millions more people will have their extended unemployment insurance run out and have no income and face losing everything they spent a lifetime working for.  Tomorrow, women will still be considered second class citizens, especially by the Conservative Christian Cult.  Tomorrow, minorities will still face voter suppression laws in several states.  Tomorrow, LBGT couples won’t be able to get married in most states.

At the birth of our nation, we had to live with the evil “institution” of slavery.  Even though Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal”.  We continued slavery, because, well the slave owners didn’t consider their slaves as “men” or “people’ just as property.  It took a Civil War before this “institution” ended.

We have made small strides in the true concepts of “with liberty and justice for all”.  But, today in 2014, we still have groups of people who are not “free” and do not gain “justice”.  These groups include minorities, women, immigrants and LGBT.  These groups have had their “rights’ trampled on by the far right forever.  All they want is to have equal protection under the law.  Isn’t that what “liberty” really means?

Under the sway of the Conservative Christian Cult, many states are passing very restrictive anti-abortion laws.  The Cult is even fighting against birth control.  I still find it amazing that “contraception” use by women is considered by the Cult as being only for “recreational use”, yet Viagra, and other ED medicines as well as vasectomies are considered for “pro-creation” purposes.  Therefore, these things are still covered under health insurance while many forms of birth control have just be banned by the Supreme Court.

We still have women making anywhere from 80% to as low as 70% of what men make doing the same job.  We have the Cult fighting against such things as violence against women laws, equal pay laws, and ENDA.  We have women all across the nation facing beatings from their husbands just because they are handy.  Women are still victims of rape and yet they are treated as the cause of the rape, not the victim.

The amazing thing is that the Cult is telling women that if they don’t want to get beat or raped, all they have to do is get married.  They claim that feminism is the root cause of all that is wrong with the world.  It is feminism that has caused the decline of the “traditional family”.  Never mind that men set up the “no-fault” divorce clause so they don’t have to pay as much alimony to their wives.  Never mind that it is men who skip out on child support payments.  Hell, there is a misogynist web site called The Red Pill that even offers tips on how to avoid child support payments.  But, no, according to the Cult, it is all the fault of women.

Approximately 40% of all workers in this country work for minimum wage.  That automatically makes anyone with a small family live in poverty.  The Cult and their Republican friends are fighting any move to raise the minimum wage.  They all seem to think that it is perfectly fine for “those people” to work 40 hours per week and live in poverty.  “Those people” don’t do anything meaningful, and should bow down and kiss their employer’s feet for allowing them the opportunity to work and still live in poverty.

Let’s face facts, the only “entitlements” being offered to people in this country are being offered to the super-rich and/or White Christian Men.  We live in a “Corporate Welfare State”.  They are the only people who can even come close to enjoying “liberty”.  That is not what our country is supposed to be.  That is not what I served to protect.  I served, and many others continue to fight for the country that offers “liberty and justice for all”.

While masses of people continue to struggle to survive.  While our Steel Industry faces bankruptcy because of illegal dumping of steel into the country by South Korea threatening over 580,000 jobs.  While our transportation funds, the ones that repair our transportation systems, runs out of money and threatens another 700,000 jobs.  While our military members continue to serve our country, many of them relying on food stamps to feed their families.  Members of the Cult and the Republican Party will give hallow patriotic speeches.

They will loudly use the words of “religious freedoms”, or “liberty from tyranny” or “take our country back”.  But, what they are really saying is if you are not a white male Christian, you have no right to say anything because they believe this is “their” country.  I have seen many political fights in my life.  But, I have never seen such a push to turn back the clock on minority, women, immigration, and LBGT rights like is going on now.  The Cult has all the answers.  It is in “traditional family” where the man is the head of the household and women stay at home.

This gem from Rafael Cruz, Sr., the father of that patriotic Canadian Senator, Ted Cruz says it all:

As God commands us men to teach your wife, to teach your children—to be the spiritual leader of your family—you’re acting as a priest. Now, unfortunately, unfortunately, in too many Christian homes, the role of the priest is assumed by the wife. Why? Because the man had abdicated his responsibility as priest to his family…So the wife has taken up that banner, but that’s not her responsibility. And if I’m stepping on toes, just say, ‘Ouch.’

He believes this philosophy of the man’s role of the priest so much, he has been divorced twice!  Sounds to me that he has abdicated his role, at least when it comes to his marriage vows of “until death do us part”.

No, as long as we have right-wing pundits calling women “sluts” because they favor birth control or abortion.  As long as these same right-wing pundits are praising right-wing militia groups as “patriots” and not the domestic terrorists they are.  As long as the right-wing opposes immigration reform.  As long as we allow this income inequality and war against the poor and women.  As long as we have powerful groups like the Cult and their financial backers like the Koch Brothers, we will continue to live in a fantasy and hallowly say the words “with liberty and justice for all”.

Until the rights of all people, not just the members of the Cult and their allies, are respected and these terrible laws that continue to harm women, minorities, LBGT, and immigrants are overthrown, we will not live in a country of “liberty and justice for all”.  And that is the true American Tragedy!

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Scalia’s Supreme Court yesterday ruled that “closely held corporations” have the right to refuse contraception coverage in insurance plans for their employees on “religious grounds”.  Yes, I said Scalia’s court.  It has become obvious the Chief Justice Roberts, who said he wanted to “protect the reputation of the court” is nothing but a Scalia follower.  In essence, Scalia has become the Chief Justice of the court by default.

But, all of that aside, let’s take a look at what this really means to the country.  Although Scalia claims this is a narrow case, it opens up a whole can of worms, according to Justice Ginsberg in her dissent.  Since the Christian Conservative Cult won this battle, what is to keep them from refusing to cover other medical practices?  What about those owners who don’t like vaccines?  Will they be allowed to stop covering them?  What about blood transfusions?  Those are just two medical questions.  There are a buckets full of other “social” issues as well.

This decision is possibly the opening of the Theocratic Government we have talked about before.  The Conservative Christian Cult is trying its to name Christianity as the “official” religion of the U.S.  But, they aren’t interested in Christianity in itself, they are only interested in their narrow, prejudiced “Evangelical” beliefs.  They are using their fictitious “war on religion” as their basis for their war against everyone who disagrees with their religious beliefs.

The First Amendment clearly states there is to be a separation between Church and State.  There is a reason for this separation.  During the time of the founding fathers, and shortly before, all states had a formal religion.  If you disagreed with that religion, you faced possible death.  All you have to do is look at our own second grade history books to see what that meant.  Remember the Pilgrims?  The Pilgrims were a sect of the Church of England called Puritans.  They were extremely conservative in their approach, they hated catholics, and they thought the Church of England was “too catholic”.  As a result, they claimed “religious persecution” and moved to the new world to get away from that persecution.

The Spanish Inquisition was another example of persecution.  The Spanish Crown, backed the inquisition which was intended to root out the heretics and either “convert” them back to the true religion, or kill them.  The inquisition went on for a few hundred of years.  And, it wasn’t confined to just Spain either.

New England was settled by Puritans.  Maryland was settled by Catholics.  Pennsylvania was settled by Quakers.  And the beat goes on.  That is why there is a clause in the First Amendment stating the separation of Church and State.  For roughly the first 200 years of our nation, everyone was totally happy with this separation.  Hell, the phrase of “one nation under god” in the pledge of allegiance and “in god we trust” on our money didn’t happen until the 20th century.  Then came the rebirth of the Puritans in the name of Conservative Christianity.

High Court rulings in Roe v. Wade and the school prayer ruling made the Conservative Christian Cult besides itself.  They could not believe that the U.S. Supreme Court could actually allow the separation of Church and State as the constitution states.  That had to be a mistake.  After all, the founding fathers were good Christians, and they surely meant that Christianity was exempt from that clause.

Over the last 30 or 40 years, this cult has waged a war on our secular government.  In order to “turn on” their supporters, they manufactured their “war on religion”.  What they are saying in essence is that “their” religion is being picked on because it isn’t the official religion of the country.

It is so easy for them to tell lies to gain their supporters belief.  For example, take the case of Senior Master Sergeant Philip Monk.  He claimed that he was transferred from his duties and put on leave because he was being punished for stating his objection to same-sex marriage.  The Conservative Christian cult jumped on this as proof of religious persecution.  Problem is that this “claim” turned out to be false.  He was merely assigned because his current duty term was over and he was due for a transfer.  The investigation said”

“The weight of the evidence shows that religion was never discussed between the two.  In the end, this is a case about command authority, good order and discipline, and civil rights — not religious freedoms.”

The report also said that Senior Master Sergeant made false official claims.  The Senior Master Sergeant was notified of his transfer in April which was several months before his claim.

Last Christmas, the VA Hospital in Dallas was accused of censoring Christmas Cards sent to patients.  Fox News Correspondent, and I use that term loosely, reported a statement from the VA Hospital as:

In order to be respectful of our Veterans religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by Chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. After the review is complete, the holiday cards that reference religious and/or secular tones are then distributed by Chaplaincy Service on a one-on-one basis if the patient agrees to the religious reference in the holiday card donation. The holiday cards that do not contain religious and/or secular tones are distributed freely to patients across the Health Care System. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.

In fact, the VA statement was a lot different:

In order to be respectful of our veterans’ religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.

Just a little bit of a difference there, wouldn’t you say?  But, that doesn’t stop the Conservative Christian Cult from lying about the incidents.  They seem to believe that you can actually turn a “majority” religion into a “minority” religion being persecuted simply by saying that is so.  Problem is their faithful believe such nonsense.

The war against secular government doesn’t stop there either.  The LGBT issues, contraception, abortion, women’s rights, civil rights, science, creationism v. evolution are all part of the religious right’s “war on religion”.  They obviously base their arguments on chosen, out of context, phrases from their beloved bible, almost exclusively from the old testament.  If you look hard enough at the bible, and see what you want to see, you can justify anything you want from it.  Apartheid and Jim Crowe Laws were both based on the bible.

Jody Hice, a Republican candidate for a U.S. House seat from Georgia Has another way to make Christianity the religion of the land.  Simply deny that other religions are actually religions.  He says that Muslims don’t have protection from the First Amendment.  He claims that “Although Islam has a religious component, it is much more than a simple religious ideology.  It is a complete geo-political structure and, as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection.”  So, now a candidate for the U.S. House is determining what constitutes a religion.  That alone should be scary.

When the ACA was passed, Republicans ran commercials trying to convince voters that “the government was getting between you and your doctor”.  Apparently, they don’t have a problem with a corporation getting between you and your doctor!  Why?  Because they want to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else.  The Hobby Lobby ruling from the Scalia Court enforces that principle.  Corporations can now impose their religious beliefs on their employees and the government will sanction those beliefs in clear violation of the First Amendment.

Before everyone starts yelling about the Freedom of Religion contained in that amendment, remember, the First Amendment grants each individual the right to religious freedom.  It does not grant authority for any one particular sect to force their beliefs on everyone else.  That is what this ruling is doing.

LGBT rights, abortion, contraception, women’s rights, evolution, science and civil rights are all secular rights of individuals who disagree with the Conservative Christian Cult.  The Conservative Christian Cult argues that their “religious” beliefs on these issues are all that matters.  They consider secular government that protects the rights of everyone else to be evil.  That is why they want to overthrow the government and set up their Theocracy.

The Conservative Christian Cult won’t stop until they either achieve their goal of forced Conservative Christian prejudiced beliefs on the rest of the country, or the country votes these anti-Americans out of office.  If the faithful don’t learn soon that they too will be in the crosshairs of the Conservative Christian Cult leaders, we may soon face a nation that loses its democracy in favor of Christian Sharia Law.  Once that happens, no one will be safe from persecution.

Who knows, maybe the Conservative Christian Cult will unleash an “American Inquisition” in our future.

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The rhetoric on the right is beginning to get very ugly, indeed.  It has always been their policy to outright lie about the things they don’t agree with, then make themselves out to be the victims.  We have seen it time-and-again.  They want to deny civil rights to gay couples, they want to be able to pick-and-choose which laws they believe interfere with their “religious liberties” like the Hobby Lobby case against the mandate for contraceptive coverage in insurance policies.

They also have taken hold of the big lie that there is a “war on Christians’ that was started over at Fox (so-called) News.  That has been the rallying cry for these right-wing obstructionists ever since Fox started the weeping.  They seem to believe that they have the right to discriminate against those who don’t believe what they do.  That includes civil liberties which are not religious based.  They even want the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that corporations are “people” like Mitt Romney tried to sell us in the last election.

Now, the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, has taken it one step further.  I don’t know how to say this gently, so I am going to come right and say it plainly.  The Governor appears to be calling for the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government.  Speaking at a conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a group led by longtime Christian activist Ralph Reed, Jindal said”

I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States,” Jindal said, “where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.

He justified his comment by blaming the “silent war” against Christians.  He went on to say:

I am tired of the left. They say they’re for tolerance, they say they respect diversity. The reality is this: They respect everybody unless you happen to disagree with them,” he said. “The left is trying to silence us and I’m tired of it, I won’t take it anymore.

There is no other way to read this.  Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana is advocating for the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government.  What else could be concluded by his choice of words like “hostile takeover of Washington, D.C.”?  I cannot believe that the Governor would be referring to the ballot box as a “hostile takeover”.  Especially since that is the way democracy is supposed to work.  Vote in the people you want who believe in the same things as you do.

No, the use of “hostile takeover”, can only be defined as a violent overthrow. 

In order to place this all in context, let’s take a look at this “war” on Christians.

It all started, naturally, with abortion rights.  The Christian right has been going nuts over this since Roe V. Wade.  Their belief is that “life begins at inception”.  That means there is no other way to look at it.  Since they believe this to be true, they want everyone in the U.S. to believe it too.  They want everyone’s life to be regulated by their belief.  Since the majority of people in this country don’t believe what they do, that is obviously discriminatory against Christians.

They are totally against same-sex marriage.  Their reason?  They call homosexuality a “sin”.  According to them, same-sex marriage is an attack on “traditional marriage”.  We all know that letting same-sex marriage to be legal, “traditional marriages” all across the country will fall apart.

What they are really saying is that they don’t want gay couples getting the same civil rights given to “traditional marriage” couples.  You know horrible things like inheritance rights, or social security rights, or medical coverage rights.  Giving gay couples these civil rights is an obvious attack against the rights of Christians.

Then there is the horrible discrimination against Christians that stem from laws that require “truth in advertising”.  Yes, you heard me, they are against “truth in advertising”.  We have several laws that require truth in advertising to protect the public from false claims from manufacturers about the safety of their products.  Several states have included this “truth in advertising” mantra to “political advertising”.  How horrible!!!

The State of Ohio, among others, has a law that bans people from knowingly or recklessly making false statements about candidates seeking elective office.  In 2010, the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, wanted to put up billboards against then-U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus claiming that he supported federal-funded abortions because he backed the ACA.  There is nothing in the ACA about federal-funded abortions being allowed.

Driehaus filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission, saying the ads misrepresented the facts and violated Ohio’s false speech law. The billboard owner feared threatened legal action by Driehaus and declined to post the ads. Driehaus dropped the case after losing his re-election bid and the courts said that the Susan B. Anthony List could not sue over the law because it did not suffer any actual harm.

Now the group is back in court fighting the law again.  According to Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, their claims are true.  Though she offers no evidence to back up her claim.  Their brief when filing the suite says  the statute violates free speech rights and “chills core political speech.”

Dannenfelser goes on to say “If granted, this injunction will allow us to continue our efforts to inform voters without fear of prosecution.”  So she must believe that lying in political ads is justifiable “free speech”.  The largest supporter of her group, the Conservative Christian Cult, wants to put up a copy of the ten commandments in every courthouse in the country to show that our laws are “Christian based”.  I seem to remember that one of these ten commandments reads “Thou shalt not lie”.  If they truly believe this, why aren’t they fighting for the law to be upheld?  Because they reserve the right to lie whenever they want in order to gain control!  If they are not allowed to lie, that is discrimination against Christians.

So, that is the “silent war” on Christians that Jindal decries.  How dare the U.S. Government defend the civil rights of people who do not follow his narrow view of the world?  How dare it defend the rights of gays, women, and minorities?  His worldview doesn’t believe in those rights.  How dare it defend the simple principle that you cannot defame and/or lie about an opponent in paid advertising?  How else can his side win any arguments?  So, of course, this all constitutes a “war” on Christians.

And, what does the Governor envision for the answer to this “war”?  He advocates the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government.  He is making very public and bold statements that there should be a “hostile takeover” of the Government.  Wouldn’t even the most ardent “patriot” consider this language as anti-American?  Wouldn’t they consider the Governor as a traitor?

Apparently not.  All you hear on the right is more cricket chirps.  How long will it be, if the Governor keeps talking like this, before we have another domestic terrorist attack?  How long do you think that some right-wing militia group will heed the Governor’s call and attack more government offices like they did in Oklahoma several years back?

I believe that most reasonable people will come to the same conclusion I have.  Governor Jindal has crossed the line from “political speak” into the realm of “treason”.  There is not other way to look at his comments.  So, Mr. Boehner, when are you going create a special committee to “investigate” this terrible treasonous act?

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Religious Conservatives of all ilk are simply people who do not want to think for themselves.  At least that is the conclusion that I came to years ago.  In my thinking, the more conservative you are, the less you want to think about anything.  It is always easier to define what happens around us as “god’s will” rather than finding solutions to the problems.  If there is a school shooting, it was “god’s will” that those children died.  Simply put, god called them to heaven.  That logic eliminates the need for a discussion about the reasons those children were killed.

I will admit, that I am more familiar with Christianity than other religions, but I find the same non-sense coming from other religious conservatives as I do from the Conservative Christian Cult.  This is a problem today, just as it was centuries ago.  If you look at the real world, you will discover that religion is the real root of all evil.

In this country, the Conservative Christian Cult has caused more problems than they have tried to fix.  They don’t care about the poor, they don’t care about women, they definitely don’t care about the LGBT community.  I even have my doubts that they care about children either.  This isn’t as far-fetched as you may think.  Just look at the laws and budgets they are either passing or wanting to pass.  They base their prejudice on the principle that”the bible tells me so”.

Judeo-Christianity is simply a mishmash of two different religions.  Christianity is based on the Jewish religion, though most of the Conservative Christian Cult won’t admit that publicly.  However, whenever they want to pass a law taking the social safety net from the poor and elderly, they easily quote the “old testament” to prove their point that god doesn’t want the social safety net.  According to what I learned growing up, the old testament, which is based on the Jewish Torah, is in the bible simply to prove that Jesus was the savior.  That Christianity is based on the new testament.  But that seems to be lost to the Conservative Christian Cult.

For example, in many states, especially in the south, there is always a big blow-up over the Ten Commandments being posted in public buildings like courthouses.  I have always asked why these Conservative Christians want Jewish law posted in their courthouses if they are Christians?  The Ten Commandments were given to Moses.  Jesus did not give them to Peter.  As a matter of fact Jesus only gave Two Commandments.  Why aren’t these Conservative Christians demanding those be posted instead of the Ten Commandments?  Maybe it is because the second says to “love your neighbor as yourself”.  That isn’t what the Conservative Christian Cult is all about.

Islam is another mishmash of religions.  This religion came about after both Judaism and Christianity were already in full bloom.  Islam wanted to make things more conservative than either of the two older religions.  Hence the talk about the infidels vs. true believers.  If you care to look at their religion, they use the same old testament characters as do the Jews and Christians.  They even acknowledge Jesus as a prophet!

But, to justify my belief that religion is the root of all evils, you only need to look at the bible to prove my point.  All of these religions talk about Moses and the Exodus.  They also talk about Joshua and his “taking” of the promised land.  Funny thing about the wars that led to the formation of the promised land.  The god in those stories actually demands the Jews commit genocide.  That god demands that “all living things, man, woman, and child shall be put to the sword”.   If that isn’t genocide, then we need to find another definition for the word.

Remember, the Nazis tried the old argument of “just following orders” after WWII.  Naturally, it failed as it should have.  But, in the cases above, the conservatives all say that it was okay since god ordered it.  A perfect example of not thinking for yourself.  Just follow orders and everything will be okay.

All through history, religion has been the basis for wars.  Whether you are speaking about pagan religions, the Jewish religion, Christianity, Islam, or any other religion, it was always based on the principle that “god is on our side”.  God seems to prefer only one group of people.  Those who happen to believe in that particular god.

Religion corrupts us in other ways as well.  On one hand conservatives say that god is our father.  Yet, they also preach that if you don’t do what god tells you, you will face total annihilation.  My father was somewhat strict when I grew up.  Yet, I never feared total annihilation if I disobeyed him.  But, if you look at the rest of the wording, you will also discover that this so-called father is also the “lord” or “king”.  We constantly hear words like lord and king in the bible and other religious texts.  Well, lords and kings did annihilate populations if they didn’t “0bey”.  Since these “lords” and “kings” were self-anointed appointments of god, that made it okay.

Today, the Conservative Christian Cult wail against the poor.  They wail against equal rights for women.  They wail against equal rights for LGBT.  They wail against equal rights for anyone who is not part of their Conservative Christian Cult.  Hell, even Louie Gohmert lectured a preacher at a congressional hearing last week because the preacher actually believes in the separation of church and state.

We also hear from Fox (so-called) News and Laura Ingraham about the “War on Christianity” in the country.  To prove their point, Tony Perkins of the of the Family Research Council said in an interview about LGBT rights “I’m beginning to think, are re-education camps next?  When are they going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?”

One of the wackiest things I heard was a quote from Pat Robertson who told a female caller “don’t complain to me about how he is cheating on you.  He’s a man.  So come on.”  From other quotes of the great Conservative Christian Leader, he would never say the same thing about a woman cheating on her husband.

The whole premise of conservative religion is to maintain the male dominated status quo.  In this country the Conservative Christian Cult is dedicated to maintaining the white male dominated status quo.  They don’t want to think.  They don’t want to discuss issues.  They don’t want to recognize that there may be other ideas in the world besides theirs.  They simply want to sit back and say “it’s god’s will” every time something happens.

Extreme weather doesn’t happen because of global climate change, it happens because god is punishing those who are affected.  Military members don’t die in war because it is war, they die because god is punishing them because America is changing its views on LGBT rights.  School children aren’t killed in schools because gun laws need to be changed, they die because god called them home.  Earthquakes don’t happen because that is how the earth works, they happen because god is punishing us.

Creationism, climate denial, racial hatred, hatred towards the poor, hatred of women’s rights, hatred of other religions are all based in conservative religious beliefs.  Without these hatreds and/or denialisms the whole purpose of their being is threatened.  Each and every religion claims to be “god’s chosen” religion.  With such backing, how could anyone do something wrong to other groups?

Think about it.  Slogans like the “chosen people” or “can’t get to heaven without Jesus” or “you need to be purified to attain paradise” or any number of such sayings, are excuses for religions to set themselves up as exceptional in the eyes of god.  If you are a conservative true believer, you don’t have to worry about anything.  “It is god’s will” is a poor excuse to say “nothing is anybody’s fault!”

I believe that is one reason our founding fathers put a separation of church and state in the First Amendment.  They understood that religious zealotry would do more harm to our democracy than anything else.  That is also why I say religion is the root of all evil.  By using religion, no one has to take responsibility for their hate.  According to the conservatives, it is god’s will to hate the others who don’t believe as you do.  What a horribly lazy way to live one’s life.

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