Archive for December 2005

Happy Holidays, You’re a Nazi!

December 20, 2005

In the latest instance of decrying the purported “war” on Christmas, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly claimed that “it’s all part of the secular progressive agenda … to get Christianity and spirituality and Judaism out of the public square.” He then added: “[B]ecause if you look at what happened in Western Europe and Canada, if you can get religion out, then you can pass secular progressive programs, like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things is religious-based, usually.” O’Reilly’s comments came during a November 18 discussion on his television show, The O’Reilly Factor, with guest and fellow Fox News host John Gibson about “which American stores are using ‘Christmas’ in advertising this Christmas season and which are not.” Gibson is the author of The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought (Sentinel, October 2005).
http://mediamatters.org/items/200511210003

Of course nobody is trying to ban Christmas. Anywhere. Ever. What’s making the Religious Right say they feel attacked is the idea of inclusivity. Theirs is the only religion. Therefore if they are lumped in with other religions–as in “Happy Holidays”–they are being attacked. Since they are the only real religion, to include those other nonreligious holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanza is just atheism wrapped in liberal tissue paper.

The “defense” of Christmas has its roots in the John Birch Society in the late 1950s. It is a perfect cause for the Religious Right who love to mix their brand of pseudoChristianity with liberal doses of hate. Concerned Women for America (CWFA) spokesperson Robert Knight appeared on CNN and said, “You know, when the Nazis moved into Austria in 1936 they immediately removed Christmas from the schools… I think that ought to disturb people that we’re moving towards that kind of attitude in this country.” If you say “Happy Holidays” you are a Nazi! Really!

Someone commenting on the blog Talk2Action posted this photo:
http://img393.imageshack.us/img393/4637/hellwithholidays0eh.jpg
which I find to be dripping with hate. Merry Christmas indeed.

Interestingly, when Bush was ordering his over 1 million Christmas cards he had a rare flash of insight that he presides over not just rich Republican Right Wing Christians, but everyone else also. So he had the sentiment “Happy Hollidays” put on his card. This caused a firestorm of protest from the Religious Right. Inclusiveness is not an option even for the president.

Fundamentalist bullying can get so trivial and petty sometimes I wonder what they will not bully someone over.

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Christmas Addendum

December 20, 2005

The Houston Chronical has an excellent essay on the Christmas controversy:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/3531188.html
. . . Falwell has mobilized his congregation of 24,000 behind the Friend or Foe campaign, which vows to sue institutions that mistake the law on Christmas observance. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, an army of 8,000 activists are the crusade’s “eyes and ears” in public schools, poised to report administrators who erroneously ban carols or keep teachers from saying Merry Christmas.

I thought the name of the campaign was extremely telling. If you have enemies, you have more devoted followers. These creeps seem to do anything they can to cause Americans to hate each other, even using the time of peace and joy for that purpose.

Religious Right Dream: Repeal the 1st Amendment

December 15, 2005

South Carolina US Representative Gresham Barrett has come up with a way to finally repeal the 1st Amendment. He is proposing a bill called the “Public Prayer Protection Act of 2005.”

In part, the bill reads that “the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari or otherwise, any matter that relates to the establishment of religion involving an entity of the Federal government or a State or local government.” The legislation would place the same appellate restrictions on the federal District Courts.

Further, the bill would declare that any federal court decision made before or after the enactment of the law “is not binding precedent on the court of any State, the District of Columbia, or any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States.”–Read more here

The Supreme Court would not only not be able to hear 1st Amendment complaints, but all previous 1st Amendment rulings would be null and void. The bill would effectively make the 1st Amendment a historical artifact with no force of law.

Right Wing Fundamentalists dream of a day when they are “ruling the world for Christ.”

“God’s plan is for His people, ladies and gentlemen to take dominion…What is dominion? Well, dominion is Lordship. He wants His people to reign and rule with Him…but He’s waiting for us to…extend His dominion…And the Lord says, ‘I’m going to let you redeem society. There’ll be a reformation….We are not going to stand for those coercive utopians in the Supreme Court and in Washington ruling over us any more. We’re not gonna stand for it. We are going to say, ‘we want freedom in this country, and we want power…–Pat Robertson on the 700 Club

Yes, they want power and the freedom to run roughshod over anyone in their way. The 1st Amendment is a stumbling block and they dream of eradicating it or somehow making it moot.

Now, I know this bill will probably not even make it out of committee. I know if it did make it out of committee it would never pass. I know Barrett is doing this because he wants to make political hay with his constituents. You would think his constituents would object to having their religious freedom shorn away, but most dominionists and the religious right wing think that if there is a government religion it will be theirs. They don’t seem to understand what the government gives to them, it can take away.

Peddle Your Bigotry Elsewhere

December 15, 2005

Recently the American Family Association, a subdivision of Focus on the Family bragged that they had forced Ford Motors to stop advertising in gay publications. As it turns out, that is false.

This is a portion of a letter signed by Joe Laymon of the Ford Motor Company on Dec. 14:
You asked directly for us to have Jaguar and Land Rover reverse its plans and advertise in gay and lesbian targeted publications in 2006. As we said, Jaguar and Land Rover made a business decision about their media plans and it would be inconsistent with the way we manage our business to direct them to do otherwise. However, it is clear there is a misperception about our intent. As a result, we have decided to run corporate ads in these targeted publications that will include not only Jaguar/Land Rover but all eight of Ford’s vehicle brands. As we have said, the content will be appropriate and effective in connecting with the intended audience. It is my hope that this will remove any ambiguity about Ford’s desire to advertise to all important audiences and put this particular issue behind us.

The AFA has since said they are withdrawing their boycott.

In the same vein they have been handed another defeat by none other than Walmart. For the full story go here. Of course they have not yet begun to lobby the corporate giant, but it looks like the lure of money is stronger than the threat of Religious Right displeasure.

Sneaking Dominion Past Us

December 12, 2005

Talk2Action reports this little memo that was passed around as a “how-to” manual–reportedly written by Pat Robertson–which explains how to sneak into the Republican Party hierarchy:

How to Participate in a Political Party
Rule the world for God.
Give the impression that you are there to work for the party, not push an ideology.
Hide your strength.
Don’t flaunt your Christianity.
Christians need to take leadership positions. Party officers control political parties and so it is very important that mature Christians have a majority of leadership positions, God willing.

It’s chilling just on the face of it, but a question presents itself: Why hide who you are? Why hide that you are a devout Christian? Few have ever gotten elected in this country without larding their speeches with sermonettes. Why “hide your strength”? Why do they think it is imperative to hide their agenda?

The answer, in my not so humble opinion, is that they know how people will react to them. They know they are not ordinary Christians who think the Golden Rule is “the law and the prophets.” Treating others as they wish to be treated is the farthest thing from their mind. They know most Americans would recoil at the sight of their true agenda. So they hide it. Once in power, though, they can’t hide it forever. Eventually the mask must slip as they exert their power.

I can only hope that people get a load of what they have elected. I hope people see them for what they are–power-hungry thugs–and begin to take back their country from people who consider democracy and free speech to be against their religion.

What Dominion Looks like

December 12, 2005

The controversy began with a course Mirecki planned to teach called “Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies.” The class was proposed after the Kansas Board of Education decided to include more criticism of evolution in its school science standards.

The class was canceled last week after e-mails surfaced in which Mirecki mocked religious conservatives as “fundies” and said a course describing intelligent design as mythology would be a “nice slap in their big fat face.” He has apologized for those comments.

On Monday, Mirecki was treated at a Lawrence hospital for head injuries after he said he was beaten by two men on a country road. He said the men referred to the creationism course. Law enforcement officials were investigating.

Go here for the whole story:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/12/11/creationism.professor.ap/index.html

The entire Mirecki episode has made me so mad I could just spit. I may have actually spit at one point. Being a refined lady I do not spit very often.

Kansas State Senator Karin Brownlee said of this incident, “we have to set a standard that it’s not culturally acceptable to mock Christianity in America.”

Clearly it’s physically dangerous to “mock” Christianity in America.

I could make the case that fundamentalists are not Christians, but that is playing their game. They feel they have the expertise, the permission and the right to decide who is and isn’t a Christian. I’m pretty arrogant, but not quite *that* arrogant. I can only say that I don’t recall Jesus acting like a fundamentalist.

Professor Mirecki was forced to change the name of his class. Then he was forced to cancel the class. Then he was beaten up by a couple of thugs in the middle of the night. Then he was forced to resign as chair of his department. All because he wanted to treat the mythology of Intelligent Design like a mythology and said on a private e-list that he was doing it as a slap in the face of fundamentalists.

Then the Christian Right made it clear why they deserved a slap in the face. They made it abundantly clear that they needed to be bitch-slapped down the street and then kicked out of office.

These creeps had to sneak into office (more on this later). Most of them pretended they were not rabid fundamentalists until they got elected. This kind of thing is happening all over the country. They need to be rooted out like the weeds they are. Otherwise we are going to wake up one morning and wonder what happened to our democracy.