Archive for May 2006

A Match Made Where?

May 31, 2006
My idea of "big government" is probably bigger than Andrew Sullivan’s. Politically, I’m somewhere to the left of him. But he understands what happens when religion and government mix and it isn’t pretty:
It’s a match made in heaven. There is, however, a serious point here. America’s long experience of religion as essentially suspicious of government power is an anomaly in the Western world. For much of European history, religion and government have always been interwoven. And as European governments have grown, European faith has withered. As a Catholic growing up in a country where the state church was Protestant, and where I attended Anglican services and listened to the Book of Common Prayer as an integral part of receiving a government-financed education, I saw this first hand. And, as an immigrant, I found America’s religious life a contrasting marvel. In America, faith seemed unconstrained by the compromises of government power and enmeshment, more alive because it was less enfeebled by the temptations of Caesar. 
It makes me shudder to think of a Catholic boy being forced by the government to say protestant prayers. It violates all that is holy, but then I’m an American. We are famous for thinking that–or we once were.

Pleasing God with Forced Prayer

May 23, 2006

DaveScot over at the UncomonDesign blog recently embarrassed himself by posting an internet hoax as if it were true. Since it smeared the ACLU, I’m sure Dave didn’t see any value in checking the post for accuracy. RedSonja2000 enjoys the creation/evolution debate but that isn’t the focus of this blog. What I found interesting is DaveScot’s reply to one commentor who had remarked (in part):

I can never quite understand why forced prayer is so desirable. Certainly it pleases the person doing the forcing, but I can’t imagine that it would please God.

DaveScot replied: The problem is that a student can’t lead a voluntary prayer at a football game or graduation ceremony because just hearing it might offend some poor sensitive thing that has to endure the horror of listening to it. I say it’s too bad. Hearing isn’t saying. They can cover their ears, not bow their heads, keep their mouths shut, or whatever. The real crime is denying the students who DO want to participate in the prayer. Evidently they don’t have any rights. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion not freedom from religion. I suggest you read it if you don’t believe me.

DaveScot apparently would be quite pleased with forced prayer if the mean ole ACLU didn’t prevent it. It’s astonishing that he thinks God would be pleased with it. The fact that he immediately shut down debate right after he made his comment, though, seems to indicate a guilty conscience (and prevented RedSonja2000 from throwing her sword in the mix!)

Telling Lies for God

May 17, 2006
Over at Pharyngula PZ Meyers is reporting that Christianists are sending their book America, Return to God using his name. He says "Someone is apparently putting my name and email address in the order form as the friendly donor . . ."
America, Return to God  details the depraved and immoral nature of our society. Yet telling lies while disseminating this book seems to not be immoral at all. "Telling Lies for God" generally is applied to creationists but the Christianists apparently also think God won’t mind if they lie as long as God benefits. Once you have become one of the Godly you can eliminate any of the 10 Commandments that you find inconvenient. Makes you wonder if "thou shalt not bear fallse witness" is one of those laws of "mere men" that got slipped into the original 9 later on. Maybe Satan wrote that commandment and it’s only meant to ensnare us.
Maybe we should read the book and find out what the Theology of Lies is all about.

A Look at Life under Christianist Domination

May 16, 2006

If you are the slightest bit curious what life might be like if radical Right Wing gets a hold of the government, then this article will give you a window into their world:

Debating The Fundamentals

Patrick Henry University, which in spite of its small size, supplies the largest numbers of interns to the White House, has just lost 5 professors. One was fired and the rest resigned due to the suffocating restrictions placed on their academic freedom. These guys are not raving Marxist liberals. They are deeply conservative Christians. But they were too liberal for the Christianists. This school focuses its mission on grooming people for government service.

The student code of conduct includes punishable behaviors such as holding hands, drinking when not under the supervision of their parents, restrictions on movie viewing and strict curfews. They even keep an eye on which church you go to on Sunday. Not whether, which. 

The article includes this astounding quote from Michael Ferris, the college president
It is a challenge to stand for both Christ and for liberty [but] you can be robustly for Christ and for liberty.

The statement drips with irony. The school, as described in the article is so suffocating and the strictures on conformity so rigidly enforced it makes sharia law sound like a free ride.

The idea of personal liberty is just new age, postmodern claptrap. Freedom is slavery.

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Dish for the tip.

Let’s post the Golden Rule

May 16, 2006

Judge Moore & Co. are hot to post the 10 Commandments in government venues in order to perpetuate the falsehood that they have the force of law. I have yet to hear of a Christianist who wants to post the Sermon on the Mount. Certainly I have never heard of a movement to post The Golden Rule.

This article is a breath of Fresh Air:
Let’s post the Golden Rule

Before you go embracing my idea, understand: The Golden Rule is contrary to most teachings in most Christian churches and certainly in politics and business.

. . .

The Golden Rule is so simple that it can be learned in less than a minute. The major problem is that, like the Ten Commandments, it is not practiced in real life by the vast majority of people.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? What kind of Commie nonsense is that?

May 14, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Respect and Tolerance Defeated

May 12, 2006

This is from a little email newsletter that I get: WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 12 May 06 Washington, DC

1. PRAY FOR CONGRESS: IN EVERY WAR, BOTH SIDES PRAY FOR VICTORY.
Yesterday, the House passed a $513B defense authorization bill.
The bill included language allowing military chaplains to pray
“according to the dictates of the chaplain’s own conscience.”
Current rules call for nonsectarian prayers, or a moment of
silence, at mandatory public gatherings. Focus on the Family,
The Christian Coalition, and other evangelical Christian groups
had urged the President to issue an executive order guaranteeing
the right of chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus. When Bush
failed to act, Republicans on Armed Services added the provision
to the defense authorization bill. An amendment offered in
committee by Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), calling on chaplains to
show “sensitivity, respect and tolerance for all faiths,” was
defeated on a party-line vote. Rules did not allow floor debate.

So much for respecting the religious sensibilities of our troops.