Archive for Politics & Religion

Pushy Evangelicals, Gay Marriage, Condoms, and other prosaic topics.

I’m really getting tired of these pushy Evangelical Christians shoving their version of Christianity down the throats of Americans. Every day I hear about how Government needs to start taking moral stances against television, movies, music, culture, etc.; how we need to put prayer back in schools; how we need statues of the Ten Commandments in courthouses; basically how we need to put Christ in every nook and cranny of life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m Roman Catholic. I have nothing against Christ at all, but he never said I had to live my entire life in some specific pattern, and that fialing to do so would mean eternal damnation. I recall that accepting Christ and God was the requisite, and living in a generally moral way was all that was needed. No one said I have to go to a specific church, hold my hands up when I pray so everyone sees how holy I am, and mention Christ in every conversation. I go to my church, where I pray in a private manner without public demonstrations. I don’t need Hollywood or television networks watching out for my morality, or the morality of my children. That’s my job, not movie makers, TV producers, and certainly not the government’s job. When you mix Religion and Government, the result is always bad, which is why the Founding Fathers tried to keep them separate.

The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof;”…

This means that religion is not within the purview of government at all. No religion nor expression thereof shall be officially endorsed, provided for, nor prohibited. An example is that the government can neither establish a moment of prayer in schools, nor can it prohibit students from engaging in one of their own will. But this isn’t good enough for Evangelicals, no, they want to create a moment of prayer in chools. They say those who don’t want to participate don’t have to participate. While this is true, it’s that way already. Kids are welcome to say a prayer in school, and are equally free not to. I did when I was in school. I said grace before every lunch meal (ok, not EVERY lunch, but I tried), and I didn’t need the school to create a special time for me to do this.

Every religion has flaws, and every religion at one point or another infringes basic human rights of some group. These days, the most common groups are gays and those in need of abortions. My own Church says gays are immoral, and so is abortion, but I disagree. I see no moral reason why gay people should not be able to enter into a legally recognized, and legally protected relationship. Fine, don’t call it marriage. Frankly, marriage is fundamentally a religion issue and shouldn’t be legislated; all government should do is give civil unions, and leave marriages to the desired Church of the participants. Gay unions don’t have to be religious at all, so the Church should butt out. And abortion can be a medically necessary procedure, so any church not willing to take that into account in their stances against abortion is being inhumane. Personally, unless there’s a threat to the mother’s life, or it’s a case of rape or incest, I’m against abortion. There are millions of couple who would love to have a baby and can’t, and young babies are so easily adopted that it’s very hard to actually find one (there’s plenty of older kids though, so go adopt one, they need love too), so it’s a very viable option. But I’m never going to be pregnant, and I’m not so arrogant to think I can decide what’s best for half the population in a situation I’ll never face. That’s criminally egotistical.

Teen pregnancy is a crisis in small-town America and among poor socioeconomic groups. Evangelicals say preaching abstinence only is the way to go. Guess what? It doesn’t work. It didn’t work in the 40’s and 50’s, it didn’t work in the 1800’s, it didn’t work 500 years ago. Teens have sex, and we can’t stop them. Even in repressive societies there are kids who find ways to have sex. The only ways to cut down on teen pregnancy are education about birth control, or manditory contraception procedures, and the latter isn’t politically viable. It’s time these Evangelicals faced reality that the general population isn’t perfect, won’t be, and can’t be bullied into being so. Hell, even they aren’t perfect. I’ve known kids of Evengelicals who would up parents in high school, and we’ve all heard about the infidelity of high profile evangelicals.

Christ preached tolerance of reality and human faults, and also gave us a way to try to improve ourselves through Him. But He never said that anyone had the right to force those teachings on others. We must come to Him on our own, not at the tip of a spear, or through to government mandate. Anyone who preaches that way is in direct conflict with the Christ they claim to love. I think the Salvation Army and many Catholic missionaries get it right. They offer help to those in need, and they also offer the teachings of Christ, but you aren’t obligated to take either. If you need help, it’s there with no strings, and if you want Christ, they can help you there too. That’s true Christianity.

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Liberal and Proud

Anymore, it’s taboo to refer to someone by whatever racial/ethnic/religious/etc. category, as it can be construed as offensive or pejorative, except when it comes to the political term “Liberal”. The Republican party has managed to turn the word “liberal” into a dirty word, a word of slander, and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. Anymore Bush is on the trail bashing Kerry just for being “Liberal”. So what? He’s a social conservative and no one is demonizing that word. Sure, we disagree with the positions, but not the word itself. That’s hollow. And now, at a time when the deficit is bigger than it’s ever been, and the national debt is bigger than it’s ever been, and spending is far outpacing intake (obviously, with that big a deficit), they have the gall to bring back the phrase “tax and spend Liberal”. I’m sick of the ad hominem attacks from the right, fed up with it to my nose. If you want to debate positions then fine, but if you have to resort to name calling, then you obviously feel your positions are so weak as to be indefensible, and should just be quiet.

And additionally, it’s time for Liberals everywhere to take back that word. Do not be ashamed when you are called a Liberal. Do not deny it, or try to defend being one. Respond, “Yes, I am a Liberal. I believe in Liberty, and in granting as much freedom to American citizens as is possible. That’s why America was founded. Are you against freedom and liberty?”

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Post-Debate Poll Results

Complete debate transcript, via the Washington Post.

This list will grow as I get more links. These are all linking directly to the results, by the way.
CBS News
Fox News
Yahoo News

Kerry Takes Lead Over Bush in AP Poll

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So now we retcon wars…

<Jack> Iraq was an immediate threat. Did Saddam Hussein not try to have a President assassinated?
<Jack> I'd say that's reason enough for going to war.
<blake> Jack: that is NOT the reason we went to war with iraq.
<jesus_X> Iraq wasn't an immeidate threat to ANYONE!
<Jack> blake - not the reason given, no, but it was a reason. 🙂
<jesus_X> Oh, so now we can retcon WARS???

Jesse then gave me an idea. Let the Googlebombing begin. George W. Bush is a retcon expert, especially with wars.

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Iraq as the center of the War on Terror…

Last night was the first of three Presidential debates in this electoral cycle. For my non-US readers, these are rather big deals in politics here, and have in the past changed the flow of the election. I watched it, and I agree heartily with the polls and focus groups that Kerry pretty much dominated the debate. But as I slept, various points ruminated in my mind, and early this morning I think I had an insight as to Bush’s mad campaign against terrorism. This is a transcript of the debate, so you can fact check my quotes if you like. First, I think a Freudian slip showed how obsessed George Bush really was with Saddam Hussein:

Bush: Of course we’re after Saddam Hussein — I mean bin Laden.

But aside from that, this is the exchange that really stuck in my mind. In the middle of an answer to one of Mr. Lehrer’s questions, Bush said:

Bush: And, of course, Iraq is a central part in the war on terror. That’s why Zarqawi and his people are trying to fight us. Their hope is that we grow weary and we leave…
After that answer, Kerry: The president just talked about Iraq as a center of the war on terror. Iraq was not even close to the center of the war on terror before the president invaded it…

My insight was this. Now, maybe I’m giving the Bush administration too much credit, but I think making Iraq the main battleground was a main goal of the invasion. He’s said time and again that we need to confront terrorists on their turf, not ours, to keep America safe. I agree with this, as does every security official, politician, etc. That’s why we invaded Afghanistan, to destroy a valuable free base of operations. We have deprived them of an entire country in which to run wild. But with forcing them out of Afghanistan pushes them into other countries and possibly even back into attacks on the US mainland.

What I feel the Bush administration did was purposely foul up the invasion of Iraq to give the terrorists a place to focus on rather than letting them come to the US mainland. He sacrificed Iraq and it’s 25 million citizens for the safety of the US and it’s citizens. He baited them to Iraq with the overthrow of Saddam (something he wanted from the first day of his administration) and an insufficient force to secure the entire country, with Iran to the east, Syria to the west, and tens of thousands of square miles of open territory and lawless cities. It’s honey to the bear. The terrorist organizations pour funds and manpower into Iraq to bring havoc across the country where they can fight American soldiers in the streets, and with all of those terrorists running amok in Iraq, there’s a significant shortage of insane suicidal maniacs and illegal funding to be sent to America. Pre-9/11 Al Quaida was funneling money to 20 men to go to flight school, live cover-lives, etc. Now they’re spending all those respources in Iraq. Sure, it makes life hell for Iraqis, but hey, Americans are safe and sound. He decided 25 million Iraqi lives were worth less than American lives. When I realized this, I was sickened. And I pray to god I’m just giving them too much credit.

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I never cease to be astounded by the stupidity of my own government.

Read this article. Yes, it’s several pages long, but it’s well worth the read even if you have to crazy glue your ADD butt to the chair.

Why exactly is it not racial profiling when witnesses say that it was a [white/black/other] guy that shot this guy on the street, but it’s racial profiling when we keep an eye out for middle eastern guys flying with one way tickets, when it was 19 middle eastern guys (Hell, 14 of them alone were Saudis) that smashed planes into buildings killing almost 3,000 people? Let’s face facts. They were middle eastern men between 20 and 40 or so that did it, not 85 year old blue haired grannies. That’s not racial profiling, it’s FACT.

I’m not saying we need to strip search ever arab every day, but there is such a thing as common sense. Look at the hostage takers in the videos coming out of Iraq and surrounding areas. They’re not Japanese, they’re not Swedish, they’re not Argentinian. It wasn’t racial profiling in WW2 when you were hip deep in mud in France and shot at anyone speaking German. It wasn’t racial profiling when you were hip deep in swamp and shot at Vietnamese. It wasn’t racial profiling when everyone thought it was a middle aged white guy driving a white panel van in the greater DC area in fall 2002. Why is it racial profiling now?

Also, read this page at the TSA’s website, it’s also linked from the article.

  • If you are wearing an exterior medical device and are uncomfortable with going
    through the metal detector or be handwanded, you may request a pat-down
    inspection and visual inspection of your device instead.”

In other words, wear a shoulder harnessed oxygen pump, and hide a gun in it, and tell the screener
you’re uncomfortable. That’s insane. I’m uncomfortable when they make me boot up my laptop or my camera.

  • “Screeners should not be asking you to remove your orthopedic shoes, appliances,
    or medical device at any time during the screening process.”

Translated: To successfully pull a successful Richard Reid, just wear ortho shoes.

When the next major attack happens, it won’t be because the terrorists out smarted us. It’ll be because our government, those who are sworn to uphold and protect the Constitution and the citizens of the United States, were totally and completely incompetent and spineless.

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