I am a bit under the weather today. I have read for the past several hours on quite a few religious issues/subjects in the news: The Pope’s visit to the Middle East, diminished Christian population in the “Holy Land,” same sex marriage and Prop 8 upheld (amazingly) in California as well as several other states’ efforts to legalize it, the Catholic response to Angels and Demons another Dan Brown novel turned into a movie, the religiously deluded woman that took her cancer ridden son on the run to prevent him from receiving medical attention and finally brought him home and to a hospital….and other topics, but nothing grabbed my interest enough to comment in depth.
I feel at times as if I am kicking a dead horse. And then I see the religious right mounting another assault trying to push creationism in school, discriminate against some segment of society, push biblical nonsense into the public arena or in our government, another revelation of priests abusing young children and so forth and my ire is raised and I feel compelled to offer my thoughts. Several friends have told me that I sound “strident” and that there is “anger” instead of dispassionate debate in my words. I would say that I agree with them. Being in a class of people that is seen as the least trustworthy and most despised demographic in America, an atheist, I see and contend with the double standards on a daily basis. The forces of religion have had their way for so long that they take for granted their rights and their rightness. To even challenge the assertions in their holy scriptures (or more correctly, their interpretations of those scriptures) was punishable by many horrific means in days not so long ago. To do so now is an honor and a privilege that I take with joy and relish. To push back at the forces of ignorance and darkness that have caused so much human misery…that still do…is almost a duty to me.
So…today I am going to let much more rational, calm and infinitely more intelligent voices than mine do the talking for me. Here are the Four Horsemen of Atheism in a dialogue that touch on several of the issues that I deal with on a regular basis. They are from You Tube and after the first three you can follow the links to the other nine if you care to. Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet and Christopher Hitchins. And over cocktails, too! Enjoy your Sunday:
Faith in the legal system. That is what my position has been. Why did the previous administration fear our judicial system in regard these terrorist suspects. I was actually impressed with General Petraeus’ responses to this Fox hack’s questions. He clearly refutes several of the right wings talking points.
And on another note….the debate over accepting Gitmo prisoners here in the US is somewhat bizarre. It has been noted that we already hold terrorists in our prisons and that nobody has ever escaped from one of our supermax prisons. And if one did escape, what would they do? Quick like an Islamic bunny run to Home Depot, buy a box cutter and go hijack a plane? I think not. The debate is somewhat desperate on the right because the closing of Gitmo is a refutation of the Bush failed policy in regard his handling of terror suspects.
My hat is off to General Petraeus and I take back some of the bad things that I said about him. Not everything but some of the things.
They think that we are stupid and if they just keep saying the same stupid shit we will eventually believe it.
Naturally they are wrong.
You can see the whole NOVA documentary on how the Design Institute tried to push their religious creationism in the science classroom in Dover, PA through deceit and bullying and were shown to be the charlatans they truly are in court here.
Myth and superstition have had their season. This is the age of science and reason.
I could do that. I just prefer not to.
She’s….a racist! What else do they have?
Yep, the KKK without the hoods or the nooses. Supreme Court Justice Sotamayor. Keeping white people down is what she is all about.
Put on the helmet and flak jacket and dig your foxhole. Prepare for incoming bombasts of rightwing artillery. Obama has chosen a Supreme Court Justice.
This from a guy that was kicked off of his Monday Night Football gig for being a racist douchebag. The voice of the GOP Rush Limbaugh calls for opposing this pick for opposing’s sake. After Bush the Lesser installed far right justices that clearly lied about their ability to be impartial politically, the Republicans are ready to filibuster to prevent this pick. The conservatards are going to be piling on in their…dismay:
Yeah. What about that Harriet Mier pick? At least this selection is not some cruel joke on America like the one Bush the Lesser played in nominating his lawyer to the highest court in the realm. And here is an interesting piece that looks at, as Buzzflash calls him, the right wing’s wet dream, Chief Justice Roberts. From the New Yorker:
The Supreme Court’s Stealth Hard Liner
The final paragraph sums his tenure so far up nicely:
Roberts’s hard-edged performance at oral argument offers more than just a rhetorical contrast to the rendering of himself that he presented at his confirmation hearing. “Judges are like umpires,” Roberts said at the time. “Umpires don’t make the rules. They apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.” His jurisprudence as Chief Justice, Roberts said, would be characterized by “modesty and humility.” After four years on the Court, however, Roberts’s record is not that of a humble moderate but, rather, that of a doctrinaire conservative. The kind of humility that Roberts favors reflects a view that the Court should almost always defer to the existing power relationships in society. In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party.
So, get ready for the hypocrisy wrapped in indignation blanketed in oblivious irony. The GOP has got their war on.