Tagtheocracy

Oklahoma’s 10 Commandments To Get A Sister Memorial … From The Satanic Temple

Addicting Info reports:

Remember the Satanic Temple, which performed a ritual to turn Fred Phelps’ dead mother gay? They are still at it, now in Oklahoma. The Satanic Temple has filed the papers to put up a memorial on statehouse grounds, next to the state’s display of the 10 Commandments. They are doing this by citing Okla.’s religious displays legislation, signed into law in 2009.

Full Story: Addicting Info: Oklahoma’s 10 Commandments To Get A Sister Memorial … From The Satanic Temple

(Thanks Jill!)

“Partisan Bickering” Is Not the Problem

This article by former GOP staffer Mike Lofgren has been going around lately, and if you haven’t read it yet, it’s worth reading no matter your political inclination. Not so much for any new insights but as a coherent “where things stand” piece. It’s long and covers a lot of ground, but here are two particularly important bits:

The media are also complicit in this phenomenon. Ever since the bifurcation of electronic media into a more or less respectable “hard news” segment and a rabidly ideological talk radio and cable TV political propaganda arm, the “respectable” media have been terrified of any criticism for perceived bias. Hence, they hew to the practice of false evenhandedness. Paul Krugman has skewered this tactic as being the “centrist cop-out.” “I joked long ago,” he says, “that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read ‘Views Differ on Shape of Planet.'”

The problem with the debt ceiling debate was not one of “partisan bickering.” It was one of Republican obstructionism. Framing it as partisan bickering, which establishment media has a tendency to do, was negligent reporting. Every single issue ends up being described this way.

The party has built a whole catechism on the protection and further enrichment of America’s plutocracy. Their caterwauling about deficit and debt is so much eyewash to con the public. Whatever else President Obama has accomplished (and many of his purported accomplishments are highly suspect), his $4-trillion deficit reduction package did perform the useful service of smoking out Republican hypocrisy. The GOP refused, because it could not abide so much as a one-tenth of one percent increase on the tax rates of the Walton family or the Koch brothers, much less a repeal of the carried interest rule that permits billionaire hedge fund managers to pay income tax at a lower effective rate than cops or nurses. Republicans finally settled on a deal that had far less deficit reduction – and even less spending reduction! – than Obama’s offer, because of their iron resolution to protect at all costs our society’s overclass.

This was also demonstrated by the party’s eagerness to engage in deficit spending when the spending was going to enrich defense contractors in the form of war spending during the Bush administration.

(As a side note, my hopes for a left/libertarian alliance were dashed again during the deficit ceiling debate, with libertarians typically siding with the GOP on the issue even though the Dems were only pushing to close tax loopholes. I should have expected that, because even when Republicans suggest that tax loops for the rich should be closed, the general response is usually “shut up commie.”)

Truth Out: Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

My biggest point of disagreement with Lofgren is probably his take on the Democrats. I don’t think Democrats are merely spineless any more. They serve the same corporate donors that the GOP does. It’s not in their best interest to actually pass the measures they propose. You can see the same sort of behavior, occasionally, from the GOP – the bailout for example.

The bailout was and is unpopular among the conservative base, and with good reason. But except for a few token objections the GOP, for the most part, fell in line and bailed out their masters. The way the stimulus package worked out (mostly it was tax cuts) and the health care bill (Dems happily threw-out the public option without a fight) was not a fear of the GOP, it was loyalty to their donors. They made a show of trying to enact progressive legislation for their base, but their actions show who they really serve (I’ve made this case before). As Matt Taibbi wrote last month:

The Democrats aren’t failing to stand up to Republicans and failing to enact sensible reforms that benefit the middle class because they genuinely believe there’s political hay to be made moving to the right. They’re doing it because they do not represent any actual voters. I know I’ve said this before, but they are not a progressive political party, not even secretly, deep inside. They just play one on television. […]

The Democrats, despite sitting in the White House, the most awesome repository of political power on the planet, didn’t fight at all. They made a show of a tussle for a good long time — as fixed fights go, you don’t see many that last into the 11th and 12th rounds, like this one did — but at the final hour, they let out a whimper and took a dive.

We probably need to start wondering why this keeps happening. Also, this: if the Democrats suck so bad at political combat, then how come they continue to be rewarded with such massive quantities of campaign contributions? When the final tally comes in for the 2012 presidential race, who among us wouldn’t bet that Barack Obama is going to beat his Republican opponent in the fundraising column very handily? At the very least, he won’t be out-funded, I can almost guarantee that.

That is what leads to so many of us on the left and dare I say the center feel powerless, and see the two parties as essentially being the same – not because of “partisan bickering.”

I should also note that I don’t think this is a “real” conspiracy. I very much doubt the Democrats are having meetings deciding to throw fights or even elections. I don’t think there are lobbyists calling up Obama telling him what to do. They don’t need to tell him, and congress doesn’t need to be told how to play the game.

Racism? In My Tea Party? It’s More Likely Than You Think

Tea Party: We Need a Christian President

The NAACP has released a report on racism in the Tea Party movement. From a press release:

Based on exhaustive research, a new report “Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size Scope and Focus of it National Factions,” demonstrates that despite Tea Party claims that its solely concerned with budget deficits, taxes and the power of the federal government, Tea Party membership and actions are permeated with radical views about race, national identity and other so-called social issues.

What’s in it:

*The report’s website, teapartynationalism.com identifies and maps Tea Party membership, provides an interactive map, and breaks down membership of different factions state-by-state, town-by-town;
*Analyzing the work of the party factions, demonstrating how racism, bigotry and the dismantling the birthright citizenship provision of the 14th amendment dominate their agendas, far outweighing fiscal policy concerns. (can we move this up)
*Demonstrating the lack of influence of the widely-quoted and fiscally-oriented FreedomWorks faction, which is run by Dick Armey and has the second-smallest membership of the groups.
*Listing all Congressional members who are part of the Tea Party caucus, as well as those in support sponsoring of a law aimed at birthright citizenship that aims to would challenge the 14th amendment;
*Documents the long history of connections and interactions among various Tea Party factions and their connections to right-wing fringe groups such as Stormfront, David Duke and others, which are essential to understand the character of this movement;
*Showing leaders of five of the six factions subscribe to the “birther” theory that President Obama is not a natural born American

Tea Party Nationalism

I haven’t had time to read the report yet, only the press release, so I can’t speak to how convincing the data is. But they make some very interesting claims that surprise even me.

Christine O’Donnell on Church and State: Gaffe or Political Position?

By now you’ve probably seen the above video of Christine O’Donnell’s disbelief that the First Amendment establishes the separation of church and state. If not, start the video around the 5 minute mark and see for yourself.

O’Donnell’s campaign and the right are trying to spin this by saying O’Donnell was only expressing disbelief that the words “seperation of church and state” appear in the constitution (which they don’t). It’s clear, however, that that’s not what Coons is saying. Coons quotes the amendment and says that decades of procedural law establish the separation.

So it sure sounds like a gaffe. But a belief that the Constitution doesn’t separate church and state is a widespread belief in certain parts factions of the right.

Ron Paul wrote:

The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life.

It’s a strange statement, since the Constitution is anything but replete with references to God.

Number of references to “God” in the Constitution: 0
Number of references to “Jesus”: 0
Number of references to “Christ”: 0
Number of references to “Lord”: 1 – in reference to the “year of our lord”
Number of references to “Providence”: 1 – In reference to how many representatives the Providence Plantations get.
Number of references to “Religion”: 1 – in the first amendment when stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

The Declaration of Independence does make one reference each to God and one to Divine Providence. But what of it? The Constitution is the law of the land, not the Declaration.

The idea that someone could be elected senator and not know what the First Amendment says is scary. But here’s another scary idea: the Tea Party knows what it says but still does not believe in the separation of church and state. That’s clearly the case with Ron Paul, though he seems to have little influence over the Tea Party movement anymore. However, according to the NAACP’s Tea Party Nationalism paper released today, there are a number of leaders within the movement who also believe that. And it all ties back, rather uncomfortably, to the Christian Identity movement.

So what do we have here – simple ignorance, or a theocratic agenda?

PS – Wes Unruh is doing a good job of following this stuff on Twitter.

The True Face of Faith Healing

faith healing

The image above was taken by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. In it, Rebecca Wyland is holding Alayna, who has a massive growth completely covering her left eye. The growth, a hemangioma, is a mass of blood vessels. Some infants are born with them, and they are typically corrected while very small. In this case, the Wylands chose not to take their daughter to a doctor. Instead, Rebecca Wyland anointed her daughter with oil and wiped off the discharge from Alayna’s eye each time she changed the child’s diaper.

At this point, the growth has begun to erode Alayna’s eye socket, and may have caused permanent damage to her eye.

Both parents have been charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment, a Class C felony which may earn them each five years in prison.

Meanwhile, the Wylands are trying desperately to regain custody, even offering a plan to ensure the child gets medical care, including such ideas as a live-in supervisor of sorts, or regular visits from state employees to check up on them.

Secular Daily News: The True Face of Faith Healing

(via OVO)

Texas re-writing history books for the entire country

Greatest Texan Ever
Art by Matthew Clay-Robison

“We are fighting for our children’s education and our nation’s future,” Dunbar said. “In Texas we have certain statutory obligations to promote patriotism and to promote the free enterprise system. There seems to have been a move away from a patriotic ideology. There seems to be a denial that this was a nation founded under God. We had to go back and make some corrections.”

Those corrections have prompted a blizzard of accusations of rewriting history and indoctrinating children by promoting rightwing views on religion, economics and guns while diminishing the science of evolution, the civil rights movement and the horrors of slavery.

Several changes include sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favoured separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the “significant contributions” of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war.

How does the effect the rest of the country?

The curriculum has alarmed liberals across the country in part because Texas buys millions of text books every year, giving it considerable sway over what publishers print. By some estimates, all but a handful of American states rely on text books written to meet the Texas curriculum. The California legislature is considering a bill that would bar them from being used in the state’s schools.

Guardian: Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns

(Thanks Katie Monster!)

Update: Some doubts about Texas’s national influence on textbooks from the Texas Tribune (via Jon Lebkowsky)

“Militant Atheist” found guilty of religious harassment

Prayer room

“The airport is named after one of my heroes and his view on religion was pretty much the same as mine. I thought it was an insult to his memory to have a prayer room in his airport.” That was part of the evidence given in court by the self-styled “militant atheist” campaigner Harry Taylor, 59, to explain why he left anti-religious materials in the multi-faith Prayer Room of Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport (pictured).

The jury of ten women and two men, at Liverpool Crown Court wasn’t having it. It took them just 15 minutes to find Mr Taylor guilt of “religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress” after viewing the “grossly abusive and insulting” images in court. The cartoons — which had been cut from newspapers, magazines and other mainstream publications — included one showing a smiling Christ on the cross next to an advert for a brand of “no nails” glue. In another, the Pope is shown wearing a condom on his finger. Others featured Islamic suicide bombers at the gates of paradise who are told, “Stop, stop, we’ve run out of virgins.”

BBC: “Militant Atheist” found guilty of religious harassment

(Via Religion News)

Politician Claims Atheist Sign Is ‘Hate Speech’

atheist sign

A candidate for Illinois Comptroller has sued the state for allowing an atheist group to post a sign alongside the religious holiday displays in the State Capitol. William Kelly, a Republican, claims Capitol Police unjustly “detained (him) and escorted him from the building” because he turned the atheists’ sign face down. Kelly calls the sign “hate speech.

Kelly’s federal complaint against the Illinois Secretary of State claims: “In December 2009, a sign was placed in the Capitol Building, approved by the Defendant, that read as follows:

“At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

Kelly’s complaint does not object to the several holiday displays “celebrating various observances” in the State Capitol. He objects only to the atheists’ sign, which, he says, stood near a Nativity scene and next to a decorated Christmas tree.

Kelly claims that for the two weeks the sign was displayed, visitors, including young children, could get the impression that the sign is “endorsed” by the state as an “opposing view to the displays.”

Court House News: Politician Claims Atheist Sign Is ‘Hate Speech’

(via Religion News)

Defense contractor to remove Bible references

jesus code

A Michigan company that manufactures combat rifle sights for the U.S. military that carry Bible verse citations said Thursday it would send kits to remove the inscriptions, NBC reported.

Trijicon Inc. also said it would take off Biblical references from all U.S. military products that are still in the company’s factory and ensure future items do not have any inscriptions on them.

MSNBC: Defense contractor to remove Bible references

Previously: U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret ‘Jesus’ Bible Codes

(Thanks Bill)

Faith healings, dead raising teams part of Bethel experience

faith healing bethel

In an Oct. 19, 2008, sermon, Johnson shared a story about a former BSSM student who moved to Washington State and started a ministry called the Dead Raising Team.

“DRT,” he repeated the acronym dramatically at several points during the story.

In a video of the sermon, Johnson said the team got approval from Mason County to be listed along with other county services and had been given badges so they can go behind police lines if there’s an accident or fatality. Johnson told the audience, who erupted in shouts of “come on, Jesus” and cheers, that there had been one resurrection so far.

Marty Best, manager of the Mason County Department of Emergency Management, said he met the Dead Raising Team and suggested they become volunteers for his department so they could have access to emergency situations.

Redding Record Searchlight: Faith healings, dead raising teams part of Bethel experience

(via Religion News)

© 2019 Technoccult

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑