left biblioblography: September 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Faith Freed The Slaves? More Tea-Bagging Bullshit

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." – Unknownteapartynonsense

I wish we lived in a place more like the America of yesteryear that only exists in the brains of us Republicans. - Ned Flanders

Another unsurprising and complete gaffe, in a long and embarrassing line of them:

The insane lie about slavery that Christian conservatives are spreading

The fanatical right in the US has a problem on its hands and that problem is American history. History tells a tale that does not fit the narrative of the Tea Party and libertarian version of American’s founding and history.

That was evident this week, when former senator Jim DeMint, who is head of the Heritage Foundation, a libertarian think tank, made the claim that it was not the government that freed the slaves, but faith.

Talking to Jerry Newcombe on the radio show  Vocal Point, DeMint said, “[Abolitionism] came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that [slavery] was wrong.” DeMint goes out of his way to say big government had nothing to do with freeing the slaves; it was on the Constitution and Lincoln, because obviously neither of those is big government. DeMint goes on to say:

The reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution; it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people; it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like [British abolitionist William Wilberforce] who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God.

DeMint misses some important historical points here. For starters, while he is correct that Lincoln was a Republican, he ignores the history of the Democratic and Republican parties and their ideologies at the time. The roles of the party had been reversed and did not fully change place until around the time of President Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Secondly, there is no historical evidence Lincoln governed with faith. Lincoln never joined a specific religion, yet he did appear to believe in some form of God or deity. This however is not sufficient evidence that Lincoln fought to free the slaves because of a religious or faith-based obligation to do so.

DeMint also misses another important piece to the historical puzzle: most churches refused to take part when offered a leading role by abolitionists. As historian John R. McKivigan explains in his book  The War Against Proslavery Religion: Abolitionism and the Northern Churches 1830-1865, “All but a few small denominations balked at a commitment to uncompromised abolitionist principles and programs. As a result, civil war and government ended slavery in 1865.”

History is not on the side of DeMint, who is fighting to change the country’s history to fit a new narrative he has for the Tea Party and the far right. DeMint knows the true history of this country is built upon the backs of liberals, union men and women, and those who fought against an oppressive South, ruled by then conservative Democrats, who are now in turn the conservative right’s Republican Tea Party.

While crediting Lincoln with freeing the slaves is actually historically inaccurate in his intentions, it is correct that the war Lincoln chose to fight did bring an end to slavery. Lincoln himself said he was not interested in freeing the slaves when going to war—his goal was preserving the Union, and freeing slaves happened to be a later part of his military strategy.

Lincoln wrote in a letter to abolitionist Horace Greeley in 1862:

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing  any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing  all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.”

So while in the end Lincoln’s decision to go to war with the South to save the Union did result in the freeing of the slaves, this was not his intention. DeMint is continuously wrong in his assertions and his invented history in which his party saved the day and freed the slaves without big government, only a Constitution and God himself.

This narrative DeMint is trying to create has a thorn in its side that it does not even try to remove, and that is that the South still holds onto anger over its Civil War loss. They still fly Confederate flags and refer to the war not as the Civil War, but as the war of northern aggression. Some cities still have monuments erected in celebration and remembrance of fallen Confederate heroes. This does not sound like the narrative of those who hold faith so deeply they fought to free slaves. Instead, it tells a tale of a radical Christian Right that fought to the death for its “god-given right” to own slaves.

This does seem to be the latest trend in Tea Party politics; if only history were different and they could be the heroes, their lost political capital could be regained. They want to appear as though they stand against tyranny and will fight for the little person.

Inventing history and creating heroes out of thin air is what the Tea Party is trying to rally behind. These are the exact events we are watching play out in Nevada right now, with rancher Cliven Bundy taking up arms with a band of libertarian fanatics against the Bureau of Land Management.

Bundy stopped paying his federal fees for letting his cattle graze on government-owned land and went as far to say, “I don’t recognize [the] United States government as even existing.” This type of delusional rhetoric is exactly what the Tea Party is about.

Their desire to enact a political revolution is so obsessive they are willing to cling to anyone with a gun who will stand up against the US government. They ignore the fact that Bundy is nothing more than the freeloaders they campaign against, refusing to pay his rent and stealing from the US government by using its land to feed his cattle.

Apparently, a white Tea Party libertarian is a revolutionary, and a group of them are national heroes; yet when police evict a minority family from their home at gunpoint because they failed to make rent, the minorities are freeloaders living off the American citizens tax dollars.

Just as DeMint is fighting to change the history of America to include his band of slave owners as abolitionists, the party is trying to use someone like Bundy, who for all intents and purposes is a domestic terrorist, as a national icon against their invented tyrannical government.

False narratives are the sign of a party in its death throes. We are witnessing a party struggling to stay relevant in a world that has become increasingly liberal. The erratic behavior from the right is nothing but a response to the current climate that shows liberalism has won.

Markos Moulitsas of Daily KOS writes, “But if you wonder why conservatives seem to carry perpetual grievances, it’s because they know they have lost. The entire world around them has left them behind. Heck, they’ve created an entire alternate media world in which to cocoon themselves. But they know they’ve lost.”

The right knows the fight is moving out of their hands: more than a dozen states have legalized gay marriage, their religious beliefs are being squeezed out of government, and the population is done with pampering the corporate elite.

This changing political climate has the right scared and backed into a corner. It should come as no surprise they are lashing out and grasping at straws. From extremists pointing guns at federal agents to a retelling of historical events, the Tea Party rhetoric machine is gassed up and ready to spread mythology and endorse violence and terrorism until its final breath.

Jebus wept. What the fuck is up with these people? I stopped watching the news a while ago, because of my blood pressure. And that was because, almost inevitably, some Republican was always blathering out some of the most ignorant and uneducated dreck, that I would extend my hands claw-like toward the set, and yell, “How in FUCK did this idiot get elected?!?” I’m sure many of you have had similar responses.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: we need to abolish the Republican Party in this country. It does nothing but harm: restricting reproductive rights, gay rights, always braying for the White Jay-sus and the sacred cow of capitalism. It’s enough. Tell every Republican you meet: “You’re on the wrong side.”

That’s what I always do.

Till the next post, then.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

‘So Help Me God’ Nixed From Air Force Pledge: Famous Witch Doctor Freaks Out

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

pat-robertson-a-prophet-for-our-tiI have a long, long list of people that I wish I could slap some intelligence into. Mostly that list consists of Republicans and/or the Religious ‘Blight’ (as I not-so-fondly call them). And this idiot is in the top 10.

Pat Robertson loses it after Air Force nixes ‘God’ oath for atheists: ‘How can they fly?’

TV preacher Pat Robertson lashed out at a “Jewish radical” on Thursday who he said was responsible for God being removed from the Air Force oath.

This story has been updated. Please see below.

The Air Force announced on Thursday that the words “so help me God” were an optional part of the oath after an atheist airman crossed out the words on his reenlistment paperwork. Military officials had initially refused to accept the paperwork, but Department of Defense General Counsel eventually ruled that the words could be omitted.

Although the American Humanist Association had represented the airman, Robertson on Thursday blamed Military Religious Freedom Foundation President Mikey Weinstein for the movement against religion in the armed services.

“There’s a left-wing radical named Mikey Weinstein who has got a group about people against religion or whatever he calls it, and he has just terrorized the armed forces,” Robertson opined. “You think you’re supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to defend us, and you got one little Jewish radical who is scaring the pants off of you.”

“You want these guys flying the airplanes to defend us when you got one little guy terrorizing them?” he asked. “That’s what it amounts to.”

“You know, we swear oaths. And ‘so help me God,’ well, what does it mean? It means with God’s help, and you don’t have to say you believe in God. You just say, ‘I want some help besides myself [with] the oath I’m taking.’”

The televangelist concluded that the entire situation was “crazy.”

“What is wrong with the Air Force? How can they fly the bombers to defend us if they cave to one little guy?”

Update, 4:19 p.m. EST: Weinstein responded to Robertson’s remarks in a brief statement to The Friendly Atheist.

“Pat Robertson is to human dignity and sanity and integrity and character what dog shit is to a fine French restaurant on the menu,” Weinstein was quoted as saying.

Seriously, the only reason this moron isn’t homeless and babbling on the streets to himself, is that he’s a ‘priest’. That’s a job for some slacker who can’t focus on anything except his delusions. Of course, if you want a best seller on the NY Times list, or a built-customer base for vacuous useless product brands, just declare yourself a Christian at the top of your lungs (saying you’re newly born-again will increase your sales!), claim ‘gawd’ told you so, rinse, repeat.

As for ‘one little Jewish radical’ terrorizing the entire armed forces of the USA? Honkey, please, stop saying stupid shit. You’re just not making your religious cronies look bad, you’re weakening the species every time you spout gibberish.

Of course, it’s like telling thunder to not follow lightning.

Till the next post then.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Because Not Being Able To Discriminate Is The Same Thing As The Holocaust

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
HolyWar3Endlessly entertaining, the religious among us are pretty much comic relief. Like this asshole:

Anti-LGBT Campaigner: Gay Activists Sending Us to Concentration Camps

During an interview on June 20th, the leader of an anti-LGBT group in Texas said that gay activists want concentration camps for those who refuse to sell wedding cakes to gay couples and discriminate against them.

Raging Elephants Radio host Calver Kamau Imani asked Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, to comment on a Colorado baker who refused to sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples earlier this year.

“And so the homosexual couple, whether it’s man and man, woman and woman, whatever, they go to this specially created commission to deal with this, file a complaint against the business, and so the commission says ‘No, you’re gonna make this cake, plus, you’re going to go to concentration camp… Is that what you’re telling us, Jonathan?” asked Imani.

“That’s right, that’s right…You know, they tried to do something like that here in Texas — I think it was a bill by Senator Rodney Ellis that dealt with hate crime stuff, where they would’ve forced you to participate in an event of the quote-unquote community that you had offended. I mean, this is what they want. I mean, there’s no question. I’ve seen it… I’ve seen them try to do it with legislation here in Texas at the state level. It is a goal of theirs to put people in jail that disagree with homosexual marriage, without question or the homosexual lifestyle,” responded Saenz.

According to Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation (GLAAD), which is a non-profit organization that promotes the image of LGBT individuals in the media, Saenz has defended the proposal of ex-gay therapy as a proven scientific measure in Texas. However, Texas Republican Party discredited the proposal calling it “reparative therapy” in its party’s platform that was released earlier this month.

It’s a relatively simple equation. Paranoid schizophrenic? Don’t worry! You will never ever have to be medicated, or locked away for everyone’s safety AND yours – you can always get a job with the Republicans, or a fake job like a priest or minister.

And then they can tend to the Christian refugees at the ‘Wouldn’t Sell A Cake’ Camp.

But morons like Saenz? I honestly, seriously, wish for a method where I can smarten people like this butthole by slapping I.Q points into them. He’d be a genius by the time I was done. Oh well.

Till the next post then.


Sunday, September 07, 2014

Left Behind? Go Fuck A Duck, Robertson

As if the willful ignorance of the American people in re: religion and its nonsense isn’t enough, we now get an earful from dipshits like Phil Robertson. Personally, I’d like to smack that red-white-‘n-blue bandana off the ignorant fuck’s head.

So it’s not enough that this ignorant hick has his own show (which I’d be happy to blissfully ignore anyway), but these backwards barbarians are now trying to exert their influence in the public sphere by putting forth the most simplistic nationalistic rhetoric that even a half-baked Republican wouldn’t stand behind.

The world is a-swirl with cause celebre opinions mouthed by woefully uninformed celebrities spouting trash (think Kirk Cameron, Jenna McCarthy, Jim Carry – jeez, there’s WAY too many of these fucktards to count). And to top all the latest codswallop off, Robertson is actually funding another Left Behind movie:

"Like most Christians, my family and I can truly say that we're excited about the soon return of Jesus"

Duck Dynasty reality star Willie Robertson is taking his star power to the movie business. The A&E star has signed on as an executive producer of upcoming Nicolas Cage starrer Left Behind.

Robertson, who has starred on the reality show about duck hunters, is featured in a new video on the faith-based film's Facebook page, revealing that he was a "silent" partner on the project.

"Like most Christians, my family and I can truly say that we're excited about the soon return of Jesus," he says. "And I'm sure if you've been watching the news lately, you know that that return could be any day now."

The film, based on the book series of the same name by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, follows Rayford Steele (Cage) who is piloting a plane during the Rapture when millions of people around the globe simply vanish. On the ground, his daughter, Chloe Steele (Cassi Thomson) is among those left behind, forced to navigate a world of madness as she searches for her lost mother and brother.

"I believe people are going to make that life-changing decision to follow Christ on the way home from the theater," adds Robertson in the video.

Vic Armstrong directed the film, which hits theaters Oct. 3. Co-written by John Patus and Paul Lalonde, who is also producing alongside Michael Walker and Ed Clydesdale of Stoney Lake Entertainment, the film also stars Chad Michael Murray, Nicky Whelan, Quinton Aaron and Jordin Sparks.

Yeah, bad news, Robertson: Jesus is a fictional character. Your entire epistemology is based on lies, not facts. And this entire movie is argumentum ad baculum at it’s very worst: Be a good little sinner, or imaginary sky-daddy is going to leave you very alone.

Honestly, I wish the wankers would leave. That would mean more resources for the rest of us, and no more of their constant hypocrisy about ‘free will’ and their enthusiasm to take it away while blathering about it.

As for Nicholas Cage: I’m pretty much done watching any of his movies anyways. Usually doing a religious movie like this spells the end of a career which was never that scintillating anyways.

People shouldn’t take the word of some furbillies living off in some swamp, whose only exposure to literature is a compilation of fairy tales told around the campfire by a bunch of Iron Age shepherds. (I know, I know, it’s too much to ask, but a man can dream.) I personally am going to take scientists far more seriously than a bunch of duck hunters, that’s for sure. The equivalent analogy would be, that I would take advice from a dentist, not the idiot who yanked his bad tooth out by tying it to a big door and slamming the door.

Seriously, a lot of people get to picket movies, some  of them for stupid pitiful reasons. As atheists, I think we should gather protesters around the USA, and march with placards announcing ‘the Rapture will never happen: we are in midst of the Crapture’ (or something like that: mottos/jingles aren’t my forte).

And this belief in oncoming doom? It destroys lives. How many people are not going to even try to improve themselves, their lives, or other peoples’ lives, because the sky is falling?

So Robertson: your ill-earned profits would’ve been better applied to ending world hunger, boosting educational resources, or given to some REAL charity, rather than putting together a movie for an apocalypse that’ll never arrive.