16) Vagabond Scholar: One of my favorite posts. Don’t miss the comedy videos. “What I find wonderful about Freedom of Religion, the First Amendment and the separation of church and state is the multiplicity of viewpoints it allows. Socially, America has its cultural pressures, but legally, it can be viewed as both pro-religion and pro-atheist (or at least, neutral). One person might see providence in the fall of a sparrow, but another may see a dead bird (and a cat may see lunch). I know devoutly religious people who are among the most original, independent thinkers I’ve ever met, and I know atheists who are among the most moral. As a religion teacher I heard once put it, ‘There are many paths up the mountain.’ Many of those paths involve some sort of spirituality, some involve religion, and some involve atheism or agnosticism. I believe in a path that appreciates comedy. I believe in reverent irreverence.”
17) Clyde the f-ed up cousin of Jimmy Dean: “It’s all about control. Those who are genuinely spiritual don’t need to control others. The streaming spiritual center within them creates a satisfaction that needs nothing more. For those who blocked-ly are stuck in the superficial, that search for satisfaction creates a sense of bewilderment and disorganization, frustration. By attempting to organize –to control– their world and all who live in it, they are also attempting to reach a level of satisfaction that will in their view only happen when everything is perfectly lined up and placed in exactly the right spot. It’s not unlike a key making all the tumblers within a lock reach the opening alignment. By controlling and aligning others they are trying to reach their own spiritual core. But you can’t control others except through massive attempts to generate fear, through physical and psychological intimidation, through manipulation by legislating, through imposing rules governing “proper” behavior. Or by trickery: Lies, Deceit. The sense that people are free to choose for themselves how they wish to live is NOT part of this script. And the more superficial types there are, the greater the chance that their control efforts will succeed.”
18) The Shikon Jewel: “Despite all of this, I still believe there is something out there. I cannot classify it; nor do I want to try. But it is there perhaps interacting, but certainly watching us. Whatever it is, it does not come with instructions, rules, or accepted behaviors attached. Why should there be anymore rules than there already are, anyway? Just for some God to control how I act? To me, that makes as much sense as what I was told when I was younger, ‘Because I’m the mother and I said so.’ And what happens when I grow up? What happens when that no longer holds any merit?”
19) The Springy Goddess: “It amazes me and saddens me to see the truly nonsensical debates on issues that were supposedly put to rest centuries ago. To see disdain for scientific method in a country that claims Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison and adopted Albert Einstein as its own. To hear the ravings of public figures who think blind obedience is a virtue and who view the world through a simplistic us-versus-them lens. To watch helplessly as theocrats dismantle the work of Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, John Dewey, Margaret Sanger. And I worry about you. But I know, and history shows time and time again, that you have the will to take back your birthright. May you safely emerge from this nightmare with even greater strength and resolve.”
20) The Stormy Days of March: “Just because one particular religion is more popular, does not mean it should be upgraded to legal status. This is not only stupid, it’s shortsighted. In order for a society to adapt and grow over time, it has to be free from populist constraints. What is popular now, may not be popular 20 years from now. Which could translate into all sorts of frivolous changes, like which type of meat is bad. Is it bacon today? Or is it beef? Oh but religion isn’t populist? Really? It’s not? So how come people are flocking to all sorts of new “evangelical” churches in the states, and the good old fashioned Roman Catholic church is experiencing a drop in North America? Couldn’t be populism at all!”
21) The Spiritual Humanist Blog: “The most prominent recent successful actions undermining separation of church and state is the faith-based initiative President Bush has put in place and the politicizing of the judicial system. The first is using millions of dollars of taxpayer money to promote Christian values without the checks-and-balances the secular system has in place. The second is an attempt to institute faith-based laws by overloading the judicial system with judges who base their decisions on the Bible instead of the Constitution and rational thought.”
22) Chris Rodda: “In this installment of my series on historical revisionism from the National Council On Bible Curriculum In Public Schools (NCBCPS), I’ll be looking at a few misquotes of letters written by John Adams, and how, through the deceptive wording of a sentence following a discussion of the founding fathers, the NCBCPS curriculum implies that certain government acknowledgements of religion from the McCarthy era date back to the time of the founders.” Analysis follows.
23) Mauigirl’s Meanderings: “What about a theocracy makes it inherently detrimental to the country? The answer came to me: Power. Any time one point of view gets all the power, bad things happen. This applies in other countries, and it applies here in the United States. And when these bad things happen, they would affect all of us.” Scenarios follow.
24) From Sorghum Crow: “America is a melting pot, but there’s no real way to blend everyone together and come up with some sort of religious alloy. It’s all about faith and belief. My faith is better than your faith, my right is righter than your right, my one true way is truer than yours, and besides my god can kick your god’s (gods’) butt(s). The religious right seems to be more about controlling thoughts than Xristian values. I presume religions have a right to control or at least guide the thoughts of their adherents, that’s what religion is all about. If there are thoughts or actions that offend you, don’t think or do them. But please stay the heck out of my government, my head, my bedroom, my womb(if I had one), my doctor’s office, my pharmacy, etc., etc., etc.”
25) Reconstitution: “In much the same way as the Nazis crept into power by largely avoiding talk about the agenda Hitler laid out in Mein Kampf, the Dominionists try hard to not reveal too much of their true intentions to wide audiences. But their intentions are on the record, for those who want to do a little research. Let’s hear what some of them have to say about what they want.” Go read the quotations. More: “Features of the Jesusistan that these guys envision include-abrogation of the Constitution in favor of Jesusistani dogma, relegation of women to subservient, second-class status, criminal penalization of gay people (up to and including the death sentence,) the absolute abolition of most forms of BIRTH CONTROL (NOT just abortion,) the expulsion of non-“Christians” from all levels of public service (and they will decide who is a “Christian,”) the roundup and detention of Muslims, athiests, and (in some cases) Protestants not in tune with their agenda…. and these are only the high spots of the Jesusistan agenda. As Kennedy said, they intend to relegate every aspect of your life. This is not a “Christianity” that Christ would recognize, and there are no examples of theocracies that weren’t notable for outright brutality.”
26) Facilitate Wonder: “The difficulties of teaching about evolution in the United States are grounded in the confluence of three sets of misconceptions:
1. Misconceptions about evolution and the nature of science.
2. Misconceptions about religion and the nature of religion.
3. Misconceptions about the nature of our constitutional democracy.
Misconceptions within any one of these three classes can effectively hang up teaching and learning about the core ideas. Put two of them together and you’re screwed. And, I think most Americans, including most teachers (and perhaps even including myself) hold some fairly substantial subset of misconceptions in these categories.”
27) The Largest Minority: “(William) Donahue is an ultra-conservative who’s president of the Catholic League, a group founded to protect Catholics from the longstanding history of “defamation and discrimination” in America. However, Donahue is ironically doing more to defame Catholics than any other person. As a Catholic myself, I find it especially offensive that Donahue unleashes his ignorance and hate under the guise of Catholicism and Christianity in general. And that ladies and gentlemen is why I was so happy to see Mr. Donahue in the latest South Park episode. The episode examines the relationship between Easter and the commercialized celebration of it by inventing one. Donahue appears first at about 8:40 and for the rest of the episode after the 13:20 mark. His unchristian nature is made very apparent as he even goes against Jesus to defend his fascist ideals.” Check out the video of Donahue and Cosimo “chocolate Jesus” Cavallaro. By the way, I love the work – it’s beautiful.
28) Bibilioblography: “From the Federal Marriage Amendment (an effort to codify an ‘institution’ they feel is completely theirs) to the invasion of Iraq (which was once Babylon, something not lost on those of us who have some idea as to how these people think), from the Faith-Based Initiatives the Chimp-in-Chief has put in place (in clear violation of the Establishment Clause) to the obvious political clout that these wild woosters of wee-hee-hee (paraphrased from Firesign Theater) wield, from the revisionism of American history to the invasion of Creationism into our school systems, it is painfully evident that a theocracy is not only being plotted, but subtle mechanisms have been planted over the last few decades. And there is no being rational with the irrational, no reasoning with the unreasonable. My firmest hope is that we can do battle with words and paper, and if enough of us raise our fists and bellow to the skies our discontent, it will be heard: that the bleeding wounds of fanaticism can be staunched with logic.”
29) Frank L. Cocozzelli: “It seems that Donohue and his Catholic League cannot handle the supposition that a Catholic artist would express his ideal of Jesus in a manner very different from his own. Why? Because Cavallaro had the nerve to cast Jesus in chocolate, crucified in the nude (as the Romans actually carried out such executions). Another Bill Donohue dust-up that is designed more to create anger and hatred for the freedom of expression rather than to further an ethic of self-discipline, charity and tolerance that signifies Catholicism at its finest, just as its Founder meant it to be. The self-styled Grand Inquisitor, once again, failing to see the forest for the trees. ‘Give me their names.’ These are chilling words that have echoed throughout history. It is the age-old demand of agents of authoritarianism.”
30) Rascality: “And yes, of course, if you want to get technical, both theocracy and fascism stem from the same root cause, namely fear. The fear of divine retribution if you don’t believe in an omnipotent celestial male monarch (or judge). The fear of Big Brother coming to get you if you protest the present government’s policies too loudly or visibly (you’ve really got to go see this movie if you haven’t already). The fear of social scorn if you’re not goose-stepping for the war OR the Republican party like your neighbors.”