Blog Against Theocracy Bits 31-45

Blog Against Theocracy Bits 31-45

More of my favorite excerpts from the Blog against Theocracy blogswarm. The VirusHead post is here.

31) Creekside: “If there’s no Chocolate God, then who is looking after Chocolate Heaven? Huh?”

32) Action Skeptics: “If you cannot do it on September 11, you might as well not do it any other time. Other times it’s easy to speak against violation of the separation clause. When it’s being actively and maliciously violated on a large scale by ignorant and belligerent power brokers, it’s the easiest thing in the world to shout and rally against them, and you’ll have many on your side. When it’s being quietly and benevolently violated in a moment of emotional turmoil, when you know you’ll be the lone voice of dissent with two dozen eyes shooting daggers at you as you violate the sanctity of their understandable rage and anguish, when you risk the greatest offense by placing the sanctity of the individual over the sanctity of collective mourning, that is when you must stand up and say something. That moment, right then.”

33) God Vs. Darwin: “Separation of church and state is under threat as it has been like no time in recent history. Don’t even make me mention Terry Schiavo. As a non-believer, this has always given me pause, but the reality is that even believers should be concerned about this too. Separation of church and state protects you guys as much as it does me. There’s a reason that not only was this right included in the ole bill o’ rights, but was put out there as NUMBER ONE! The founders (and yes, most of them (though not by any means all) were very religious) knew how important this was. They’d seen what happens when the church and state are one and the same and it ain’t pretty. We know this mixing is a bad idea when we see it in places like Iran? Why can’t more people see that it’s still a bad idea?”

34) At Center Network: “The Federal Government is soliciting bids for a contract. They want to pay someone to set up rehabilitation programs for prisoners. Rehabilitating prisoners is important, and it’s hard to do, so you might think the government would want to give the contract to whoever could do the best job. But a lot of competent people aren’t even going to be allowed to bid on this contract, because in order to get this contract, you have to use a faith-based approach to rehabilitation. In other words, you have to preach religion to the prisoners. When the Bush administration announced it would allow faith-based organizations to provide government funded services, it might just have seemed that parochial schools would be allowed to rent their gyms for after-school basketball programs just like the public schools did. Now we see what Bush really had in mind, which is to rig the contracting process so that religious organizations are the only ones that can get the contracts.”

35) Dog Emperor: This one is a must-read, no excuses. “To people who say ‘It can’t happen here’…well, at least in Central America, it has happened before, not once, but twice–in coups supported by dominionists here in the States, and being frightening proof (especially in the second case) that even a democratically elected government can all too easily turn into the Republic of Gilead in “real life”. We forget Guatemala’s history of dominionist horror–far more recent than the era of the conquistadores but dating more from the 50’s onward, and being especially flagrant in the 70’s and 90’s–at our gravest peril. Guatemala’s hell shows all too easily how it can happen.”

36) Americans United Blog: Another must-read. “In his announcement, which included a new Web site and a series of seminars nationwide, [Alberto] Gonzales released a 43-page document purportedly showing the DOJ’s hard work on behalf of religious freedom. Civil liberties groups were quick to point out that the DOJ has some odd ideas about what constitutes religious liberty. Its lawyers included in the report the DOJ’s support for religious school voucher subsidies and backing for religious discrimination in hiring in government-funded faith-based projects – both stances at odds with true religious liberty.”

37) Feminists Don’t Bake Bread: “YO EVERYONE! If you’re going to quote something in the Bible, can you please try and remember it’s socio-political background and take that into account when attempting to sort out its meaning? Thus, the statement ‘Turn the other cheek’ does not mean ‘walk away from a problem’. Not in the context in which Jesus said it, not in that place, in that time. It doesn’t mean ‘Let them hit you again until they stop’, either, which is what used to be told to some women who complained about domestic violence to some pastors and some priests.”

38) I Speak of Dreams:

39) Half Nixon: “I think religion, whether sincerely believed or cynically invoked, is part of the shroud in which a deceitful administration have long successfully wrapped themselves. And yet, I don’t want to offend people and especially family who haven’t been able to resist the coercive force of youthful brainwashing. This is at least partially in fear of pious villagers with torches, pitchforks, and other implements of destruction storming my Frankenstein castle. I think a million opportunities to ease the grip of religious fundamentalism are missed in a similar fashion by rational people everywhere, everyday.”

40) About Kitty: “I accept that military chaplains serve a purpose of allowing for freedom of religious expression (with limits) to members of the military. Can anyone provide any good reasons (other than ‘historical tradition’) why taxpayers should be paying for a chaplain for a group of state employees (who happen to be working in the legislature), and not other employees?”

41) Atheist Revolution: “It is clear that many Christian extremists seek an American theocracy. It is equally clear that this is a threat to our democracy. With Bush in office, we have seen an erosion of democracy, a substitution of science with faith as a basis for policy, and a recasting of the world in terms of good and evil.”

42) Everything and more: “Paying a mother $500 not to have an abortion, is of course madness. The $500 does not even cover her cost for food during pregnancy. This bribe would appeal very much to drug-addicts, resulting in even more kids born with challenges. A few months ago, I met a teenager whose mother was a drug-addict, so he was placed with his grandmother after numerous foster homes failed. He was mistreated in a number of the foster homes. I met him after he had been placed with his grandmother. It was very obvious that the grandmother was addicted to drugs (crack cocaine maybe?). She hit the kid, yelled at him, curse at him, and was paranoid. If he so much as looked at her, she started yelling that he was stealing from her, and that he hit her. She did not think it was necessary for him to go to school. The poor kid. He seemed to be a good enough kid, but how can you possibly turn out right having to live in an environment like that. A few days after I met him, he was sent back to his mother. I wonder what his life is like now.”

43) An American in Melbourne: Same post as #33 above… hmm.

44) A Blog Around the Clock: “Inventing new frames is not easy (and Lakoff is notoriously famous for being bad at it). At first, the new phrase will jar. Remember when the “death tax” phrase was first used? Everyone stopped in their tracks and thought and talked about it – what it really means. But now, when you hear it, you don’t stop to think about it. It evokes a conservative anti-tax frame without any conscious effort on your part. You cannot use new frames in short-term battles – you just baffle people. New frames have to pounded and pummeled into the public discourse for several years before they move from consciousness to subconsciousness.”

45) Mock Paper Scissors: “Now imagine applying for a job there and being asked who your minister is, or which church you belong to. You might be the best medical tech in the ER, but the local faith-funded clinic would not hire you if you did not match their faith profile, and it is perfectly legal. Welcome to Chimpy McStagger’s America.”

More to come…

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