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Archive for the ‘church/state’ Category

Obama’s Ft. Hood Speech Bullshit

In church/state, Culture Wars, editorial, POTUS, religion on November 11, 2009 at 7:30 pm

President Obama’s speech yesterday at the memorial for the victims of the Fort Hood massacre turned religious pretty quickly. Of course, I’m sure most atheists expected this, as religion’s infestation of American politics is famously complete. I listened (on the NPR) to the most of the memorial, and went unfazed at the staple religious regurgitations that are said every time we remember loved ones who have died. You know, usually in an event so tragic, so unfair, that any loving god would be compelled to intervene. The clichés mostly bounced off me (General Casey went as far to quote the Bible). However, one line grabbed my attention. It strikes back to a common complaint from New Atheists.

No faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor – President Obama 11/10/09

Really, Mr. President? In reality, faith can be used to justify any action. Isn’t that is the whole idea? If you evoke faith you can claim, say, wishing brain cancer on someone, murdering your daughter, killing a doctor, torturing, genocide, and terrorism are all legitimate expressions thereof. In the Torah, Koran, and Bible, God orders the commission of, and facilitates terrible violence. The fact is, just the opposite of what President Obama said is true. I’d like to think (foolishly?), this probably isn’t lost on Obama, but he could never publically say so.

I was very annoyed with this nonsensical dribble. In America, it is a fact that a theist can say anything and go largely unchallenged out of ‘respect’. Though this may be slowly changing, we have a long way to go in our struggle against faith, and the taboos society places its scrutiny.

Below is Obama’s full speech, and a video of the murderer of Dr. Tiller claiming his barbarism is justified.

Full Speech

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Murderer

UPDATE: Religious License Plates Ruled Unconstitutional

In church/state, Culture Wars, editorial, religion, updates on November 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Story from The Associated Press

Remember when Florida and South Carolina decided that Christian themed license plates were a good idea? After all, what is a better medium to announce your beliefs (as long as they are Christian) than a license plate? Luckily, the plates were held up with an injunction earlier this year after several secular groups sued.

Well, the matter finally had its day in court, with great results. Not only did U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie say that plates where unconstitutional, in her ruling the judge blasted the defense.

… [To] gain legislative approval of a specialty plate promoting the majority religion: Christianity. Whether motivated by sincerely held Christian beliefs or an effort to purchase political capital with religious coin, the result is the same. The statute is clearly unconstitutional and defense of its implementation has embroiled the state in unnecessary (and expensive) litigation.

Judge Currie got it exactly right. This is another blatant attempt by politicians (and the state) to cash in on the peoples’ religion, and for some, to proselytize. Sure, religious establishments make money hand over fist exploiting their flock, but the state has no business or legal right to do the same.

Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, who endorsed the evolution denying Mike Huckabee for President, was the driving force behind the plates. He, like all theists, predictably tried to play the victim. Blaming liberals for his judicial defeat, the idiot Bauer coughed up this gem:

“I don’t expect anything different from a liberal judge who was appointed by Bill Clinton, if she wants to single me out, so be it.”

Adding:

“[The ruling] once again shows how liberal judges are not just interpreting the law but making legislation.”

This quote raises some obvious questions: How stupid can one be and still be Lt. Governor of South Carolina? How ignorant can one be of U.S. history and law and still get elected (See: Sarah Palin)? I mean, Bauer has to have read the first amendment, right? Is he familiar with the idea of a legal precedence? Hell, does he know what precedence means? What is more, I fail to see how Judge Currie’s ruling is “just interpreting the law but making legislation”.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That is pretty hard to misinterpret, don’t you think Mr. Bauer? Indeed, it’s very clear. Face it kooks, religion has had no place in state, and hasn’t since the founding. This is, and never has been a Christian nation.

Fundie groups are already planning to skirt the law.

Within hours, a private Christian group said the ruling doesn’t stand in the way of its “plan B” to get a similar plate issued using a state law that permits private groups to issue tags they design.

[…]

But the Palmetto Family Council will try to get the tags on the cars faster. The council registered “I Believe” as a group’s name with the South Carolina Secretary of State in March as the license tag case simmered on Currie’s docket.

“This is day one for that process,” said Oran Smith, the council’s president. “If we meet all the requirements, which I hope we would as an organization, we would certainly want to move forward very quickly with our own ‘I Believe’ tag.”

And the Culture War continues.

The Word : Symbol-Minded

In church/state, Culture Wars, lol, religion, SCOTUS on October 15, 2009 at 6:44 pm

This is something I recently wrote about, the idea the cross isn’t a Christian symbol, instead a symbol of all war dead. This of course is used to side-step the establishment clause.

Sadly, I missed this episode of The Colbert Report. Since it was a couple days ago, I’m sure some of you have seen it.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word – Symbol-Minded
http://www.colbertnation.com/
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Michael Moore

Scalia: Cross on Represents Everyone, Not Just Christians

In church/state, Culture Wars, religion, SCOTUS on October 8, 2009 at 5:55 pm

While hearing arguments in the case Salazar v. Buonol, Justice Scalia rejected that idea that the cross is a Christian symbol, instead saying it represented all war dead, because it was erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Via Huffington Post

As the Supreme Court weighed a dispute over a religious symbol on public land Wednesday, Justice Antonin Scalia was having difficulty understanding how some people might feel excluded by a cross that was put up as a memorial to soldiers killed in World War I.

“It’s erected as a war memorial. I assume it is erected in honor of all of the war dead,” Scalia said of the cross that the Veterans of Foreign Wars built 75 years ago atop an outcropping in the Mojave National Preserve. “What would you have them erect?…Some conglomerate of a cross, a Star of David, and you know, a Muslim half moon and star?”

“I have been in Jewish cemeteries,” Eliasberg continued. “There is never a cross on a tombstone of a Jew.”

There was mild laughter in the packed courtroom, but not from Scalia.

“I don’t think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead that that cross honors are the Christian war dead. I think that’s an outrageous conclusion,” Scalia said, clearly irritated by the exchange.

A request by a Buddhist group in the 90s to erect a shrine near the cross was denied on that it would violate the establishment clause. How do you think Mr. Scalia feels about that? What if he were a Buddhist?

House Republicans Want to Name 2010 "The Year of the Bible"

In church/state, religion, republicans on May 11, 2009 at 8:51 pm

H. Con. Res. 121 Will Solve All Our Problems

Don’t these people have better things to do, such as questioning the President’s citizenship, religion, or antichrist-ness? With all that is facing our nation and this is how Rep. Paul Broun [R-GA] chooses to spend his tax payer funded time. This is an outrage given the type of politics the right has been playing over the last 8 years. I’ve written Mr. Broun telling him what a waste of time this is, and suggesting he would serve his contituents if he actually focused on the issues, not trying to get himself relected.

Text of the bill..

Encouraging the President to designate 2010 as ‘The National Year of the Bible’.

Whereas the Bible has had a profound impact in shaping America into a great Nation;

Whereas deep religious beliefs stemming from the Old and New Testament of the Bible have inspired Americans from all walks of life, especially the early settlers, whose faith, spiritual courage, and moral strength enabled them to endure intense hardships in this new land;

Whereas many of our Presidents have recognized the importance of God and the Bible, including George Washington; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Harry Truman; John F. Kennedy; Ronald Reagan, who declared 1983 as ‘The National Year of the Bible’; and especially Abraham Lincoln, whose 200th Birthday Celebration in 2009 highlighted freedom for the slaves;

Whereas shared Biblical beliefs unified the colonists and gave our early leaders the wisdom to write the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, both of which recognized the inherent worth, dignity, and inalienable rights of each individual, thus unifying a diverse people with the right to vote, and the freedoms of speech and vast religious freedoms, which inspired courageous men like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to lead the Civil Rights Movement;

Whereas the Bible has been the world’s best selling book since it was first published in English in 1526, and has influenced more people than any other book;

Whereas the Bible has been a cornerstone in the development of Western civilization, influencing the nations in the areas of history, law, politics, culture, music, literature, art, drama, and especially moral philosophy;

Whereas the Bible, used as a moral guide, has inspired compassion, love for our neighbor, and the preciousness of life and marriage, and has stimulated many benevolent, faith-based community initiatives and neighborhood partnerships that have healed and blessed our families, communities, and our entire Nation, especially in times of war, tragedy, and economic and social crisis;

Whereas the Bible has inspired acts of patriotism that have unified Americans, commemorated through shared celebrations such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas; and

Whereas 2010 is an appropriate year to designate as ‘The National Year of the Bible’: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the President is encouraged–

(1) to designate an appropriate year as ‘The National Year of the Bible’; and

(2) to issue a proclamation calling upon citizens of all faiths to rediscover and apply the priceless, timeless message of the Holy Scripture which has profoundly influenced and shaped the United States and its great democratic form of Government, as well as its rich spiritual heritage, and which has unified, healed, and strengthened its people for over 200 years.

Are Religious License Plates Constitutional?

In church/state, Culture Wars, editorial, religion on April 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Share Your Thoughts On Jesus Happy Flordia

I’m sure most of you have heard that the Florida Legislature is considering allowing people to buy (from the state) Christian themed license plates. There are two new novelty plates being proposed, one depicting Jesus being crucified and another depicting a cross in front of a stained-glass window.

The main problem I have with this is that if they are going to offer plates for Christians, there ought to be plates for Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Pastafarians alike. Of course there are not, so I’m firmly against it. But my question is, what if you could get a plate with any religion on it? Should that be allowed? Is that more acceptable, or am I being too soft on the issue? Are these plates blurring the line between church and state? How about this, you can get any religion or a plate professing non-belief? Clearly any religious license plate would be so tacky that only a Floridian would want one, but since this is a rare occasion where I don’t have a strong opinion on it, I’m curious to know where other atheists come down on this.