A Blog of Reason From a Godless Liberal

Archive for the ‘Culture Wars’ 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

Advertisements

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.

Twitter’s Free Speech Fail

In atheism, Culture Wars, editorial, religion on October 21, 2009 at 4:01 am

Today was a very interesting day in the Twitterverse.

This morning, Reverend Run (of RUN DMC) tweeted, “Know God, Know Peace. No God, No Peace.”. This clever use of words (as it often does) got theists all excited and they started obsessively retweeting the tired cliché. Expectedly, no one paused to reflect on that statement, for if they did, they would know it is bullshit. Anyone with any knowledge of history, whatsoever, can tell you that. But, I am getting off topic.

Well, with all this tweeting going on, the words “No God” became a trending topic (TT). Naturally, the same theists who created this TT, saw “No God” and assumed it was an attack on them. They immediately began tweeting to this topic, telling all of us non-believers (who were not involved in the TT at the time) that we were all going to hell. This only served to lift the TT “No God” higher and higher on the list. Tweets like this were common:

TroutAmbush @randeazie How about irony? After all, 90% of that TT was Christians butthurting about us “disrespecting” them, then saying we should burn.

The result was a tweet-war (or crusade if you ask a believer). It was actually a lot of fun. I mean, who doesn’t like to do a little trolling now and then? In fact, you could say I got my start on this crazy internets trolling AOL Christian chat rooms when I was 12. Today’s great debate provided quality entertainment for all parties. I saw threats, name calling, death wishes, calls to violence, and was personally called stupid by a Christian who misspelled several simple words in only 140 characters!

The forum was packed with both sides, the conversation had been going all day. Suddenly, Twitter decided it to pull the plug on the free exchange of ideas. The “No God” TT was censored, twice, the topic abruptly removed from the list as if it was never there. This is very surprising move from a tech company based out of San Francisco, don’t you think? It is the first time to my knowledge that Twitter has censored any legitimate topic. Does anyone know otherwise? I mean, they don’t even censor topics taken over by spambots so I’m assuming so, but I’m no Twitter historian.

What really bothers me is, there was no need for it. The topic was relatively civil when compared to the politics tags (#tcot #ocra #p2). So why censor it, Twitter? Are you saying that you don’t want atheism discussed en mass on your service? Why else would you move to hide a completely legitimate topic? Did you have technical, bandwidth (as you often do), or marketing issues? It is more likely that theists who couldn’t stand the existence of ideas contrary to theirs, pressured for the topic to be removed, and Twitter caved. Once again atheists are muted so that theists won’t be offended by ideas they don’t agree with, and couldn’t even see without searching for them. Any atheist living in America can tell you that we are constantly bombarded with ideas we could claim to find objectionable, indeed, they come to our homes.

This is of course because religion exists in a bubble free of criticism and inquiry. To question religion is to do something so offensive, that it apparently still can’t be done in public. Yes, in late 2009 fairy tales are just too taboo for Twitter, but an army of giant breasted spambots (or supressing free speech) is not.

UPDATE: I’ve been given a link by @kimshannon to a stats page with a nifty graph regarding the “no god” and “know god” trending topics traffic. Thanks Kim!

Good Rush Cartoon

In Culture Wars, kooks, politics, racists, sports, updates on October 15, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Even though he won’t be getting the team, this is still pretty funny.

More on Rush and the NFL:

Update: The Nation Skewers Limbaugh

Rush, Politics, and the NFL

The NFL Should Reject Rush

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

Update: The Nation Skewers Limbaugh

In Culture Wars, hate, kooks, politics, racists, sports, updates on October 14, 2009 at 8:21 pm

The Nation’s Dave Zirin responds to Rush Limbaugh calling him ‘scum’. This is an update from a previous post.

Full Story at The Nation

Limbaugh said of us:

They are the ones with prejudice and bigotry coursing through their vanes [sic], through their hearts, and through their souls. They are consumed with jealousy and rage. They are all liberals–and make no mistake: That’s what this is about. It is about ideology. It isn’t about race. It’s about their being jealous and attempting to discredit me, and they’ve now sunk to the low of repeating fabricated quotes that they cannot source…. These people are scum.

What we all did was carry a quote from Limbaugh that he absolutely insists he did not say. The quote is:

We didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.

For all the dittoheads out there, here is how we came up with the quote: it was in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Detroit Free Press, the Washington Post, and in the book 101 People Who Are Really Screwing America by Jack Huberman. It has been out in the ether for years. Now that it is endangering his chances to become an NFL owner, Limbaugh is serving up a full heaping of indignation.

Rush, Politics, and the NFL

In Culture Wars, editorial, kooks, politics, racists, sports on October 14, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I heard something interesting this morning on The Dan Patrick Show. They were discussing whether Rush Limbaugh’s bid to buy the St. Louis Rams is being treated fairly when a caller made a very good point.

Basically, he correctly pointed out that sports are one of the few things we have left that instantly unites us as a common people. Indeed, in America, we love our sports. Atheist and theists, liberals and conservatives, the rich and the poor, and people of all the backgrounds that make up our melting pot, can cheer, hug, high-five, and sometimes cry together.

Americans are bitterly divided right now. Some say (I’m not one of them), the national rift hasn’t been this wide since the Civil War. We need to keep politics out of sports. Limbaugh has proven he isn’t capable of separating the two. While moonlighting as a NFL commentator in 2003 Limbaugh famously said

“I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,” Limbaugh said. “There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”

Rush was of course referring to Donovan McNabb, a successful black quarterback (who carries one of my fantasy teams).

The bigot Limbaugh just said during a TODAY show interview that business and ideology are inseparable.

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

Everything Rush says or does as owner would be under a microscope by the far left. Imagine if a black quarterback was holding out for more money under a Rush-owned team. Fairly or not, race would be an undertone, if not openly discussed. If Limbaugh took a hard line against a black player, again, fairly or not, there would be grumblings of racism. This would naturally prompt an over the top response from the far right. Black players are facists? Hitler? Muslims? Going to execute your grandma?

No, politics doesn’t have a place in American sports. The NFL would be wise to keep it out.

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?

The Problems with Libertarianism

In cool, Culture Wars, editorial, politics on October 1, 2009 at 4:45 am

This is a very interesting article on Rationally Speaking, I will quote the first two paragraphs, and I strongly urge you to read the rest. The comment are also good, there are some interesting points and counterpoints.

Some of my best friends are libertarian, but I don’t hold it (too much) against them. Libertarianism appears to be very popular these days, especially among Republicans who wish to pretend to be anti-big government and yet are ashamed of eight years of huge government deficit and interference in personal life under W. Unfortunately, there are several problems with being a libertarian, perhaps the major one being that it is hard to say what exactly a libertarian is.

I actually spent quite some time wading through the bewildering taxonomy of libertarian-like positions, and finally came up with a complicated tree-like “concept map” that summarizes the basics. First off, you know how they say that in politics the extremes are often close enough to touch each other? Well, you can’t get any further on the two sides of the political spectrum as leftist anarchists and libertarians, and yet both are major branches of Libertarianism in the broad sense. How’s that for strange bedfellows?

More

Red State Priorities Fail

In Culture Wars, editorial, guns on September 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm

New Arizona Gun Law Takes Effect Today

Starting today, those with concealed weapons can bring them into Arizona’s 5,300 alcohol serving businesses. The law specifies that gun owners are not allowed to drink while carrying their weapon. So that is good, at least the paranoid people who come armed to a bar can be stopped from drinking. Oh wait, since the guns have to be concealed, who is to tell who is armed and who isn’t? We are to trust that people will do the right thing? I wish the government would just take my word that I pay my taxes, because you know, I totally would. Only in America can you get your head blown off for talking to the wrong girl, but die on the emergency room floor as others look on.

I doubt anyone capable of getting drunk and shooting someone would be worried about breaking gun laws. What is a gun charge when you are going down for murder anyway? People caught drinking with a gun will be fined up to $500 and be charged with a class three misdemeanor. Being caught with any amount of weed in Arizona is a felony. Priorities people, priorities.

Via The Arizona Republic