Tag Archives: christian

Trying to find a job while being an atheist

8 Jun

Looking for a job is always stressful. It is even more stressful when you’re the most maligned and mistrusted minority in the country, looking for work in the most hostile part of the country. Being an atheist and looking for work in the South can be a tricky predicament.

I found that out first hand over the past two days.

I’ve been looking for work since March when the company I worked for went under. I was really excited to get a call back from a company three days ago, asking if I would come in right that moment for an interview. I grabbed my stuff and drove 45 mins to the next town over. During the course of the interview the boss said I didn’t have all the experience he was looking for, but that he was in really bad need of somebody and wanted to see how fast I could pick things up. He mentioned a salary figure which I agreed to, then asked me to come in at 7am the next morning to shadow him. Throughout the interview he was giving me things to write down and to study.

I went home, extremely excited about the prospect of finally working again, and for somebody from whom I felt I could learn a lot. Then I started to explore the company’s website more in-depth as I had only a few moments quick glance before I was out the door rushing to the interview. He explicitly states on their website that it is a Christian company.

“Meh, whatever, I don’t care what they believe as long as I’m working and getting paid” I told myself. I got up at 5:30 the next morning and went to meetup with my prospective employer. We spent the morning going to a meeting and then it was off to make service calls.

The question came while we were in the car.

“This has no bearing on you getting hired, but what do you think about Obama?”

“Um…I don’t know…”

“Well do you like him or not like him?”

“Um…I’m not really a big fan?”

“For what reasons?” (I wanted to reply “Well, because he’s a center-right corporate whore parading as a progressive” But I didn’t for obvious reasons)

“For a variety of reasons, but I rather not say.”

“Ok, good, I don’t like him either. His taxes are going to crush my business.” (I wanted to point out that the president doesn’t control taxes, that congress does, and congress is republican controlled, but I doubt those facts would have either made me look good or mattered to him.)

“Can I ask you some questions about religion?” (The knot in my throat grows tighter)

“Only if you don’t mind if I don’t answer.” (“Damn I’m must sound like some secret-agent wannabe wacko” I thought.)

“Again, this is just out of personal curiosity, it doesn’t have any effect on you getting hired. What religion are you?”

“I rather not say.” *nervous laugh*

He then launches into a bit explaining how he and his wife are Christian, and that he came to realize God’s plan for his life when he almost died, was airlifted to the hospital and lived, how that got him to change his business around, etc etc…

We get to a service call and I get a reprieve. I’m extremely uncomfortable but I need this job. I need the experience and I need the skill set it will give me. So I bite my lip.

Two weeks ago my uncle almost died when he fell off a rough while working and was airlifted to a hospital. I was curious what happened to him, so I explained what happened to my uncle and asked him what happened to him. He explains how he had some rare condition and how the emergency crew in the helicopter didn’t think he was going to live, but he got to the hospital in time and Christ spared his life.

I didn’t say anything, but the whole time I was thinking: “Oh, Christ saved your life? Not the doctors with years of training? Not the paramedics and the helicopter, developed by science, that enabled you to be quickly rushed to a hospital, staffed with the fruits of scientific labor that kept you alive and saved your life. No, it was none of that, but the iron age God of the desert came down, skipping the 16,000 children that die of starvation everyday to save your butt and show you the way while you were conveniently in a first world country’s hospital attended by a swarm of doctors. Oh I see. Of course!”

But I obviously had to hold my peace.

Later I ended up driving him in the company car to a service call an hour away. He mentioned how he met his wife on eHarmony. I had tried eHarmony before in the past. I spent 45 minutes filling out their survey only to be rejected. eHarmony is a Christian oriented dating site. Atheists don’t do well on there.

Without thinking much, I mentioned how I tried eHarmony but that they rejected me.

“Why did they reject you?”

“Oh, erm…They reject you if you don’t match up with their ‘values’ system.”

“Why’s that?”

(In my head: “Shit shit shit….whatever. Fuck it. I don’t care.” Did I mention that sometimes I have a self destructive streak?)

And so I explained that I was, in fact, an atheist, that I do stuff with my local atheist community (even though I’ve been kinda off the radar for the past bit), that I used to be an evangelical as an early teenager, that religion is a interest of mine, that I’m pretty well read in it, and that I’ve been working on app development for atheist counter-apologetics apps.

The cat’s out of the bag now…

He was just kinda like “Oh…..ok…” Later he asked me “So what made you become an atheist?” I’m sure he was expecting that some disaster had befallen me and that I now hated God, or that I just wanted to lead a sinful lifestyle.

The problem with this question, besides all the problems with the situation, is that it is a trap. Most likely inadvertently, but a trap nonetheless. Let me rephrase the question and you’ll see exactly what I mean:

“So what made you abandon and discredit everything I hold dear, everything that is intimately intertwined with how I see myself and my world?”

There is absolutely no possible way I can answer that question without being offensive. There just isn’t. It’s a loaded question.

“Um…it was more of a journey for me over time.” (I wanted to say “Well, because I grew up, I read books, I experienced things outside of the narrow world view the church taught.”)

He mentioned how he never really knew any atheists, that he had come in contact with a few, and that they were all really big jerks. I mentioned that there are all types in every group, and that I’m very non-confrontational (in person) and live and let live. Oddly, he didn’t really understand what “live and let live” meant so I had to explain it to him. We really didn’t talk much the rest of the trip. He was busy working and making phone calls from the passenger seat. Throughout the day, before atheism came up, he was making me write down all the things he wanted me to study. “On Friday I’m going to have you do X, on Monday I’m going to have you do Y.” He didn’t really give me too much more to study after religion came up.

At 5pm I finally started the long drive home. I had been up for twelve hours and rushing around town with him for ten. I was exhausted. When I got home, I spent the rest of the night studying my ass off. He said I could take Thursday off to study, because it was more important that I pick up the concepts fast for when he tests me on Friday than for me to shadow him for another day.

I took a short break to get a few hours of sleep in the wee hours of Thursday morning, then was back up and studying some more. At the end of the day on Wednesday he said he might have me come in again later Thursday to do some stuff, but that he would call and let me know.

I sent him an e-mail around noon on Thursday telling him how far I’d gotten studying. (I really did learn a shit ton really fast). About an hour later I got a response:

“…My wife and I, as well as the other people in the office are discussing it, but we are thinking we need to find someone that already has extensive experience. You are doing a great job on all of this studying as far as I see it, but I am thinking a history of experience would serve us better at the moment. I am getting busier and busier by the second and I thinking it would be best for us to find someone who can hit the ground running, who would require no shadowing…

If you don’t mind, if there are any reminders on your note pad that I needed, I would really appreciate you sending them to me. I am in with a few other companies as far as passing along resumes, and I will certainly pass yours along. You have great potential!
Thank you in advance for understanding.”
Rejection.
I’m fucked. I didn’t get the job I desperately needed in order to give me the skill set, background, and money to accomplish my goals. I was, am, depressed. What about the ten hours I spent running around with him? I had other things I would have liked to do that day too. I probably won’t see a penny for my time.
I really do think he rejected me because I didn’t have the experience he was looking for, but part of me wonders. Even if he says that it has no effect on my getting the job, it does have an effect subconsciously in how he perceives me.
Before atheism came up, he did mention that his wife was coming on board with the company and that they would have to have dinner with me so she could meet me before they hired me. She apparently has a good sense about people, or so he told me. I wonder if his wife put her foot down at the idea of hiring an atheist. I can just imagine her asking how they’d be able to trust such a deviant, someone without morals. How could someone like that represent the family company?
Yet I have no proof of this, so it’s pure fantasy and speculation.
I would like to hope I was rejected just because of my skill set, and not that I was discriminated against based on my religious stance.
I’ll honestly never know for sure. Such are the perils of trying to find a job as an atheist in an often fundamentalist Christian south.

I punish myself by watching “Left Behind: World at war”

18 Nov

Ok, so I was surfing netflix and I saw this movie. I guess I’m a masochist because now I’m watching it. Here is my thought process as the movie is progressing:

The movie starts out with some Christians trying to smuggle out bibles and they’re attacked by government forces who kill some of them

Apparently there is a one world government resembling the UN, but now the rapture has happened. Oh, and the president of the United States is a black man…could that be coincidence?

Oh look, an angry Christian militia attacked the black president and blew up the convoy.

Holy fuck Kirk Cameron is in this marrying some girl in a secret underground christian double marriage ceremony.

Oh, now Kirk must rush to Washington DC because the vice president was assassinated. They pray before they leave and mention how if they mention they are Christians they go to re-education camps, if you spread the word, you’re sentenced as terrorists and don’t always make it to court alive, and even if you do the system is stacked against you.

Apparently the one world government president has a slight Russian accent and wants to kill the Christians with biological weapons.

Oh goodie, Kirk was kidnapped and thrown in a van.  And his bible is considered hate literature. Oh, and apparently the president of the United States conducts interrogations by himself…with a gun.

Oh! And Kirk uses Webster’s dictionary!

The one world leader (and anti-christ)  is putting together a powerful group of scientists! DUN DUN DUN!

Wow, the president of the United States just snuck out of the White House by hiding in the back of this lady’s SUV so they could go explore a power plant together…

Oh, now Kirk’s buddy is being tempted by a seductress atheist woman who’s threatening to report him to the one world government if he doesn’t have sex with her right there on the plane, even though the good Christian was just married.

Kirk Cameron uses a Mac. I hate Macs.

Now Kirk must find a vaccine through THE POWER OF PRAYER!!!! Oh, and God answers prayers via cellphones.

The new world order is using bibles to transmit the deadly virus.

Awesome, the president has a pistol made of porcelain! wtf….

Apparently Satan has Jedi powers… He just force threw the president out a window after the porcelain gun failed.

Now Kirk is in his apartment alone, screaming at god like the Apocalypse is his fault.

Again, god working through cell phones….I wonder if he has rollover minutes.

The president sits in the bombed out oval office making youtube videos and Kirk Cameron shows up in the doorway to save his soul and tell him about Jesus.

Now they’re uttering the magical incantation.

Now the president of the United States is a suicide bomber trying to blow up Satan’s headquarters.

Oh, now god has given the suicide bomber the cloak of invisibility so he could slip past the guards and blow himself up…

Oops, president went kaboom via a cruise missile FROM SPACE!

–the end–

 

 

Radical religion’s war on education

18 Nov

Today I was listening to the Reasonable Doubts podcast and they had a really interesting segment on the religious right’s attack on education. Here is my summary of what they had to say:

It is a well known fact that on average the more educated a person is the less likely they are to be conservative or religious. (Yes there are highly educated conservative and religious people, but the data shows that these people are anomalies)

Education and exposure to different cultures/people/worldviews has a corrosive effect on religious faith and conservatism. The radical religious right’s response to this fact is to isolate their children from the world with home schooling, while simultaneously working to undermine public education. My non-American readers might be shocked to find out that here in America parents can homeschool their children with little to no qualifications or curriculum standards; in essence they can teach, or not teach, anything they want regardless of their own education level.

Often in the United States you will hear defenders of homeschooling put forth statistics that suggest homeschooled children excel in all areas, especially scholastic aptitude tests. The fact is, all of these statics are bogus and poorly collected. There is an excellent article in the Peabody Journal of Education by Dr. Eric Isenberg titled “What have we learned about homeschooling?” In the article Isenberg examines the quantitative data on homeschooling, how extensive it is, and how it is collected and then goes point by point showing that essentially it is a black hole.

We do not have good data on homeschooling or its effectiveness. Why? Because the religious right fought hard to make sure the government wasn’t allowed to collect such data. They deliberately want to keep it as unclear as possible. If data was accurately collected it would show the appalling low level of education these homeschoolers are receiving.

The conservative religious right has set up a system where homeschooled children can go from their sheltered home “education” straight to private religious fundamentalist “universities” without ever encountering an idea or person who might challenge their faith. These students then graduate from these “schools” and are often hired as government aids to work for conservative officials. This was recently very prominent when Bush was in power. A lot of his aids were from these private religious institutions. He legal defense team was made up of “Liberty” “University” graduates, a “school” 10 minutes from where I went to college. This system and it’s goals of raising up fundamentalist children sheltered from opposing view points has a name and a website, “Generation Joshua.” (There is an interesting NY Times Best Seller book by Michelle Goldberg on this subject titled “Kingdom Coming.”)

Another way these religious fundamentalist schools affect the public is through tax vouchers for private schools. Through tax vouchers, the public has to subsidize families who choose to send their children to private schools instead of public ones. The political spin is that this is about “school choice,” but if you see past the bullshit it’s really about back-door public funding for religious schools. Almost all private schools in the United States are religious. The guys on Reasonable Doubts even pointed out that the even some of the few officially “secular” charter schools are actually very religious in their curriculum while remaining outwardly worldly.

Public education is a blight for the radical religious right. Pat Robertson, infamous televangelist and founder of Regent “University”, had this to say about tax vouchers: “They say vouchers would spell the end of public schools in America. To which we say, so what?” Jerry Falwell (the same as Robertson and also founded his own “school,” “Liberty” “University”) had this to say on the matter: “I hope to live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, there won’t be any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!” Luckily the fat bastard died before that could happen, but his minions are hard at work trying to advance his “vision.”

These institutions are bastions of conservatism and religion. Here students are taught what to think as opposed to how to think, and their curricula are carefully crafted to be as bias and twisted as possible. “Liberty” “University” even went so far as to ban liberals. The fact is that the radical religious right’s worldview cannot survive in the free market of ideas. When exposed to the sunlight of different cultures, people, points of view, and education in general, it shrivels up and dies. To protect their fragile children from reality, the religious right sets up system whereby students are exposed only to “approved” ideas. I find it hilariously ironic that conservatives like to claim liberals are like Maoists and Stalinists while they’re the ones with thought police institutions with portraits of Jesus on the walls.

Feminized Christianity?

18 Oct

So unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about the Obion County fire department in Tennessee that responded to a 9/11 call just to park their trucks on the street and watch as a family’s house burn to the ground, taking everything they owned and killing three of their pets, all because the family didn’t pay a $75 fee. Well the loving, moral, and “pro-family” people at the American Family Association came out to express how not only did the fire fighters do the right thing by doing nothing, but that doing nothing was the Christian thing to do!

You see, according to the American Family Association, the problem with any Christian who would recoil in horror at the fire department’s inaction is they, and their version of Christianity, has been “feminized.” AFA writes:

“In this case, critics of the fire department are confused both about right and wrong and about Christianity. And it is because they have fallen prey to a weakened, feminized version of Christianity that is only about softer virtues such as compassion and not in any part about the muscular Christian virtues of individual responsibility and accountability.”

Individual responsibility and accountability? How does that fit with Jesus coming to bail you out for your sins? But that’s not the point I wanted to focus on. Despite the entire post by the AFA being offensive and insulting, I think their view on gender is particularly insulting to both men and women. It’s clear they think femininity is deficient. While they call it the “virtue of compassion” , it’s framed in a way to mean “vice of compassion.” But what can you honestly expect from an organization that actively works to re-enslave women? Secondly, their position is offensive to men in that it dictates that to be a man is to be a compassionless brute. That’s right. Real men don’t give a shit about any other human being except themselves and Jesus. To help others is a sign of feminine weakness! This is all obviously bullshit, but I’m wondering: when did characteristics like empathy, compassion, and concern for others become sexualized? Why is it that those traits are either masculine of feminine? Secondly, who the hell arbitrarily decided to categorize them hierarchically so that the famine was bad and the masculine good?

The government shouldn’t recognize marriage

7 Aug

Earlier this week I was elated to hear that a republican appointed federal judge over turned proposition 8 because it violated equal protection under the 14th Amendment. The entire argument against allowing homosexuals to marry can be boiled down to: “It is my personal religious view that homosexual marriage is wrong, and thus I am going to impose my religious views on you!” (Yeah, you could word it differently and dress it up to make it look like another argument, but deep deep down, at the heart of it is this religious intolerance) Trying to take this bigoted view and impose it on other people through law not only violates not only the 14th amendment, but the 1st as well.

Come to think of it, the government recognizing any religious marriage is a violation of the first amendment. Instead, the government should only recognize the civil unions formed by people who obtain the license and certificate from the local court house. (Which everyone, regardless of religion must do) If the government did this, then anyone could be joined in a civil union. A marriage and ceremony would be secondary. The legal privileges of a civil union would be open to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, as the 14th amendment guarantees.

I’ve seen conservatives frothing at the mouth over this issue. They somehow have gotten it into their head that if the government allows same sex couples to form a civil union, then the conservatives will be forced to preform marriage ceremonies for them. They draw this image of a government officer holding a gun to the head of a minister, forcing him to marry two homosexuals in the minister’s church. This is so utterly and completely absurd! Nobody is going to force any religious figure to preform a ceremony they do not wish to preform. No government agents will storm into a church, hold a gun to a pastor’s head, and make him wed two gays. Ideas like this are another side effect of binge drinking the kuh-kuh-koolaid. The absolutely ridiculous nature of this belief aside, from a purely legal standpoint, the government could not do this for a plethora of reasons, two stand out immediately: A) The church is private property. B) This would violate the 1st Amendment. (Yes, kiddies, the separation of church and state protects churches from the state, so think about that before you try to tear down that wall)

The government cannot tell religions how to act. That would be “inhibiting the free exercise” of religion. The concept most conservatives don’t seem capable of understanding is that imposing their beliefs on people who are not members of their organization through the public legal system is NOT an instance of free exercise. Therefore the government if fully able (and is required by that very same amendment) to block any attempt by the religious to do so. You can be a bigot inside your church all you want. You can be a bigot in your home. You can even be a bigot and shout in the street so everyone else knows you’re a bigot. You CAN’T be a bigot and try to impose your views through law. Sorry, go home.

Instead, when homosexuals want to get married on top of having a civil union, they can do so with any person willing to preform that ceremony. That’s the keyword there, willing. You better believe there are people willing to do so. Homosexuals getting married is GREAT for business. More weddings means more demand for services, more demand means more jobs, more jobs mean a stronger economy and thus a stronger nation.

Conservatives will still be able to marry in churches that refuse to preform the ceremony for homosexuals. I think there is another big disconnect for conservatives on this issue: stopping homosexuals from getting married doesn’t stop them from loving each other. The will still be there, they will still love, and they will still do everything everyone else does when in a relationship., and their ain’t a damn thing you can do about it. The only thing trying to bar them from their 14th amendment rights does is cause suffering.

“Your partner of 40+ years, the person you love with all your heart, is dying in the hospital? I’m sorry, you’re not allowed to see him, but the family that disowned him 40+ years ago and haven’t spoken to him since can go right on up…oh wait, they’re not here…guess he’ll have to die alone…”

Or

“You want to adopt Sarah from her abusive and alcoholic home? That’s wonderful, this poor girl’s had a really hard life. I see you are mentally fit, responsible, have no criminal record, and are able to provide her with a stable home, food on the table, a roof over her head, and school supplies to learn, that’s great! Oh wait…before Sarah can start her new life, are you a homosexual? Yes!?!? I’m sorry then, Sarah’s going to have to go back to living with her abusive father that broke her arm. You homosexuals are bad people and your home is no environment in which to raise a child!”

It’s stuff like this that really makes discriminating against people disgusting. The ironic thing is, many of the people who would willfully cause this type of suffering (which is very real and happens every day) do so in the name of their god of “love”. That just makes me want to vomit.

Are Christian values really Christian?

5 Aug

What are “Christian values”? Well there are as many different answers as there are different Christians, so your personal views very well may be different from others’. I googled the term and two of the first pages that popped up were the wikipedia page on it, and this “Access-Jesus” page. According to them “Christian Values” are this:

  • Worship of god above all things, including family members and loved ones
  • Fidelity in marriage
  • Faith
  • Rejecting worldly goods
  • Rejecting violence
  • Forgiveness
  • Love
  • Righteousness

So now that we have this grocery list of values, what about them makes them “Christian”? Lets go down the list one by one.

Worship of god above all things: Well, lots of Christians do this, yes, but they by no means have a monopoly on it. Other faiths do the exact same thing, many of them have been around thousands of years before Christianity was ever invented.

Fidelity in marriage: Again, what makes this Christian? Billions of people around the world are married, the majority of them aren’t Christian. Marriage has existed for millenniums before Christianity ever came on the scene. Heck, if you look at divorce rates among religious groups in the US, Christians have the highest, non-theists have the lowest. It would seem that you’re more likely to be faithful to your marriage if you’re not a Christian. (Just look at the news, it’s as if every month a new conservative Christian leader is being flushed out as an adultery or a sodomite)

Faith: Mark Twain once said “Faith is believing in something you know ain’t so.” Since when is faith a value? Taking something “on faith” is an admission that there is no good evidence to believe something, but you’re going to believe it anyways. Faith is the last stand of the indefensible. It make people credulous and gullible, which makes them extremely vulnerable to getting scammed (as they all too often do) which leads us to our next “Christian value”…

Rejecting worldly goods: Still, nothing that makes this specifically Christian. Many religions around the world preach this, far fewer actually practice it. Instead most believers like to flaunt their wealth and piousness by building bigger and grander churches, wearing flashy religious jewelery. There are a lot of very wealthy religious leaders around the world, many who live off the donations of a poverty stricken flock. This has been a problem for religion since it was created. In the middle ages there was a cycle where the church would become too corrupt and oppulent whereby a monastic order bent on poverty would be founded. These new monks would try to live as beggars and try to reform the church until eventually they too became rich from donations and tithes; at which point a new corrective order would be founded. Greed is just in human nature.

Rejecting violence: This is a nice one that again every faith preaches, but few follow.

Forgiveness: This is an interesting one to me because growing up, I honestly thought Christians had invented this. I remember my mom telling me that in Japan they didn’t have the concept of forgiveness until the west introduced Christianity to them. (I know, sounds absurd, but it’s just a blip of a memory I have that influenced me as a child). I felt for the longest time that Jesus was a revolutionary in bringing this concept of forgiveness to the world. Now that I’m older I realize just how silly this is. Forgiveness is not solely a Christian Value, it wasn’t something divinely given to us by a god.

Love: Of all the values, I think this one is the least Christian. Even though this value is universal, Christians like to claim they have the market on love cornered. “God made us knowing we were going to sin and decided to send all sinners to be tortured for eternity, but then changed his mind and made a big gruesome show of killing his son in order to appease himself so he would let a select few escape eternal punishment, and this is because he loves us all so very deeply.”  No, Christians very seldom practice love, and when they do there are always strings attached. It could be helping the homeless only after they agree to sit through a sermon first, or bringing food over to a church member, solely because they’re a church member, or any kind of aid that is contingent on the person accepting some dogma or jumping through hoops of another kind to appease the religious. For the most part, many of them do good works because they feel it will earn them brownie points with god. It’s not that they really love, it’s that they want a reward for their generosity. You want to see how quickly the “Christian value” of love evaporates? Try leaving a church, the whiplash will snap your neck.

Righteousness: Again, other faiths practice the same thing. Feeling you and your actions are some how set-aside, better perhaps, than other people because you feel you have the “truth” is unfortunately not restricted to Christianity. Why is it that so many conservative Christian leaders in politics can commit horrible hypocrisies and get off scot-free while liberals go down in flames? Simple, they are “righteous” and many belong to “the family“. If you are a member of that family, you are seen personally chosen by god to carry out his work, and thus you can do no wrong. Think I’m kidding? Why is governor Mark Standford still the governor of South Carolina after leaving his post without telling anyone to go bang a woman, not his wife, in South America? His friends were the very same people who impeached president Clinton for having oral sex in the White House, yet they were silent when their friend did something much worse. Why? Because he’s righteous and can do no wrong.
That last one, righteousness, or self-righteousness, ties into the scary trend within the past half century of wedding “Christian values” with “Conservative values”. Today the two are pretty much synonymous.  Again, there are as many different definitions of “Conservative Christian Values” as there are conservative Christians but the majority, to me, seems to be as follows:

  • Dedication to dogma : Conservative Christians do one thing really well, and that is stick together. There is a party line that must always be towed, regardless of what happens in reality, there is an agreed upon narrative. Jesus is lord, America was founded by fundamentalist Christians for Christians, and Reagan was a prophet. No ifs, ands, or buts. There is a reason this group is such a strong, vocal, and cohesive voting block: their members swallow the dogma whole and fall in line.
  • The white male rules all. Don’t be fooled by the small handful of conservative public figures that are women or minorities, the white men still have the power in the party. This group has continually dug in there heels when it comes to leveling the playing field for women and minorities. (Here is a really interesting shift. Over the course of the 20th century, the religious completely switched sides on social issues. They once carried banners for women’s suffrage and for civil liberties for blacks, but in the 1970′s something drastically changed and I’m not exactly sure what it was. Perhaps it was the influx of people like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Ronald Reagan. Somehow the people of progressive change for the better became the people who fought to deny women rights to their own bodies, or equal pay in the work place. After fighting to help blacks get equal protection under the law, they threw down their banners when the LGBT community stepped up and asked for their turn. What happened? It’s as if hate became a value.
  • Fear and war. Again, in the last half century, these have increasingly become conservative Christian “values”. Fear of immigrants, fear or minorities, fear of your neighbor, fear of the government, fear of foreigners. Everywhere you look, fear, fear, fear! It’s the reactor that powers the modern conservative movement. 9/11 was a turbo boost to their fear reactor and they used it very effectively. A fearful people are quick to bite their tongues and fall in line with the dogma, which leads to wars. We’re scared of Iraq, we must invade. We’re scared of Iran, we must invade. We’re scared of North Korea, Venezuela, Somalia, China, you name it. As a conservative Christian and they’ll most likely tell you that we should steam roll these countries. Ann Coulter famously said after 9/11  “we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”  The peace talks in the middle east are a farce, why? Because peace in the middle east is the last thing conservative Christians want. They want the wars, the killing, the blood. Why? Because according to their “to do list”, in order for Jesus to return and take all his followers to heaven there has to be an apocalyptic religious war. Peace would only delay that. Don’t believe me?
  • Ignorance. (The brother of faith)  This is fast becoming a virtue in the fight against the teaching of science in schools. Religion was invented to explain the unexplainable: where did we come from? Why do my crops fail? What causes rain? What causes fertility in women? Why did my family die in a flood? Where does the sun go at night? Over the course of human history science has slowly discovered the natural explanations for things and vanquished the superstition that once filled the gap in understanding. In the past two-three hundred years, when society and science started to break free of the shackles of religious dogma, we’ve made tremendous advancements in everything. This trend shows no sign of slowing down and there are many in this country that see this advancement in knowledge as a threat to their deeply held beliefs. Thus they dig in their heels and demand that science not be taught in schools, that their iron age beliefs with only their faith for “evidence” should be taught. Meanwhile the rest of the world (and their economies that benefit from new products produced by science) are moving fast ahead of us, which brings us to our next value.
  • Greed. The stories of Jesus being generous to those in need must be liberal lies edited into the bible. I’m sure Jesus asked for proof of health insurance before healing the sick and the blind. Increasingly conservative Christians are turning against the poor. Just this week a $30bn unemployment benefits package was passed by congress, with almost every single republican voting NO. They had been shamelessly delaying the bill since early July, when the benefits ran out and real people ran out of options. At the same time they decry the $30bn addition to the deficit, they are gearing up to staunchly defend making Bush’s tax cuts for the richest Americans permanent. That add another $600bn to the deficit, but no, we can’t help the poor people. I’m sure Jesus was meant something else when talking about a rich man, a camel, and the eye of a needle.

So in conclusion, there are no values that are uniquely “Christian”, values are universal, regardless of your creed or politics.

Bring the country back to God!

5 Jul

Well, 4th of July has come and passed and now the orgy of nationalism is finally subsiding. During the build up to this climax I saw a number of signs and videos proclaiming how the christian god was integral to America. This got me thinking. It seems like everywhere you turn nowadays, there is a politician or somebody screaming that we need to “bring the country back to god!!!1″. They feel that if we only acknowledged their god enough by editing him into the constitution, plastering him all over government buildings, printing him on government memos, putting him on the currency, and altering the pledge to include him, the country would prosper, Al Qaeda would surrender, and all crime would end. Yes, if only we would prostrate our selves enough before their god, everything would be right in the world.

There are many things just patently ridiculous with this claim, but it brings to mind the image of superstitious witchdoctors spreading the blood of a chicken around a campfire to ward off evil spirits. What these people are demanding is basically the same thing. They want to put up a physical sign of their devotion in order to ward off bad things and gain favor with their god. It’s like a band of ancient goat herders erecting a statue to Zeus in order to gain his favor and protection. The “logic” goes: the more religious you make your country, the more it will prosper.

Well, lets check that with reality shall we? In a previous post I compared two maps, one showing religiosity, another showing quality of life. Contrary to the “logic” of “more god=better”, some of the worst places to live are the most religious. (This even carries over to the US, the one outlier on the global scale. The most religious states are the worst states in terms of health/education/poverty) Take Saudi Arabia and Iran for example. They’re theocracies. There is zero wall between church and state and the religion is the government. They put god first in everything and their countries are hell on earth. Human rights violations off the charts.

Oh, but GP! Those are Islamic nations! They’re worshiping the wrong god! You see, if they only worshiped Jesus then everything would be fine. <facepalm> A) it’s the same god, just different religion B) theocracy is theocracy, it doesn’t matter what god or religion it espouses, it will always be prone to violence, bigotry, oppression, and tyranny.  There have been christian theocracies in the past and they too made life as miserable as possible for their citizens. The Vatican, a christain theocracy, stood in the way of human advancement for centuries. It was only during the renaissance and enlightenment that the church began to loose it’s power. Only then did things start getting better. Here in America, a handful of puritans fled England, unhappy with the theocracy there, only to land here and set up their own theocracy! What happened? They started persecuting each other. Meanwhile England exploded into a civil war. Present day Uganda is moving fast towards becoming a christian theocracy. American evangelicals, unhappy that the bill of rights and the constitution prevent them from establishing “god’s kingdom’ in America, have gone to that poor African country to stir up hate and superstition. Being gay is now a crime punishable by death in Uganda, in keeping with god’s “perfect” word in the bible. Lets see, how much do you want to bet that Uganda will soon be a utopia of christian love, where everyone will happily live in god’s kingdom?

The worst part of this “bring the country back to god” bullshit is that the country was never “of god”, so you can’t really “bring it back”. The religious right has been working tirelessly for years to propagate this American creation myth that the US was founded by Jesus as a Christian nation. Reality and the facts don’t matter (they’re fundamentalists after all, they never have) so the fact that god is nowhere in the constitution and that the majority of the founding fathers were not christian, doesn’t bother them. Just deny everything and insist on your own version of history until people finally cave in. Our founding fathers had seen the dangers of theocracies. They left Europe to get away from the mixing of religion and government, and now people try to claim that to be American is to be Christian. No thank you. If people actually payed attention to what happens when you try to “bring a country to god” they’d run in the other direction as fast as they can.

Running tab on Republican sex scandals

21 May

The party of “family values” these days seems to be rocked with sex scandal after sex scandal. It’s hard to keep track of so many hypocrites who admonish others about sexual deviance, and then turn around and bend over. To help you keep count I’m compiling a list, which I will update as more anti-gay “pro family” conservatives turn out to either be homosexual or banging their staffers. And trust me, I will have to keep updating this list….

2010

Nikki Haley, SC gubernatorial candidate and Christian conservative has sex with blogger and supporter and then a lobbyist for her opposition.

Mark Souder resigns after it is found out he was banging a staffer who helped him make abstinence only videos. The staffer also resigns.

Right wing Christian leader and homophobic George Rekers caught on vacation with a male prostitute.

Roy Ashburn, the conservative Republican California state senator who was arrested last week (Mar. 2010) for drunk driving after reportedly leaving a gay bar, has acknowledged that he is gay. Ashburn, a divorced father of four, has repeatedly voted in opposition to gay rights, and in 2005 hosted a rally in favor of “traditional marriage.” He has voted against expanding anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation, recognizing out-of-state gay marriages and establishing a day honoring gay lawmaker Harvey Milk.

RNC uses party funds to pay rich, young Republican donors to attend a Hollywood night club specializing in lesbians, bondage, and S&M.Washington Post March 30, 2010

NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee) uses a strip club named Forty Deuce in Las Vegas for fundraiser gatherings with Pete Sessions in attendance. He claims there was no nudity involved.[1][2][3] In Feb. 2009, Tao, another Las Vegas club of questionable family values and clothing requirements, was used.

2009

Mike Duvall, a Republican politician and a former member of the California State Assembly, resigned after his sex comments were broadcast in Sept. 2009. In the video, the married family-values crusader from Yorba Linda talks in graphic detail about women he said he slept with — at least one of whom appeared to be a lobbyist with business before the utilities committee on which Duvall sat as vice chairman. [6][7]

Paul Stanley, Republican former member of the Tennessee Sen., resigned from the state Senate effective Aug. 10, after his affair with a 22-year-old intern and a subsequent extortion attempt was revealed to the public. [8][9]

Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, disappears during Father’s Day weekend, returning to confess an extramarital affair in Argentina. [10][11][12]

John Ensign, Senator from Nevada, refuses to resign after confessing to an extramarital affair with a married staffer, claiming she was trying to extort him.[13] Later, it was learned he was attempting to pay her and her husband off through his parents and finding them jobs.[14]

Alan David Berlin, He is an aide for Senator Jane Orie of Pennsylvania. He is also a furry who contacted a fifteen year old boy over the internet, and offered to “yiff” the boy in a panda outfit, while his parents weren’t home. The parents discovered the graphic emails on the boy’s computer and called the attorney general’s child predator unit sometime in May. Police raided his home and discovered various furry outfits such as a wolf costume, as well as a cat outfit; all complete with two holes cut out at the undersides of the costumes. He is now arraigned in Dauphin County jail on a $250,000 bail.[15][16][17][18]

2008

Bruce Barclay, former Cumberland County commissioner, videotaped hundreds of sexual encounters — many with male escorts — using cameras hidden throughout his Monroe Township home.[23]

Matthew Joseph Elliott, former aide to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was convicted of sexual exploitation of a child.[24]

Vito Fossella, the only Republican member of Congress from New York City, admitted to police to having a child out-of-wedlock when stopped for drunk driving.[25]

Robert McKee, Republican delegate from Western Maryland, announced his resignation after authorities seized two computers, videotapes and printed materials from his Hagerstown home in a child pornography investigation. McKee also resigned his position as executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County.[26]

Daniel Dean Thompson, 31, a Utah retailer of “family-friendly” tapes and DVDs (Hollywood films with the “dirty parts” removed), arrested and booked into the Utah County jail on charges of sexual abuse and unlawful sexual activity with a 14-year-old.[27]

Derek Walker, former Eagle Scout and candidate seeking the GOP nomination in a race for north-central Pennsylvania district, was charged with felony burglary and criminal trespass stemming from an encounter last year with an ex-girlfriend, during which he allegedly broke into her home and used his cell phone to videotape her engaged in an intimate moment with another man.[28]

2007

Robert “Bob” Allen, Florida state Rep. arrested in the afternoon at a Veteran’s Memorial Park for solicitation of prostitution from an undercover male officer inside a restroom. According to the papers, Bob “offer[ed] to perform oral sex for $20″. Bob later claimed that his offer had something to do with his being afraid of black people.[29]

John David Roy Atchison, Republican prosecutor, was arrested for soliciting sex from a 5-year old girl, then killed himself three weeks later. At the time of his arrest, Atchison was an “assistant U.S. attorney” appointed by President Bush’s attorney general.[30]

E. Ozwald Balfour, chairman of the Utah Republican Black Assembly and elected to the Republican State Central Committee in 2007, even though he was awaiting trial on four felony counts of forcible sex abuse dating back to his arrest in February, 2005.[31]

John Bryan, Republican city councilman, killed himself after police began investigating allegations that he had molested three girls, including two of his adopted daughters, ages 12 and 15.[32]

Larry Craig, Republican Senator for Idaho, was arrested on July 11, 2007, by plainclothes police officer investigating complaints of lewd behavior in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport airport men’s room. On August 8 in Hennepin County Municipal Court in Bloomington, Minnesota, Craig entered a guilty plea and paid a $500 fine.[33]. On September 1st, Craig subsequently announced his retirement from the Senate[34]. Five days later, Craig changed his mind, renounced his retirement and began a battle to have his guilty plea overturned.[35] Craig supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, which barred extension of rights to same-sex couples; he voted for cloture on the amendment in both 2004 and 2006, and was a cosponsor in 2008. However, in late 2006 he appeared to endorse the right of individual states to create same-sex civil unions, but said he would vote “yes” on an Idaho constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages when pressured to clarify his position by the anti-gay rights advocacy group Families for a Better Idaho. Craig voted against cloture in 2002, which would have extended the federal definition of hate crimes to cover sexual orientation.[36]

John R. Curtin, Monroe County state Republican committeeman, was convicted of molesting an underage teenage boy and sentenced to serve six to 18 months in prison.[37]

Richard Curtis, Washington State Rep., resigned from the House after reports of his sexual encounter with a male escort became public.[38] Curtis has an anti-gay rights voting record. He voted against domestic partnerships for gays and opposed a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.[39]

Donald Fleischman, Brown County, WI, Republican Party Chairman, resigned his post after he was charged with two counts of child enticement, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child and a single charge of exposing himself to a child.[40]

Larry Dale Floyd, Republican Constable in Denton County, Texas Precinct Two. Arrested for allegedly crossing state lines to have sex with an 8-year old child and was charged with 7 related offenses. Age 62 at time of arrest.[41]

Ted Klaudt, former South Dakota State Rep., found guilty of four counts of second-degree rape of two teenage foster daughters.[42][43]

Ronald C. Kline, Republican Judge in Orange County, CA, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer after six years of legal wrangling. In 2002, charged with child molestation and under house arrest on federal charges of possessing child pornography, political analysts still gave him a 50-50 chance of winning the March 5 primary for the Orange County Superior Court seat. He lost the election to a write-in candidate.

Joseph M. McDade, 75, was issued a summons on a charge of exposure of sexual organs, a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The longtime Pennsylvania Republican congressman who served for 36 years in the House and now works for a Washington lobbying firm, has been accused of exposing his private parts to two women at a beach resort on Sanibel Island. [44]

Patrick Lee McGuire, former former Flagler County Commissioner, surrendered to police after allegedly molesting girls between the ages of 8 and 13.[45]

Jon Matthews, Republican talk show host in Houston, was indicted for indecency with a child, including exposing his genitals to a girl under the age of 17.[46]

Joseph Monteleone Jr., Elyria city councilman, was found guilty of fondling underage girls and asking them to have sex with him.[47]

Glenn Murphy Jr., chairman of the Clark County Republican Party and president of the Young Republican National Federation, resigned both posts, after the Clark County Sheriff’s Department began investigating Murphy for alleged criminal deviate conduct. A 22-year-old man claimed that Murphy performed an unwanted sex act on him while the man slept in a relative’s Jeffersonville home. During the investigation, a similar accusation from 1998 came to light.[48]

Armando Tebano, Schenectady County Republican Chairman, pleaded guilty to fondling a 14-year-old girl.[49]

David Vitter, junior Senator from Louisiana, became one of the few high-profile politicians to be implicated as a client of “D.C. Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey.[50]

2006

Steve Aiken, campaign manager for a Republican candidate for Congress in Arizona, former Quakertown, PA, police officer and self-proclaimed reverend, was convicted of having sex with two underage girls.[51]

Louis Beres, chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon. 3 of his family members accuse him of molesting them when they were pre-teens. In August 06, Beres confessed.[52]

Howard L. Brooks, Republican legislative aide and adviser to a California assemblyman, was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography. [53]

Randall Casseday, Washington Times newspaper executive, pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a 13-year old girl on the internet.[54]

Larry Corrigan, Republican operative and Director of Operations and Budget at King County Prosecutor’s Office, OR, was arrested for soliciting sex from 13-year old girls.[55]

Carey Lee Cramer Political consultant and anti-Kerry ad producer, tried for molesting two young girls, one of whom lived with him, and was 8 yrs old; the other starred in an anti-Kerry commercial. Diary [56]

Mark Foley, Republican Representative, Florida Sixteenth Congressional District. Resigned after trying to solicit sex from male congressional pages via an instant messenger program. The conversations included his asking a sixteen-year-old “stud” whether his penis was erect and requesting that he take out and measure his penis. The cover-up involved Republican House Majority Leader John Boehner, Ohio Eighth Congressional District and Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Illinois Fourteenth District.[57]

Jim Gibbons, then US Rep. and Republican candidate for governor, was accused by a Las Vegas casino cocktail waitress of grabbing her, shoving her against a wall and threatening her after she rebuffed his advances.[58][59] Since elected Governor, Gibbons is under investigation by the FBI on corruption charges and is embroiled in what looks set to become a very messy divorce.[60]

Ted Haggard, was fired as pastor of the New Life Church and resigned from his position as president of the National Association of Evangelicals in November 2006 after a former male prostitute alleged they had a cash-for-sex relationship. The man also said he saw Haggard use methamphetamine. Haggard confessed to undisclosed “sexual immorality” and said he bought meth but didn’t use it.[61] After the scandal was publicized, Haggard entered three weeks of intensive counseling, overseen by four ministers. In Feb 2007, one of those ministers, Tim Ralph, said that Haggard “is completely heterosexual.” As of early 2009, Haggard continues to receive counseling, and now he says that he is a “heterosexual with issues”. [62]

Don Haidl, Assistant Sheriff of Orange Country, in violation of California’s rape shield law, led a smear campaign against the child his son poisoned and then violently gang-raped on videotape, adding up to 24 felony counts. He said that his son “acted accordingly” because the child was a “slut”.[63][64]

Jeffrey Ray Nielsen, Christian conservative activist and lawyer with close ties to Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Scott Baugh, head of the Orange County Republican Party, was arrested for having sex with a 14-year old boy.[65]

Jeffrey Patti, local Republican Committee chairman from Sparta, NJ, was arrested for distributing what experts call “some of the most offensive material in the child pornography world” – a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.[66]

Brent Schepp, Republican County Board Candidate was charged with molesting a 14-year old girl and killed himself three days later.[67]

2005

Adelphia Communications Corp.: Donated large sums of money to some of the most conservative members of Congress. They are also the first cable company to offer hard-core adult movies to subscribers.[68]

John Collins, of Eatontown, NJ, former music teacher and city councilman, pleaded guilty to sexually molesting 13 and 14 year old girls.[69]

John Gosek Republican Mayor of Oswego, N.Y.was arrested after paying a confidential informant $250 to introduce him to two 15-year-old girls at a hotel.[70]

Dr. W. David Hager Bush appointee, member of Focus on the Family‘s Physician Resource Council, player in movement to ban the morning-after-pill. Had an adulterous affair, before divorcing his wife he sexually abused her, including sodomizing her in her sleep.[71]

Russell Harding, president of the New York City Housing Development Corp. under then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $400,000 for his personal use and possessing child pornography.[72]

Neal Horsley has called for the arrest of all homosexuals. During an interview with Alan Colmes on the Fox News Radio’s The Alan Colmes Show, he admitted to having engaged in sex with a mule at age 11. “When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule,” he said. He then credited Jesus with forgiving and cleansing him of his “sin.”

Horsley put photographs on his Web site of naked men engaging in homosexual acts and a nude woman engaging in bestiality amid shots of grotesquely maimed fetuses

Jeff Miller, (R-Cleveland), Senate Republican Caucus Chairman in Tennessee and the sponsor of Tennessee’s Marriage Protection act, getting divorced (as of April 2005) because of an affair he was having with an office aid. Miller described the Tennessee Marriage Protection Act as a means of preserving the sanctity of marriage. He opposed an amendment, however, which stated that “Adultery is deemed to be a threat to the institution of marriage and contrary to public policy in Tennessee.”

Dennis L. Rader, AKA, The BTK Killer, Republican zoning supervisor, Boy Scout leader and Lutheran church president, pleaded guilty to performing a sexual act on an 11-year old girl he murdered.[73]

Jeffrey Kyle Randall, Republican Mayor of Clarkfield, Minnesota, was sentenced to 275 days in jail for molesting two boys–ages ten and 12–during a six-year period.[74]

Jean Schmidt, OH-2, though not herself implicated, employed a campaign manager (Joe Braun) in her 2005 election who once wrote an article condemning gay men for running sex ad profiles, and who was then accused of running his own sex profile on Collarme, an S&M sex site. The profile called for “submissives” to wear only a collar and handcuffs and to have hot wax dripped on them.[75]

Mark Seidensticker, Republican campaign worker, is a convicted child molester.[76]

Don Sherwood, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Eventually admitted to an affair with a woman 30 years younger than him, after she accused him of physical abuse and attempting to choke her. [77]

Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr., Republican City Councilman, pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.[78]

Jim Stelling, Seminole County Republican Party chairman who believes in “family values”, as he told a judge. Filed a defamation lawsuit against Nancy Goettman, a former county GOP executive committee member, for falsely claiming he had been married six times. Stelling has been married 5 times. [79]

Bobby Stumbo, former Floyd County, KY, Republican Party leader, was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old boy.[80]

Jim West, Spokane Mayor. Supported a bill, which failed, would have barred gays and lesbians from working in schools, day-care centers and some state agencies. Voted to bar the state from distributing pamphlets telling people how to protect themselves from AIDS. Proposed that “any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person” among teens be criminalized. Had a sexual affair with an 18 year old boy.[81]

2004

Edison Misla Aldarondo, Republican former speaker of Puerto Rico’s house of representatives, was sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of intoxicating his stepdaughter and her 17-year-old friend and attempting to rape the friend.[82]

Paul Crouch Televangelist, Former President of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Paid $425,000 in hush money in an attempt to cover up a gay affair.[83]

Richard A. Dasen Sr., Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, convicted of sexual abuse of children, promotion of prostitution and several counts of solicitation, enough to add up to a sentence of 126 years in prison. Investigators estimated that he spent at least $5 million.[84][85][86]

Peter Dibble, Republican legislator pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl. [87]

Jeff Gannon, partisan blogger with no journalism credentials and a fake name who got invited to Bush’s Press conferences. Is also a pimp and a gay prostitute.[88]

Mike Hintz, a First Assembly of God youth pastor, introduced by Bush on the campaign trail, and promoted his policies. Says he supports Bush’s values. Two months later, this married father of four turned himself into police, charged with the sexual exploitation of a child.[89][90]

Also signed an ad (that called for criminally prosecuting business that sell porn), along with another pastor who was repeatedly busted for public masturbation.

Mark Pazuhanich, Republican judge, pleaded no contest to fondling his 10-year old daughter and was sentenced to 10 years probation.[91]

Donald Rumsfeld, Republican Defense Secretary, may have authorized the rape of children in Iraqi prisons in order to humiliate their parents into providing information about the anti-American insurgency. See excerpt of one prisoner’s report here and his full report here.[92]

Jack Ryan, 2004 Republican nominee for US Senate from Illinois, pressured his wive, actress Jeri Ryan, to have sex with other men. Tricked her into visiting sex clubs, where he asked her to have sex with him while others watched.[93]

Ed Schrock, two-term republican congressman, with a 92% approval rating from the Christian Coalition. Cosponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, consistently opposed gay rights. Married, with wife and kids. Withdrew his candidacy for a third term after tapes of him soliciting for gay sex were circulated.[94]

David Swartz, Republican Commissioner, of Richland County, Ohio pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.[95]

Robin Vanderwall, Republican strategist and director of Faith & Family Alliance, (a Christian Coalition spin off), was convicted in April 2004 on five counts of computer solicitation of a minor and one count of attempted indecent liberties with a child.[96]

2003

John Allen Burt, Republican anti-abortion activist, convicted of sexually molesting a 15 year old girl at the home for troubled girls that he ran. [97]

Neil Bush, brother or G. W. Bush, in a March 2003 divorce deposition, admitted repeatedly having sex with strange women who just showed up at his room while on an Asian business trip. (Overshadowing the sex scandal; the business scandal–see link.) [98]

Richard A. Delgaudio, Republican fund-raiser and Bush pioneer, was found guilty of child porn charges. [99]

Jack W. Gardner, Republican Councilman, had been convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl. when the Republican Party, knowing of these crimes, put him on the ballot.[100]

Philip Giordano, Republican mayor sentenced to 37 years for forcing two 8 and 10 year old girls to perform oral sex on him in his City Hall office.[101][102]

Rush Limbaugh, triple-divorcee[103], 30-pill a day drug addict.[104]. In 2006, returning from a trip to the Dominican Republic, Limbaugh was detained by customs agents for several hours after they found a bottle of Viagra prescribed to someone else in his luggage.[105]

Pat McPherson, Douglas County Election Commissioner, resigned a day after being ticketed on suspicion of fondling a 17-year-old girl who was dressed as a restaurant mascot.[106]

Brent Parker Utah State Representative. Arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover officer posing as a male prostitute.[107]

Stephen White, infamous for preaching against homosexuality and sexual promiscuity at Yale and other college campuses, was arrested after allegedly offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.[108]

2002

Andrew Buhr, Republican politician, former committeeman for Hadley Township Missouri, was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.[109]

Richard Gardner, a Nevada State Representative (R), admitted to molesting his two daughters. 34% of those who voted in Assembly District 34 preferred Gardner to the Democratic candidate.[110]

Howard Scott Heldreth, anti-abortion activist who gained fame during the Shiavo media-circus, was convicted of two charges of raping a child in 2002.[111]

Tom Randall, Republican petition drive manager of Orange County, CA, pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 14, one of them the daughter of an associate in the petition business.[112]

Keith Westmoreland, a Tennessee state representative (R), was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to minors under 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).[113] Not long afterwards, Westmoreland committed suicide.[114]

2001

Randal David Ankeney, Republican activist, arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on a child with force. He faces 6 charges related to getting a 13-year-old girl stoned on pot and then having sex with her. [115] Also accused of sexually assaulting another girl. [116]

Parker J. Bena, Republican activist and Bush Elector, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography (including children as young as 3 years old) on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000. [117]

Kevin Coan, Republican St. Louis Election Board official, arrested and charged with trying to buy sex from a 14-year-old girl whom he met on the Internet. [118]

John Fund, of the Wall Street Journal, a prominent anti-abortion columnist and GOP fund raiser. He lost his position after it was revealed that he impregnated the daughter of an old girlfriend and then encouraged her to abort his child.[119]

Donald “Buzz” Lukens, Republican Congressman from Ohio, was found guilty of having sex with a minor – a girl he was accused of sleeping with since she was 13.[120] Lukens was convicted in March, 1996, on five counts of bribery and conspiracy related to actions he took while in Congress.[121]

Nicholas Morency, Republican anti-abortion activist, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor [122].

Larry Jack Schwarz, Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, fired after child pornography was found in his possession. [123] With his political career over, he went to work in the hard-core pornography industry for Platinum X Pictures, owned by his daughter, porn starlet Jewel De’Nyle (Stephany Schwarz). [124]

Tom Shortridge. Republican campaign consultant, was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl. [125]

2000

Keola Childs, Republican County Councilman, pleaded guilty to sexual assault in the first degree for molesting a male child.[126]

Matthew Glavin, president and CEO of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, big player in the Clinton Impeachment, and many anti-gay jihads, has been arrested multiple times for public indecency, one time fondling the crotch of the officer who was arresting him.[127]

Earl Kimmerling, sentenced to 40 years in prison after he confessed to molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.[128]

1999

George Roche III president of conservative Hillsdale College, MI, divorced his wife of 44 years (who had cancer) and remarried five months later. Apparently shocked and upset by the presence of a new woman in her father-in-law’s life, Roche’s daughter-in-law Lissa revealed that she and her father-in-law had been off-and-on lovers for 19 of the 21 years she and her husband had been married. Shortly thereafter, Lissa took her own life.[129]

1998

Merrill Robert Barter, Republican County Commissioner, pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy. [130]

Dan Burton, Republican Congressman who, while married, fathered a child by another woman. [131]

Dan Crane, Republican Congressman, married, father of six. Received a 100% “Morality Rating” from Christian Voice. Had sex with a minor working as a congressional page.[132] On July 20, the House voted for censure Crane, the first time that censure had been imposed for sexual misconduct.[133]

Helen Chenoweth, Congresswoman (R-Id.). In 1995, Chenoweth had denied having an affair when asked about it by The Spokane Spokesman-Review. In 1998 she called (in a campaign ad) for Bill Clinton’s resignation saying “I believe that personal conduct and integrity do matter”. Days later she admitted to a six-year adulterous affair with a married associate. but now she claims a pardon from a higher authority: “I’ve asked for God’s forgiveness, and I’ve received it,” she revealed.

Henry Hyde, Judge who oversaw Clinton’s impeachment proceedings, prominent opponent of reproductive rights, who had an extramarital affair with a woman who was married and had three children, during the course of which she and her husband were divorced. [134]

1997

Mike Bowers Former State Attorney General, prosecuted the famous Bowers vs. Hardwick case, based on Georgia anti-sodomy laws. Admitted to a 10-year adulterous affair.[135]

1996

John Hathaway, Republican Senate candidate, was accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media.[136]

I. Lewis Libby, former Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. In 1996 published a novel containing bizarre sexual content, including bestiality and pedophillia.[137]

1995

Newt Gingrich, married three times. Gingrich campaign worker Anne Manning admitted that she gave Newt oral sex while he was still married to his first wife. Informed one wife he was filing for divorce while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer treatments.[138]

Beverly Russell, county chairman of the Christian Coalition and county coordinator of the South Carolina Citizens for Life[139], sexually molested his step-daughter, Susan Smith, who later drowned her two children.[140]. Mr. Russell continued to serve on the executive committee of the state G.O.P. as late as six months after his stepdaughter’s confession of murder had brought their sexual history to light.

1994

Jim Bunn Congressman of Oregon: With his success due in great part to support from the Christian Coalition, Bunn won his congressional seat, then immediately ditched his wife (and mother of his five children), married a staffer, and put his new wife on the state payroll for the unheard-of salary of $97,500. [141]

1993

Ken Calvert, Congressman (R-Ca), champion of the Christian Coalition and its “family values.” Sued as an alimony deadbeat by his ex-wife. Said “We can’t forgive what occurred between the President and Lewinsky.” In 1993 he was caught by police receiving oral sex from a prostitute and attempted to flee the scene.[142]

1990

Jon Grunseth, Republican businessman and candidate for Minnesota governor, withdrew his candidacy after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter, and tried to grope one. “I’ve made some mistakes,” he said.[143]

1989

Paul Ingram, Republican Party leader of Thurston County, Washington, pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.

Sue Myrick, Republican mayor of Charlotte, NC, self-described “devout Christian”, during her run for reelection news reports revealed that she committed adultery with a married man in 1973. Myrick admitted the adultery and won reelection. She was later elected as congresswoman for North Carolina’s 9th district.

1988

Jim Bakker, televangelist with Pat Robertson at Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting network. Committed adultery with Jessica Hahn [144] and then used charitable donations to pay her hush money[145]. Fellow televangelists say he’s gay. [146][147] Convicted on 24 federal charges of fraud and conspiracy charges. [148].

1986

Roy Cohn, continually condemned gays and gay rights. Was a closet gay who died of AIDS. [149]

1982

John Scmitz, right-wing republican congressman, who had had his committee chairship taken away from him in the California State Senate after issuing a press release attacking Jews, feminists and gays. Forced out of office in 1982 for having an adulterous affair and fathering two children out of wedlock with one of his students. He was caught because his baby was admitted to hospital for having hair tied so tightly around his penis that it was almost severed. His daughter, Mary Kay LeTourneau, was convicted of having an adulterous affair with one of her students, and giving birth to two of his children. [150]

1980

Robert Bauman, Republican congressman and anti-gay activist, was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar. [151]

1973

Ted Bundy, the notorious serial rapist who murdered 16 women. Bundy worked on the re-election campaign of Washington’s Republican Governor Dan Evans. Evans was elected and he appointed Bundy to the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Committee.[152]

1925

Strom Thurmond, Republican senator, aged 22, fathered a child on 16-year old African American maid working for his family.[153

Original SOURCE for all entries 1925-2010

Do you speak for god?

16 Feb

While conducting research on my senior thesis in history, I came across this speech given by Emperor Wilhelm to his troops in 1914:

“Remember that you are the chosen people! The spirit of the Lord has descended upon me, because I am Emperor of the Germans! I am the instrument of the Most High. I am His sword, His representative….May all the enemies of the German people perish! God demands their destruction, God, who through my mouth, commands you to execute His will!”

Why is it god always speaks through man, and never directly?

One of the milestones on my road to deconversion was when I realized that everything I had been told about religion, god, Jesus, etc, was told to me by another human being.

I thought to myself:  “Now wait a second….human beings are fallible. They make mistakes. They lie. They have agendas, sometimes hidden ones. They care about power. They are not perfect. So why would an all perfect god always use such biased, self interested agents as humans to spread his word? Those people claim to speak for god, and we have only their word. We just have to trust them. These people often lie and take advantage of that blind trust… What if they are not speaking for god? What if they are just claiming to speak for god? Or what if they think they are speaking for god but it is just all in their head? We have no way of knowing…. But why would someone pretend to be talking for god? Simple. Power, money, prestige….”

Look at these two big examples. Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell. Both of them made millions of dollars claiming to speak for god. Both of them set up “schools” where they make even more money telling people they speak for god. Televangelists have been doing this for ages.

But ok, those are big examples. What about your average pastor/priest/imam/rabbi? Well, I would argue that most of them are just spouting the old stuff that someone else once claimed was god’s word. They read from the bible/koran/torah and say “this is god’s word!” They don’t have too much to gain (if their operation is still small) accept the prestige (among believers) of knowing the god’s will. The people who wrote what they’re saying, however, had a lot to gain.

These “holy texts” ordered entire cultures! The people who wrote them, claiming themselves (men) as the holy instruments of god crafted these texts to secure their power. “Women should be subservient” is an excellent example. If you read or watch “Misquoting Jesus” you can see how early Christian scribes altered the bible to secure contemporary power bases throughout the middle ages.

You can have a lot of power over someone who believes that you and you alone know the path to salvation. Just look around at modern and ancient cults! People commit suicide for their cult leaders! The only thing that is different between a cult and organized religion is size. The smaller it is, the more intense control you can exercise over your followers. (It’s easier to brainwash 30 people who you see every day than it is to brainwash 30 million that you speak to once a week, though there are those among the 30 million that will be fanatically devoted to you or the cause)

Imagine for a second there was a mad man on the corner claiming to know the will of the stop sign. Say he was shouting at people that they must live their lives according to a book written by those divinely inspired by the stop sign. Imagine he asked for contributions or a tithe to help fun the work of the holy stop sign. Imagine if he had millions of followers who likewise believed the will of the stop sign was known through a book. Imagine if he made lots of money and lived lavish lifestyles off of the contribution on stop sign believers.Now imagine if those millions of stop sign believers tried to change the laws in your country to favor those who accept the stop sign. They want to affect how you live your life and what freedoms you have based off of what somebody claims is the will of the stop sign, and you have only their word. There is no way to see if they are actually right. You just have to take it on faith.

I bed you’d be pretty pissed off. I bet you’d try and point out that the guy on the corner is mad, and he does not really speak for the stop sign. I bet you’d try to get proof that he spoke for the stop sign, or that the stop sign even had a will in the first place! I bet you’d fight to stop them from telling you how to live your life, what freedoms you had, all because of what they think a stop sign is telling them. Sounds pretty insane right?

That is how Atheists feel about you. (You being if you are in fact a believer in a higher power who also believes that the will of said power can be known, and that it is your duty to tell others how to live and enact laws if need be)

Christians and premarital sex

10 Feb

Why is it so important to wait to marriage? Well, back when the bible was being written (and up until recently) there was no way to tell for sure if a child was yours. Women were property, their main value derived from their ability to have children. They were property used by men to beget more men. Marriage was primarily a financial transaction where the husband buys a wife from the wife’s father. The father then walks his daughter down the aisle and “gives” his daughter to the other man. It’s all about property. Thus it was important to the men that their “property” not be previously “used”.

The theology behind it was just whipped up out of early church father’s utter disdain for woman and the human body. St. Augustine for example hated women and sex, and from this hate centuries of boys and girls were brought up to be ashamed of their bodies and desires. Your body and desires are perfectly natural and there is nothing wrong or dirty about them. Believing they are can lead to all types of sick disorders and self-loathing.

Besides these side effects, waiting to marriage can have some disastrous consequences. There are plenty of young evangelical men and women who are now rushing into marriage way to early, and for the wrong reasons. They’ve been told their entire lives that they can’t give in to their strongest urges until they’re married, and so these young adults are diving into marriage in their late teens, early twenties, just so they can have sex. They might not have ever dated anyone else seriously, and they aren’t fully ready to support themselves. Financial stress is one of the leading causes of divorce, and these kids just aren’t set up well enough on their own two feet to be in a marriage.

Here are the divorce rates among Christians, Jews, and Atheists:

Religion % have been divorced
Jews 30%
Born-again Christians 27%
Other Christians 24%
Atheists, Agnostics 21%

(I wouldn’t be surprised if  Born-again is so high up there because the kids rush into marriage just to have sex)

It’s important to experiment in life to see what works for you. You’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t experience all life has to offer before you die.  I have a housemate that is engaged to a woman he’s never had sex with. The woman does not want to have sex before marriage, and so he’s going to wait 5-6 years (supposedly, if they last that long) to marry her and then have sex. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. What if he marries this person and they don’t have good sexual chemistry? Then he’s shafted for life! And don’t try and say “Well, the other qualities that makes him love her should overpower the lack of sexual chemistry”. That’s naive and unrealistic. Sex matters. You can have a great personality, but if the sex just isn’t good, the marriage/relationship is not going to work.

Telling kids to wait until marriage also increases the chance of teen pregnancy. In September 2009, a study came out showing a link between how religious a state is, and the teen pregnancy rate. Here is an indisputable FACT of life that will not change no matter what any religious book will ever say: Teens will have sex. This has been true for all  time, and will continue to be true forever. Telling teens to not have sex until they are married does nothing to keep them from having sex. Abstinence only does not work. Instead they will just not use birth control and will get pregnant, which raises the number of abortions. (Hint, want to stop abortions? Teach safe sex)

When it comes down to it, sex is all about responsibility. Some people are more responsible than others at different ages. I was very responsible when I was a teenager, many of my friends were not. Now that I’m an adult, I’m even more responsible, yet I know people my age and older who aren’t. It depends on the person. Some people are emotionally mature enough to handle sexual activity in their teens, some are not. If they are ready for sex, they must be responsible enough to also use protection consistently. Diseases are out there and they do not magically disappear when you get married.

If some people feel they are not ready for sex and want to wait until marriage, that’s fine, it’s their body, they can make that choice, but don’t then go and try to tell me I should do the same, that my body is sinful and dirty, that
I should be ashamed just like them. Marriage is an outdated patriarchal institution when it comes to managing sex.

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