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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

politics

I hope everyone fared well during the government shut down. All bad things must come to an end, and after the latest smoke and mirrors by those crying little bitches in the tea party, their end is near as well. 

I spent most of my time regaling my representative, the not very honorable Justin Amash. On his FB page every day criticizing his actions, every day telling him to get to work, everyday accusing him of treason, everyday asking him to step down. 

He ignored me, but was still fun. After his constituents railed against him during the shutdown, he still voted against opening the government and raising the debt ceiling. I have nothing good to say about the man. His supporters were almost all from out of state, he's just hired help grabbing the Koch brother's money, he cares not about his district and what we want.

Some fun and not so fun events during the shutdown. One favorite; we had the "Ride for the Constitution" event where we were promised up to 10,000 angry white truckers descending on the capital. I think a handful of old white guys on their little tricycles showed up, not much else happened. The power of tea.

Another favorite, after the vote to reopen the government in the House was passed, religious lunatic Dianne Reidy, who also happened to be the stenographer, went on a rampage about Free Masons and god. Yeah, there's no harm to be seen in religion, praise be to god. The separation of church and state is tenuous at best.

When veterans showed up to protest against war memorial closures, the tea party clan got their ugly mugs in everyones face. Photo bomb city. Well, some vets were pretty pissed about inserting politics into the protest and let their voices be heard.

Goober, I mean Louie Gohmert, decided that if a debt default occurred, we should impeach the president. Ah logic, how we long for thee. The gentleman voted to close the government and not raise the debt ceiling, yet it is Obama's fault. 

Coming in 2014, remember that 144 republicans voted to destroy the economy. They all need to go.

justice

There will be no justice. After dealing with the release of killer George Zimmerman, the hits still keep coming. A South Carolina judge granted immunity to a man who killed an innocent teenager in 2010. The kid was in his car when he was shot. Another Stand your Ground case that allows killers to walk the street.

If you live in a state controlled by the GOP, remember that the NRA holds the leash to the party, and remember to duck.

 

 

history

We recently honored slave trader Columbus for his "discovery" of an already inhabited continent. I think we forget how influential American Indians were in this country's development. Much of the food we eat came from them, 26 of our states are from native languages and even the model for the Great Seal of the United States was modeled after the seal of the Six-Nations of the Iroquois.

worthwhile read to understand just how important a part that our indigenous population played in the creation of this country.

life

Yeah, I'm not much of a meat eater. Have no desire for the tainted food supply that sits on our shelves. Don't care what anyone else does, life is good. Everyone will get to the spot they need to be in when they are ready for it, or not. 

But this is so odd that I have to aggravate my friendly carnivores. A totally new term for me, the "cannulated cow."

Basically they open a hole into a cow's side to get permanent access to the stomach. That way they can just reach right in to get a sample of whatever is churning down there. Those samples are used to make sure productivity is always at its best. I'm sure it is a very limited process, and probably none make it to the table, but the way we treat our fellow beings is pretty damn weird.

religion

Good news for the country, Supreme Court Justice Scalia in a recent interview talks about how he believes in the devil. The devil doesn't work in the observable manner of the past, he's much wilier, and much more successful because of it. This guy helps shape the laws of the land, yet he cannot separate fact from fiction.

Happily Michele Bachman will be gone soon. Another perfect example of how the religious right's method of governance is based in delusion. Since she believes we are living in the End Times, why not rule the country with the same ignorance? It does not matter if you pollute the air, soil and water, we're not going to be here that long anyway. For more than a couple of centuries the eminent return of Jesus has been looked for. The signs are here every decade, yet the little guy refuses to come back. Hell, why come back anyway, the first time around he got his ass kicked.

education

You know your in trouble when too many science based organizations approve of set standards for science education, and you live in bible territory. Though Kansas had approved of the Next Generation Science Standards, the republican party wants it gone. They have filed a lawsuit that states the new standards violate student's religious freedom

Yes, they said it. Reality is a violation of religion. Amazing. Finally a real confession, and no one was tortured.

And because our schools are now in the control of the NRA, guns aren't a problem, but streaking is pretty damn serious. A fifteen year old schoolboy in Alabama was arrested for running naked across the field during a football game. 

One might think, ah, to be young again. A little prank, a few laughs, what fun. Not anymore. The young man hanged himself after being faced with expulsion and the possibility of being placed on a sex offender's list.

Just like every other part of our warped society, killing is fucking awesome, nudity or sex will ruin your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Views: 352

Replies to This Discussion

Great Neal!!!

Sean Hannity Lies

OCT 18 2013 @ 11:04AM

A pretty definitive exposure of the mendacious agit-prop being deployed to undermine the Affordable Healthcare Act. At this point, Fox News doesn’t just have to invent their own reality, they really have to invent the people affected by it. One thing you can be sure of: there will be no response from Hannity. Because the only response would be to admit error, and, as we know, that’s a cardinal sin on the far right.

Thanks doone.

Hannity is a piece of work. That whole news network is, yet so many believe the lies. Must appeal to their bias.

The Tea Party As A Religion, Ctd

OCT 18 2013 @ 12:42PM

Tea Party Religion

Ed Kilgore responds to my take:

I think Andrew’s on the right track, but I’d add a complicating qualifier. It’s not just that these culturally threatened folk embrace their politics like it’s a religion. The actual religious outlook many of them espouse—whether they are conservative fundamentalist Protestants or neo-ultramontane Catholics—has imported secular political perspectives into their faith. They’ve managed to identify obedience to God with the restoration of pre-mid-twentieth-century culture and economics, and consequently, tend to look at themselves as the contemporary equivalents of the Old Testament prophets calling a wicked society to account before all hell literally breaks loose. So their politics reinforces their religion and vice-versa, and yes, the Republican Party, like the squishy mainline Protestant Churches and lenient do-gooder Catholic priests, are generally within crisis-distance of being viewed as objectively belonging to enemy ranks.

I’m grateful for Ed’s refinement of the thesis – and to Rod Dreher’s. My basic point is that underlying far right politics and religion is the fundamentalist psyche, which is, in modernity, a reaction to bewildering social change and economic stagnation. But the eddies here are manifold and mutually reinforcing. If your religious faith demands total assent to an inerrant set of doctrines, how likely are you to engage in political dialogue as if you don’t know all the answers and need input from others? If deviation from inerrant truth means damnation, then how easy is it to transition to a politics aimed at compromise? And by erasing the distinction between the religious sphere and the political – indeed insisting that it must never be erased – you can see how this entire syndrome reinforces itself and is very hard to counter with the usual democratic methods.

And that’s why I do not believe we can have a political resolution in this country without first reforming Christianity, and distinguishing it from Christianist ideology. This is not easy, but the struggle to achieve this is winning some key reinforcements: Pope Francis and the next generation of evangelicals key among them. If some political Dishheads disdain our coverage of religion as gobbledygook – which is your right – then I hope you’ll see that the effort to reform Christianity is indirectly also a political project.

(Chart: The religious affiliations of Tea Partiers from “Religion and the Tea Party in the 2010 Election”(pdf))

this is from the Daily Dish

See, all you have to do is string a few words that don't belong together to be a star in the U.S. Happily you never see her anywhere but on fox.

Great job Neal.

Your country or rather some states in the US of A would not struggle to fit in the list of weird countries. How on earth do you shoot a guy in his car and a jury finds you not guilty and goes further to offer immunity!

The guys complaining about science standards would have a case if the lessons were to be had in church! In a public school, funded by taxpayers, that is pushing it too far!

Look Out, Dan Savage

The leader of Tea Party Unity has the game change to turn back the gay tide. A class action suit against homosexuality. Just all homosexuality. Like the AGs did with the tobacco companies.

A must read..

Look out tea party, Grayson has figured you out:

I think it’s already clear to people that the Republican Party is on its way out. The Republican Party is going to go the way of the Whig Party. The way the Whig Party disappeared in the 1830s in America, and the reason is simple. They simply won’t do anything useful for ordinary people. Whether the issue is jobs, or housing, or healthcare, or transportation, whatever the issue might be, they’ve got nothing, and it’s not our fault, but they’ve got nothing. They simply want to bring about the end of days as soon as possible. That is the ultimate tea party Republican desire, bringing about the end of days. The Republican Party’s become the largest suicide pact in history, and I hope that they don’t take us with them.

With all the end of times bullshit embedded in our politics, it is way past time to call them out.

I really enjoy this guy:

Continuing his attack further, he listed a host of domestic issues that the Tea Party has offered no solutions for, saying;

“…(the Tea Party) simply want to bring about the end of days as quickly as possible – that is the ultimate Tea Party Republican desire – to bring about the end of days. The Republican Party has become the largest suicide pact in history…”
He also blasted House Speaker John Boehner for his inability to harness his caucus and allowing the shutdown, saying he has become the “short order cook for the far-right wing;”

“…would you like some French fries or cheese with that?”

From the Big Think


The Bible Paradox


OCTOBER 20, 2013, 12:00 AM
Shutterstock_62785384

Nearly 80 percent of all Americans think the Bible is either literally true or is the inspired word of God. And yet, most Americans have no idea what is actually in the Bible, as Stephen Prothero notably demonstrated in his book Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know - and Doesn't

(To test your religious literacy, take Prothero's quiz here.)

And so we have the paradoxical situation in which we as a culture "have invested the words of this book with amazing authority even when we don't know what these words are and what they mean."


Advertising

So says Joel Baden, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. Baden gave a recent talk called "What Use is the Bible?" (see video below) at The Nantucket Project, a festival of ideas on Nantucket, MA. 

"The Bible has effectively ceased to become a text," Baden argues, but instead has become a symbol of power and authority "that is undergirded by the relatively uninformed faith commitments of the majority of the American public. To speak in the name of the Bible is to claim a piece of that authority."

And this is a power that can be abused, and often is. When people invoke the Bible, they are often seeking to invoke a deeper Biblical truth, one that represents a singularity of message and meaning. In other words, in order for the Bible to work as a prop, it needs to function like a sledgehammer. "Nobody wants a wishy-washy authority," Baden says.

Our religious traditions have taught us to read the Bible this way. Since we are conditioned to search the Bible for one meaning, we have lost the ability to be careful readers. 

In the video below, Baden does something radically different. He walks us through the two contradictory creation accounts in Genesis. On what day did God create the plants and the birds and land and sea and Adam and Eve? If you read Genesis I and II back-to-back you are bound to be thoroughly confused. So why couldn't the authors of the Bible get their stories straight?

"Whoever put these stories together effectively privileged form over content," Baden says. The Bible's author "was willing to sacrifice easy meaning and singularity of perspective for the presence in scripture of multiple perspectives." The author was "happier with an incomprehensible plot - an impossible story - than to have to give up one of these two viewpoints."

And so if we are to continue to invest as much authority in the Bible as we do, Baden says, we - as serious readers of the text - cannot pretend that the Bible is a single, clear statement of belief. Rather, "it is a jumble of beliefs," Baden says, "a combination of voices...embedded in the text right from the word 'Go.'"

So of what use is the Bible? This book is both the ultimate source of authority and completely indecisive. But that does not mean we should throw it away, Baden says. "This text that our culture holds most sacred is a living reminder that human interaction is founded on dialogue and not monologue - the inclusion of differences, not their exclusion.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

MORE FROM THE BIG IDEA FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20 2013

Religious Pluralism


The Bible is a source of great authority and it is also completely indecisive. In today's lesson, Yale Divinity School professor Joel Baden points out some of the striking contradictions in the... Read More…

More about the Tea Party Religion Like Behavior, when an Imaginary God is on your Side, Nothing you do is really crazy, as you are the Chosen People

October 17, 2013 5:26 PMConstitutional Conservatism As a Religion

By Ed Kilgore

In the debate over the durability of the Tea Folk (or as I more precisely prefer to call them, “constitutional conservatives” to acknowledge the fusion of free-market libertarians and the Christian Right around a rigid anti-government agenda), Andrew Sullivan has staked out a pessimistic position that suggests no strategic considerations or experience of defeat will soon change them. Like me, Sullivan eschews descriptions of these people as “nihilists.” Au contraire, they have very firm beliefs, goals and expectations.

This is a religion - but a particularly modern, extreme and unthinking fundamentalist religion. And such a form of religion is the antithesis of the mainline Protestantism that once dominated the Republican party as well, to a lesser extent, the Democratic party.
It also brooks no distinction between religion and politics, seeing them as fused in the same cultural and religious battle. Much of the GOP hails from that new purist, apocalyptic sect right now - and certainly no one else is attacking that kind of religious organization. But it will do to institutional political parties what entrepreneurial fundamentalism does to mainline churches: its appeal to absolute truth, total rectitude and simplicity of worldview instantly trumps tradition, reason, moderation, compromise.

I think Andrew’s on the right track, but I’d add a complicating qualifier. It’s not just that these culturally threatened folk embrace their politics like it’s a religion. The actual religious outlook many of them espouse—whether they are conservative fundamentalist Protestants or neo-ultramontane Catholics—has imported secular political perspectives into their faith. They’ve managed to identify obedience to God with the restoration of pre-mid-twentieth-century culture and economics, and consequently, tend to look at themselves as the contemporary equivalents of the Old Testament prophets calling a wicked society to account before all hell literally breaks loose. So their politics reinforces their religion and vice-versa, and yes, the Republican Party, like the squishy mainline Protestant Churches and lenient do-gooder Catholic priests, are generally within crisis-distance of being viewed as objectively belonging to enemy ranks.

That makes them seem irrational or even “nihilist” to those who don’t get their premises.

From Haidt via PM Carpenters blog

And that's where we were

From a Mother Jones interview with NYU's "moral psychologist" Jonathan Haidt, on "The Science of Tea Party Wrath":

For the first time in our history, the parties are not agglomerations of financial or material interest groups, they're agglomerations of personality styles and lifestyles. And this is really dangerous. Because if it's just that you have different interests, that doesn't mean I'm going to hate you. It just means that we've got to negotiate, I want to win, but we can negotiate. If it's now that 'You people on the other side, you're really different from me, you live in a different way, you pray in a different way, you eat different foods than I do,' it's much easier to hate those people. And that's where we are.

This does seem to be where we are, although not "for the first time in our history."

The growing separation between pre-Civil War North and South was as much a cultural divide as a political one. The North, though hardly a noble model of egalitarianism and the Enlightenment, was at least open to outside intellectual influences and eager for industrial development, whereas the South withdrew into paranoid spasms of fear about Northern encroachment on its lazy notions of agrarian bliss and its "peculiar institution" of slavery, which, in the mind of the antebellum South, transformed from a regrettable economic necessity into a moral good.

The South felt geographically trapped, politically disadvantaged and culturally superior. Thus its demagogues and fire-eaters had little trouble persuading the regionally righteous that its Cause was virtuous. In the end it made no difference how many times the nation's cool, reserved, patient and thoughtful Northern president assured Southern pols of his goodwill. That "monkey" of a tyrannical chief executive was out to demolish the South's way of life--along with its "freedoms"--brayed the demagogues. Their majority followers, nurtured on paranoia, readily fell into line. 

Prof. Haidt also says this, and for our analogy we can simply flip the partisan labels: "The rage on the Republican side is stronger, the Republicans have gotten much more extreme than the Democrats have."

We've been here before.

- See more at: http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/#sthash.Ihkkyhys.dpuf

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