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They’ll never know what hit them

In light of reports that Obama is starting to cave on the contraceptive issue to the red beanie boys, it would be a good idea to show him and the Democrats (forget the Republicans, they’re a lost cause) that secularism is alive and thriving in America.  I am amazed at the growing number of podcasts and personalities who have taken to online media in just the last couple of years.  They’re scientists like Richard Dawkins, former pastors like Dan Barker, advertising executives like Jane Caro, and lively and beautiful people like Margaret Downey and Seth, The Thinking Atheist.  They are changing the face of the non-believer, the skeptic, the freethinker.  They have a sense of humor and a genuine concern for people and the planet. Something is happening here.  Secularists are coming out of the closet in a wave.  Just like women who have finally had enough after the Komen debacle, the secular are starting to push back.

Even if you are a believer, of whatever, but are adamant about the separation of church and state, consider going.  If you think it is wrong that some old, celibate dudes from Vatican Inc can make decisions about your reproductive organs to preserve their job security, if you think it’s wrong that the religious get too many breaks, too much deference and have too much influence, if you think it is alarming that our government officials have to continually swear allegiance to a bunch of people who let a Bronze Age piece of literature run their lives, this rally might be for you.

March 24, 2012, the Mall, Washington, DC.  Be there.

Speaking of The Thinking Atheist, he’s got a new episode up today on Religion and Sexuality, which seems quite timely.  “We interview Dr. Marty Klein http://www.martyklein.com, author of such books as “America’s War on Sex: The Attack on Law,Lust & Liberty.”  And we speak with Darrel Ray, Ed.D, author of the book “Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality.”

(Too funny, that podcast veers wildly from professional to profane and Seth turns out to be somewhat of a prude.  Towards the end, it even made me squirm uncomfortably, which just goes to show that we’re not all the same and there are places even the ungodly won’t go.)

********************************

Santorum picked up wins in some states in yesterday’s Republican primaries.  Veddy interesting.  I think this is how it’s going to work out: Romney has the party apparatus and the financing guys all lined up but he’s going to have to take on Rick Santorum as VP to appease the mighty religious contingent.  Come to think of it, the red beanie boys must have seen the numbers over the weekend and that’s why they’re pushing Obama to make compromises on the contraceptive front.

Everyone knows that the VP spot is largely ceremonial (which is why I want Hillary to stay clear of it, but I’m pretty sure she already knows this).  But the “Christians” will like the idea of Ricky standing by in the wings and *counseling* the Mormon on what is morally right, like Mitt is going to spend the next four years tearing his garments over abortion and birth control.  Am I right, rapture-ready people?

So, where is Rick Santorum getting all of his support?  Beats me, I still think the country is evolving away from religion, which is why Vatican Inc is getting so panicky and pre-emptive.  But Santorum did get the Duggar endorsement.  I have relatives who are in awe of the Duggars.  Recently, I forced myself to sit through some of their youtube episodes to see what the attraction is.  I mean, one particular relative made it sound like Michelle Duggar was Mother Teresa and General Patton all rolled up in one.  Her family is held up as some kind of example of perfection.

Ehhhh, I’m not feelin’ it.  But I think I see what the problem is.  Here it is: the people who admire the Duggars have somehow convinced themselves that modern women have been deceived into a unfulfilling life of hard work when they would be much happier if they stopped fighting the natural and godly order of things, got back into their houses and produced a lovely family full of clean, obedient and musical children.

I don’t know *what* makes them think this is a good thing for all women and children.  It is held up as an ideal of Godly perfection but it ignores everything about human nature.  And it’s not like this relative hasn’t seen this kind of lifestyle played out disastrously before in a different high control group religious cult.  The Duggars are no different.  The boys’ profile pages are full of their favorite subjects, like math and science (they’re all homeschooled).  The girls’ pages are mostly devoid of subject matter.  Girls have a father figure holding authority over them for all of their lives from father to husband to older sons.  They don’t have careers outside the home and they are expected to leave their family size up to God.  The whole family travels as a pack together.  Or they split up into other reasonably large sized chunks.  The children sleep in dorms.  They rarely have a minute to themselves.  There is always a buddy or a sibling to be a minder.

I see heartbreak in the Duggar family future.  One boy says he wants to study science and cure cancer.  Can’t do that without fully accepting the concepts of natural selection and evolution.  He’s going to have to make a choice.  For all we know, he might be the kid who can crack this nut but we’ll never find out if he doesn’t go to a rigorous college or university and if he stays within the family’s faith and circle, he won’t ever get that opportunity.

There’s a good probability that some of the younger boys will be gay.  I’ve read about this before about large families and gay sons. (need citation)  It’s either related to the size of the family or the number of older brothers.  Evolutionally, it kind of makes sense.  If you have a large number of siblings and your parents die, it’s good to have a couple of kids around who won’t have kids of their own who can provide resources and take on parenting tasks.  I think that having a gay kid in a large family is a blessing, but I’m betting the Duggars don’t.  And I’m preeeetty sure I know which one of these kids it’s going to be (betcha the Duggars do too).

Then there are the girls.  One of them, Jinger Duggar, has a very expressive face and is frequently caught on camera rolling her eyes or otherwise having a “And that affects me *how*?” look.  There’s even a couple of websites dedicated to freeing Jinger Duggar.  But she’s not the one I would expect to be the rebel.

Nope, I’m placing my money on Jessa Duggar whose natural extroversion, wit and ambition are not going to be satisfied with a batch of babies.  No, not Jessa.  Jessa likes the Prayer of Jabez.  Jessa wants prosperity.  Her focus on the success of the family business makes her an excellent family spokesdaughter.  I’d like to see her father try to hand her authority over to some fresh faced Christian boy who thinks he can guide and protect her.  That’s a series I’d be willing to watch on TLC.

Then there’s oldest daughter, Jana.  At 22, she’s unmarried and probably close to her expiration date.  What’s up with that?  Can’t they find some decent courtship material for her or is she holding out for a conservatory education so she can continue to play the harp in peace for a few hours a day?

That’s not to say their childhood is bad.  They’re clean, well fed, well cared for and none of them appear to be stupid. Anyway, it’s all they know, since the most contact they have with the outside world in their childhood is with the production crew that follows them around and their own circle of like minded Christian families. But they are a herd and in this herd there are mavericks.  Their world is highly intolerant of mavericks.  It’s going to be very hard on some of them to lose the love that Michelle and Jim-Bob have spent so much time and energy creating.  They either have to deny their faith and upbringing or they have to deny themselves.

And this is a choice that the Duggars would like to impose on the rest of the country.  In the world of the conservative religious, the only grace you get is from Jesus.  The rest of the country should not expect unconditional love under a Christan regime.

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21 Responses

  1. Having been raised in a supposedly Roman Catholic family in which my siblings and I were sent to Catholic schools and received all the doctrinal instruction and forced to attend mass etc. I have this to say. My parents, like many Catholic adults, did not go to mass because they used birth control, (Three children were quite enough for my Mother). I never quite bought the dogma even as a child. My Catholic education continued right on to college at what has been called the Pontifical University, the center of all catholic learning in the United States. One did not graduate unless multivarious theology courses were completed. I remember my first course in which we were told we were going to learn that there was a God from the standpoint of reason. I thought oh goodies now I will actually be able to believe. After all sorts of supposed proofs like, “First Cause” etc., we then learned in the end we all we had to take it on faith. Somehow this did not seem rational to me. Nevertheless. I went on to earn my BA and one of my graduate degrees from that institution only because it had one of the best departments in the country for my field of study. Lately, I saw the current President of that University going on about having to cover contraceptives for its people and it made me blush. It just isn’t ” rational to expect women to become baby makers as their only function in life or to add innocent children into this world that are doomed to live in poverty, because their parents cannot support them. Nor is it humane to expect women to sacrifice their very lives because the Red Beanies or Rick Santrums of this world, who never have to experience child birth to dictate to women what they have to do.

    • Santrum. Is that a portmanteau of santorum and tantrum? I like.

    • Not judging – besides it’s none of my business – but when I learned that Karen Garver Santorum had had 7 pregnancies within 10 years, one resulting in an abortion, I couldn’t help wondering: Was that really something she chose? And then having her eighth baby at age 48?

      And seeing the picture at the top of the Duggar family site makes me kind of sad (and creeps me out a bit too). Not because they are so many, but because they are so many, looking so unnaturally clean-cut, fresh-faced, well-groomed, happy-happy … I get the same eery feeling as when I’m introduced to members of the LDS cult.

      • Karen Santorum didn’t have an abortion. The Santorums were trying to decide whether or not to abort their youngest child but Karen went into labor which made the decision for them. Since I read about this, I’ve been amazed at Santroum’s determination to deny others the choice that they had.

        Karen Santorum lived with an abortion doctor who was twenty years her senior throughout her twenties.

        • Oops, it’s late for me and I confused my facts. The pregnancy that I described above occurred many years ago and baby boy lived only a few hours. The Santroums took the body home and showed the body to their other children and slept with the body before taking it back to the hospital the next day.

          Sorry for the repretitive use of “the body” but neither “he” nor “it” felt right.

        • Probably should have made myself clearer. What I was reacting to was not the abortion/or not, but a woman having 7 babies in the span of only 10 years (and then having yet another at age 48) and wondering if that was actually a choise made by herself. Which I have a hard time believing. Not judging, not condemning, just … incredulous.

          And whom Karen Santorum lived with before she married is of no interest to me. And that most certainly is none of my business.

  2. What puzzled me about that pastel clad Duggart family portrait was, it looked to me like two families, could be two brothers, so much in harmony that not only were their children the same age but also the same sex. Except for the girl in the middle and the children no.5 from both right and left, it looks like two identical families, mirroring each other.

    But alas. It’s one family! One woman having given birth to 19 children. Jesus! And all children having names starting with a J. As in Jesus?

    • They’re running out of girl names. What are they going to do when all they have left is Jezebel?

  3. I’m a believer who believes absolutely in the separation of church and state. That said, I would no more attend a convention featuring Richard Dawkins and Dan Barker than I would attend a convention featuring Rick Santorum and Pat Roberts. None of the four named respect me as a thinking person and at least three of them disrespect me as woman.

    • I think you have made your point before about sexism by Dawkins over the elevator incident. I happen to agree with Dawkins. If you want me to explain it on the frontpage, I will. It’s a non-issue. If you’re making that call based on his elevator gate comments, well, you’re just wrong and so was elevator gate girl, whose name escapes me.
      As for Dan Barker, I’ve never heard him utter a single sexist thing. Please provide explicit details in full.
      How you managed to lump barker and Dawkins with Santorum and Roberts is beyond me. Btw, there are plenty of female non-believers like Margaret downey, Julia Sweeney and Jane caro. They are ALL strong feminists.
      Your objections don’t make ANY sense.

  4. This is kind of superficial but I’m really bothered by the fact that all the Duggar kids look like the mother who has no neck, her big bobble head sits squarely on her shoulders as do theirs.
    Isn’t there a line in “Cat on a hot tin roof” about inbred “no neck monsters?”
    I always assumed that the children were given J names in honor of Jim Bob.
    And, btw, the oldest boy married a girl who looks like his mother and , also, has no discernible neck.

    • Umm . . . a small thing . . . I looked at the video with the sound off
      and I didn’t see what looked like any no-neck people to me. The daughter standing in the dark blue dress with white slash seemed to have a muscular neck perhaps, but isn’t that what Martha Stewart would call “a good thing”?

      Whereas I was weirded out by what looked like all the excess cheeriness to me … like bottles of uppers and fliers were handed out and sucked down all around.

  5. I suspect Duggar type families to be extreme outliers at the edge of the religionist community. There are millions and millions and millions of religionists and they will not go away or die out.

    I read an interesting article once about the role of the DLC Free Traderite Democrats in helping to recruit so many new millions of people to religionism. The thesis was this: when the Free Traderite Democrats and the Republicans worked together to destroy millions of non-PhD jobs all over America through Forced Free Trade, millions of people who had their lives destroyed realized that their lives would stay destroyed for the rest of their life. When they realized that “reality” would never again have anything to offer them, they took refuge in magical thinking (religion) and became the vast recruiting base from which the Sara Paylinz and the Rick Santorums and the Huckabees and the MegaChurch entrepeneurs
    recruit their following. If we want to reverse that, we will have to take our government back from the Free Trade Treasonists and start restoring the millions of good non-PhD jobs back to middle America. Meanwhile, I wish the freedom-from-forced-religionism community every success in holding the line against the massed millions of no-material-hope-left magical thinkers. Maybe there are enough millions of us to hold that line till we figure out how to reconquer our government from the Free Trade Occupation and begin working on the no-hope-for-millions side of the social-economic equation.

    Meanwhile, if the Free Trade Occupation Govermnent succeeds in exterminating every vestige of the pharmaceutical industry from America, that eager young Duggar boy will have to go to China if he wants to cure cancer.

    • Disagree about the religionists dying out. From my observation, the duggars appeal to Fox news viewers of a certain age. Everyone else I’ve queried thinks they’re waaaaaaasy outside the mainstream.
      Even catholic women, who are supposed to abstain from all birth control use contraceptives at the same rate as everyone else. I’ve also read somewhere that the mega churches arent as popular as they were a few years ago.
      The duggars are a curiosity for voyeurs. And it’s all about sex.

  6. ( I tried watching the Madonna halftime show and the screen said:
    This video unavailable due to NFL copyright claim. Oh well . . . )

    • That’s weird. The nfl must have done that very recently. It was available all day Monday and Tuesday.

      • Serves me right for not having watched it the very first day you posted it. Let that be a lesson to me, if I am capable of learning lessons.

  7. Meanwhile, here is a webnews item from what appears to be an Occupy-affiliated blog. It is titled ” Reid sneaks SOPA back into Senate under new name”.
    http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/02/08/reid-sneaks-sopa-senate-82141/

    • Jeez, it’s like zombie warfare. These people never give up, do they? What the hell are they so afraid of? I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Lieberman is behind this one and the copyright kimono has been lifted. Now we can see what they really want.

    • Reid, another bought and paid for shill of Big Business. I expect that Pelosi will be working on the same in the House.

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