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    • The Left Wing “Shit Sandwich” Dilemma
      Kamala Harris and Joe Biden each have terrible records. There is no reason to believe they will do much that is good, and every reason to believe they will do much that is bad. Trump will, at least for Americans, probably be even worse. (It is less clear he will be better for foreigners.) The […]
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Proud Nations

rainbow-wallpaper-18Congratulations to everyone out there who can now share equally in the benefits of marriage that the state provides. That’s justice. No longer will same sex couples find themselves locked out of hospital rooms, denied tax breaks and excluded from other benefits that heterosexual couples have taken for granted for centuries.

Just out of curiosity, I girded my loins and went over to Fox News to check out the reaction from the hysterically nauseated homophobes who think that this ruling is going to precipitate the end of civilization as we know it. It’s always amusing to watch their reactions, especially since they seem to be in denial about what modern heterosexual married couples do to each other in bed. But, whatever. Not my problem.

But I did see this little bit of stupidity on their breathless “the-World-is-going-to-end-now-that-the-gays-can-marry” page. Take a look:

We don’t have to guess about the sociological implications of Friday’s decision. Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, contends that the legitimization of same-sex unions in Scandinavian countries has caused the heterosexual marriage rate to drop dramatically, while the number of children born out of wedlock has risen, resulting in numerous societal problems.

The reason for the drop in the heterosexual marriage rate is clear:  if marriage can be redefined to include any and every relationship, then why bother to marry at all? Anytime you counterfeit something, you cheapen the value of the real thing, and gay marriage is “counterfeit marriage” (In fairness, heterosexuals have also been cheapening the value of marriage for years through adultery and divorce.)

As a Christian, I am most concerned about the spiritual implications of Friday’s decision. During the oral arguments for this case on April 28, Justice Kennedy noted that the traditional definition of marriage “has been with us for millennia. It’s very difficult for the Court to say, ‘Oh, well, we know better.’”

Friday, the Supreme Court said in essence, “We know better than God how to define marriage.”  For thousands of years both Christians and Jews have believed in both the Old and New Testament definition of marriage that was  written by Moses and affirmed by Jesus Himself when He said that God “made them male and female … For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Matthew 19:4-5).

Jesus taught that sex was a gift from God between one man and one woman in a marriage relationship. Any variation from that—premarital sex, adultery, polygamy, unbiblical divorce, or homosexuality—is a deviation from God’s original plan for sex.  Friday’s Supreme Court decision represents a collective shaking of our fists in God’s face saying , “We don’t care what You say about life’s most important relationship. We know best.”

The guy who wrote this about the effects of marriage in Scandinavia clearly doesn’t understand the research but this is really how these people think.

They don’t get it that the reason why marriage rates are down in Scandinavia is because the social safety net there is so strong, and, I’ve heard from people who have actually lived in Sweden that the culture worships children, that there is no need to get married if you become pregnant. The parent-child relationship is considered so important that the state makes sure that it’s strong with economic assistance and job security. In Finland, for example, each new baby gets a gift box of clothes, diapers, blankets and other goodies (including condoms for the parents). The maternity box even serves as a first bed complete with a mattress. How cool is that? I’ll tell you, it’s very cool. And it doesn’t matter how much money you have. Every child is entitled to the same start in life in Finland. That’s so, so, what’s the word? Enlightened, or kind, or fair-minded or something.

Commie slacker parasite newborns in Finland get these things in a maternity box without putting any of their delicate scrumptious skin in the game

Even if Scandinavian countries didn’t force their citizens to get gay married, they would still have this incredible safety net for children and their parents regardless of marital status. There is no shame or economic pain attached to having children out of wedlock in Scandinavia so there’s no need to get married. Imagine that! Having children because you want them regardless of whether you are married. Why, that would almost make abortion unnecessary.

As for cheapening marriage, the exact opposite is true with this supreme court ruling. In fact, it shows just how valuable marriage is to all people who can derive real tax benefits and other privileges from the state sanctioned married state. It kind of reinforces how important that license is. If you’ve got it, your retirement bennies are transferable, your property is covered, you can give your trusted partner the authority to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated. You know, important stuff. Now, gay and lesbian couples can have those very valuable benefits. That’s all this ruling means.

Of course there’s more to it than that from a societal point of view. It does give married same-sex couples the dignity they’ve been forced to carry all by themselves. By the way, is there something seriously wrong with Clarence Thomas or what? I’m beginning to think he has some kind of personality disorder. But if what Atrios calls “the Olds” don’t want to join the party and celebrate, fine, let them go sulk in a corner. Their opinions are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

It’s really too bad that so many people felt coerced into marriage back before the Pill and are projecting their envy and bitterness on the rest of society. They do have a choice. They can be Calvinistic crepe hangers or they can let their Grinchy little hearts grow 5 sizes by enjoying other people’s happiness. But they seem determined to not only refuse to evolve but also to prevent other people from evolving too. And their chosen media seems willing to support their stubborness. I ask myself, what’s in it for Fox News and the wealthy people it represents? Because when they say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money. Well, Fox News is catering to the olds now but that’s not going to last forever.

Anyway, that brings us to the whole silly so-called “Christian” thing.

I don’t care.

No, seriously.

I don’t care what you believe. It’s none of my business. In any case, if the bible is nothing more to me than bronze age and iron age writings and not some divinely inspired rule book, then it’s useless to keep bringing it up as something I need to pay attention to. There are better sources of morality than that book.

Just like it’s none of your business to decide what people do in the privacy of their own homes between two consenting adults. There’s absolutely no reason for you to get involved in that. I’m not interested in your reasons for why you think this is your business or why it makes you feel superior to judge and criticize people so wholly unconnected with you in an attempt to shame them and deprive them of their happiness.

If that’s what it means to be Christian these days, it’s not a very good recruiting tool. That’s what the current research is showing as well. It’s anti-evangelical. Not only is it not working, it’s turning people off from the Republican party. That’s got to be of some concern to the small evil group who runs Fox News and the world to whom no one we know belongs.

Republican cruel, harshly punitive “you’re on your own” brand conservatism and fundamentalist evangelical so-called “Christians” are inextricably tied to one another in the minds of voters now. You just wait and see, somehow, the party has to ditch you people to make itself look cool and attractive again. It’s coming. And if it’s as cruel to you as you have been to the LGBT community, African Americans, poor hungry children and the unemployed, well, you have it coming. It will probably look something like the Republican party aggressively courting libertarians and younger people who have been forced to pay the freight on every little thing your generation took for granted. They’ll start looking at your Social Security benefits as something they shouldn’t have to pay for. Generational warfare.

But for you diehard “Christian” homophobes, I just think that’s a waste of time to be grumpy, unattractive, religious bigots, After all, it’s not gay people who are making working peoples’ lives miserable and eroding our quality of life. Where people, gay or straight. put their naughty bits, has nothing to do with the erosion of the middle class or income instability or exploitative profit mining of American working people by the wealthy and well-connected or whether the conservatives that frequent Fox News really, really hate Social Security with a white hot passion (because they do).

Funny that Fox News would spend its fury on same sex marriage and abortion when the plight of the long term unemployed gets completely ignored.

I don’t think that Jesus would approve.

Happy Hanukkah!

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. As Jewish holidays go, it’s not the most significant but it is seasonal in that like many religious holidays at this time of year, there is an emphasis on light. Wait, the date of Hanukkah is not based on the solar calendar, right? So, what does that mean? For answers to this and other burning questions about Hanukkah, let’s go to YouTube.

I found two topical videos on what Hanukkah is all about. The first is from the Christian perspective:

Hokay, moving right along.

These two know the whole story of Hanukkah and are inspired by Taylor Swift?

And that’s what Hanukkah is all about, Charlie Brown. I’ll bet you’ll be singing that tomorrow. I know I will.

Anyway, Happy Hanukkah to all my illuminated friends in Squirrel Hill.

Saturday: Right Wing Christianity is an oxymoron

Evil hides behind many beautiful faces

From the Globe and Mail we get this description of the murderer who confessed to shooting more than 87 people at a youth camp in Norway:

“He describes himself as a Christian, leaning toward right-wing Christianity, on his Facebook page,” Mr. Andresen said.
[…]
Mr. Breivik’s Facebook page was blocked, but a cached version describes a conservative Christian from Oslo who owned his own organic farming company, called Breivik Geofarm.

The profile veers between references to lofty political philosophers and gory popular films, television shows and video games. The Facebook account appears to have been set up on 17 July. The site lists no “friends” or social connections.

The profile lists interests including hunting, political and stock analysis, with tastes in music ranging from classical to trance, a hypnotic form of dance music.

Mr. Breivik had also set up a Twitter account recently, with a single post on July 17, a citation from 19th century thinker John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.”

If you are a conservative, “right-wing” Christian, please note that horrors like this will be permanently associated with your ideology. Don’t give me that crap about, “Well, you can’t blame all of us for the actions of a few.” Yes, I’m talking to YOU. You know who you are. I know you personally. I know how you go off on angry tirades against anyone who doesn’t toe your particularly militant form of Christianity. I see how you allow bad things to happen to good people because you put your faith in God and are going to close your eyes and pray that the Rapture is just around the corner. Who is telling you that it is OK to remain passive in the face of so much misery?

This massacre is the result of the eschatological furor to purge the earth of all that the right-wing “Christian” thinks is rotten. This is what you get when you demonize people who do not think that America is a Christian nation. This is what you get when you believe every mean-spirited, selfish, greedy, hard-hearted fecal emanation from the mouths of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson and the other false prophets.

The real Jesus said turn the other cheek, give away all of your goods, love your neighbor and that those who are good to the least among us would be with him in heaven.

He did not say, “kill the children of the people whose political views you do not like because this will teach them a lesson and bring on the Apocalypse.”

The rottenness of the world that you want to purge now includes you. The term “Christian” is fast becoming a dirty word, like Al Qaeda. Not Catholic or Lutheran or Presbyterian or Methodist.  *Christian*  It has taken on a whole new meaning in recent years.  When you walk into a party and announce your *Christianity* at the first opportunity (and I know you will), everyone will now know exactly what you mean.  It now means fundamentalist, narrow-minded, judgmental, self-righteous, anti-intellectual, selfish and now violent.  Is that what you want?

If that’s not what you want, turn away from the conservative TV and radio shows and religious programming with their false prophets.

You will have to answer to Jesus for what you have allowed to happen in his name.

Ezekiel 28:15-18

You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.

Through your widespread trade
you were filled with violence,
and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,
and I expelled you, O guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.

Your heart became proud
on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
I made a spectacle of you before kings

By your many sins and dishonest trade
you have desecrated your sanctuaries.
So I made a fire come out from you,
and it consumed you,
and I reduced you to ashes on the ground
in the sight of all who were watching.

Update: The backlash has begun.  This is the headline at the New York Times:

Norway Charges Right-Wing Christian

I feel sorry for all of the innocent Christians who we will now learn to fear.

Update II: This is from The Guardian, describing the murderer, Anders Behring Breivik:

It was revealed that the 32-year-old former member of the country’s conservative Progress Party – who had become ever more extreme in his hatred of Muslims, left wingers and the country’s political establishment – had ordered six tonnes of fertiliser in May to be used in the bombing. While police continued to interrogate Breivik, who was charged with the mass killings, evidence of his increasingly far right world view emerged from an article he had posted on several Scandinavian websites, including Nordisk – a site frequented by neo-Nazis, far right radicals and Islamophobes since 2009.

It is time to stop the madness in this country as well.  Recently, a moveon.org meeting was broken up by Tea Party activists (from Stephen Colbert’s site, of all places) who then proceeded to follow some of the meeting participants and harrass them.  Enough is enough.  Didn’t the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords teach these people anything?  Glenn Beck and the whole crazy anti-liberal, anti-islamic bigotry has to stop.  We need to shame these people because if we don’t, it won’t be long before some right wing christian decides to follow Anders Breivik’s example and we will all be sorry we didn’t put a stop to it.

Watch the video of the encounter.  Is Utoya far behind?