Fundie Mental

28 06 2011

There’s a very scary article over at AlterNet about the blind spot Americans seem to have for the christian extremists in this country. These so-called christians routinely say and do things so far removed from the principles of their religion’s founder that they are philosophically closer to the fundamentalist muslims they claim to abhor. Less extreme christians airily dismiss their radical fellow believers “as not representative of christianity“, or “they’re just a fringe group“. Very few moderate christians loudly and publicly denounce their more violent brethren, putting them in exactly the same position as moderate muslims in the wake of atrocities by islamic extremists.

Make no mistake, these home-grown christian taliban are a deadly threat to our Republic. Like the mujahedin of Afghanistan, these christian extremists see themselves as god’s army, and their goal is to impose strict religious law over their home country. They are willing- even eager- to kill their perceived enemies in furtherance of this goal. Unlike the mujahedin, however, these christian fundamentalist loons are a serious threat to the security of the United States because they are already here. Worse, the willful refusal to decry their actions by their co-religionists allows them to operate with little or no checks on their behavior. One need only look at Eric Rudolph for confirmation of this statement. After committing violent terrorist acts against American citizens, American christians sheltered and aided him to evade the police.

Many of these so-called christian fundamentalists are thinly-disguised (at best) racists and xenophobes. One of the founders of the christian reconstruction movement, Rousas John Rushdoony, was outspoken about making mixed-race marriage illegal. He also claimed that slavery practiced in the American south was inherently benign and that slavery was the natural state for “some people”. Christian dominionism/christian reconstructionism is predicated on the idea that all laws must be limited by the laws of the christian god. For those who think that this idea has no following among mainstream christians, I suggest you examine the public speeches of Mike Huckabee- who was at one time a contender for the presidency.

The fact that this sort of sectarian garbage is popular enough to propel a bible-thumper like Huckabee to national prominence should be a warning sign of trouble in the future. Despite Huckabee’s absence from the current presidential contender field, the same sort of batshit-loonie christian fundamentalism is profoundly present in the persons of several of the republicans seeking the nomination. No religion- not even the christianity tepidly followed by an overwhelming majority of Americans- should be permitted to have political power. Granting priests political power invariably results in pogroms, witch-hunts, jihads, and crusades. In every age, the priest (however defined) has always been hostile to liberty. Despite these historic truths, a large and vocal minority are actively working to create a christian theonomy or theocracy in the United States.

The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant – baptism and holy communion – must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel. The way to achieve this political goal is through successful mass evangelism followed by constitutional revision. – Gary North

We believe that the whole Word of God must be applied to all of life. It is not only our duty as individuals, families and churches to be Christian, but it is also the duty of the state, the school, the arts and sciences, law, economics, and every other sphere to be under Christ the King. Nothing is exempt from His dominion. We must live by His Word, not our own. – Mark Rushdoony

Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost, as the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over every aspect and institution of human society. – Dr. James Kennedy

The goal of America’s Providential History is to equip Christians to be able to introduce Biblical principles into the public affairs of America, and every nation in the world, and in so doing bring Godly change throughout the world. We will be learning how to establish a Biblical form (and power) of government in America and we will see how our present governmental structures must be changed. Since the principles we will be learning are valid in every society and in any time in history, they will be able to be applied throughout the world and not just in America. As we learn to operate nations on Biblical principles, we will be bringing liberty to the nations of the world and hence fulfilling part of God’s plan for the nations. – From America’s Providential History (a history textbook for christian home-schoolers) by Mark A. Beliles and Stephen K. McDowell.

We believe that institutionally Christianity should be the official religion of the country, that its laws should be specifically Christian. – Rev. David Chilton, Church of the Redeemer, Placerville, CA.

Civil Officials must acknowledge the lordship of Christ, and obey his rules for civil governments. – Gary DeMar and Peter Leithart

These creatures are publicly stating their intentions to destroy our Republic in the name of their god, and yet there is no public outcry. Supposedly moderate christians do not denounce and distance themselves from their rabid fellow believers. Why not? Those same “moderate” christians were very public about wanting muslims to denounce islamic fundamentalists. Are they completely blind to their own hypocrisy?

I have repeatedly said that I care not what god or gods you may worship. If you want to believe that there is only one true god named Orgo who lives in a lake, be my guest. If you want to sacrifice a tenth of your income to your church/temple/mosque, I say- go for it. If you want to pray to the Giant Space Goblin or Ymir or Zeus, that is your business. More power to you. Where I draw the line is when you try to force anyone else to live by your religion’s rules. If you want to live that way, feel free. Your right to believe what you wish stops where that belief intrudes on the rights of other people to believe what they wish. If your god or gods are unhappy with the existence of unbelievers, they can miracle the infidels away. As soon as you try to help your deity of choice with this project, you become my enemy, and the enemy-general of all men, to be dealt with as wolves are.

Current status: profoundly irked

Current music: Young Turks by Rod Stewart

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Folly Writ Large

13 06 2011

I sometimes despair at the pathetic attention span so often demonstrated by my fellow Americans.

In the past few weeks, a great many important things have been happening all over the world. The government of Syria has been using increasingly brutal means of crushing dissent, lest Bashar al Assad go the way of ben Ali and Mubarak. In doing so, Assad has brought his people ever closer to the precipice of open revolt. Open revolt is already underway in Yemen, where a rebel attack on a mosque seriously injured Yemen’s embattled president. Also in Yemen, the not-very-covert US campaign to attack anything remotely resembling Al Qaeda with air strikes and drone attacks has been accelerated, in an attempt to do as much damage to Al Qaeda in Yemen before what’s left of the government there collapses. NATO is increasing the number and frequency of air strikes in Libya, trying to kill Muammar Ghaddafi without technically trying to kill him. The government of Russia is steadily returning to the old Soviet ways, even ordering several hundred leather trenchcoats reminiscent of the old NKVD uniforms. North Korean shipping has been intercepted trying to transport arms to Burma/Myanmar in violation of a couple of different UN resolutions. Mexico is sliding farther into anarchy near the US border, with drug cartels making war on the government through assassination and open conflict- some of which is spilling across the border into the US.

Here at home, various police agencies have been alienating the citizens they supposedly serve through violent raids on non-violent suspects. Even such agencies as the Department of Education have SWAT units to carry out such assaults on private citizens. Police officers all over the country assault, rape, beat, maim, and kill US citizens without significant consequences beyond a few days suspension with pay, for the most part. Every single report commissioned by the government on the status of the “war on drugs” has repeatedly demonstrated that our decades-long attempt to recreate Prohibition has had exactly the same results as the original Prohibition: a supremely profitable environment for organized crime, millions of Americans thrown into prisons for ridiculous reasons, widespread violations of civil and Constitutional rights, and hundreds of billions of dollars poured down a rat hole for no measurable gain. Drugs are more readily available, cheaper, and are of a higher quality than before the “war on drugs” got kicked off by Tricky Dick Nixon in a vain attempt to distract the public from the unpopular real war in Vietnam. Despite this abject failure, there is no end in sight to the war on drugs. The FBI has been given wider powers to spy on American citizens for any reason at all without the bother of opening a formal investigation- effectively putting the US and Russia on equal moral footing as the Hoover-era Feebs were but pale reflections of the NKVD.

These things have all largely gone unnoticed by most Americans because their attention was elsewhere. What could possibly have so thoroughly distracted the public’s miniscule attention span? A US Congressman sent pictures of his schlong to a woman not his wife. Horror of horrors! That’s just … just … utterly and completely fucking lame.

What the fuck is wrong with you people? Are you all so fat, dumb, and happy that you are willing to allow our Republic to drift slowly into authoritarianism so long as there’s something salacious on TV? Millions of Americans shed their blood over the past two hundred years or so to secure freedom for their descendants, but those descendants are too busy watching the antics of various attention whores to notice as that freedom is slowly and inexorably stolen by their own elected representatives. Our elected officials- from both parties- are gradually taking away all of our cherished liberties in their blind pursuit of money and power for themselves and their cronies, and you can’t be bothered to pay attention because American Idol is on? If the Founders were alive today, they’d die again from shame at what apathetic, easily distracted simpletons their countrymen have become.

The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation– enlightened as it is– if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men.Samuel Adams

The greatest defense our country has against government tyranny is a well-informed and educated electorate. That defense has been weakened over the past fifty or so years by generations of Americans who care more for their rights than their responsibilities as citizens. Less than half of those eligible to vote do so in any given election. Because of this, our political processes have been hijacked by a vocal minority who regularly vote. In an election with a larger voter turnout, the fanatics on either side would be marginalized by the vastly larger number of moderates from both political parties. With a smaller voter turnout, the votes of that vocal minority of utter whackjobs have a far larger proportional influence than their demographic statistics ordinarily deserve. With lunatics and madmen at either end of the political spectrum  exerting ever-greater influence on our political leaders, our national political discourse has become increasingly polarized to moronic extremes. That fanaticism in politics disgusts and repels more and more moderates, leaving the loonies at either extreme increasingly in charge of the asylum. And so the vicious cycle continues unabated.

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. – George Jean Nathan

What can you do about it? VOTE, you lazy bastards! Vote in every election. Find a moderate in your local area and elect him or her to whichever position is up for election. If there aren’t any moderates on the ballot, find one and start a write-in campaign. Do this often enough at the local level and it will become easier to do at the state and federal level, too. The best way to drive the shrill fundamentalists out of the political process is to vote down their extremist agenda at every turn. Vote against every incumbent. Those in office are growing fat at our expense- kick the bastards out.

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people.  Of course, that is not true.  Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote – a very different thing.Walter H. Judd

We, the People, are supposed to be running this country. That only works if we, the People, get off our ever-fattening behinds and do our duty as citizens. There’s more to citizenship than your rights and paying taxes- you also have a responsibility to serve your country by voting in elections and taking a turn as a juror. We seem to have forgotten that our rights are balanced by responsibilities. Out of sheer laziness, too many Americans have allowed the government to take over far too many of those responsibilities. Thus, we have also granted our government the responsibility to take care of our rights, and governments are demonstrably unwilling to do so if it conflicts with the pursuit of power and wealth.

Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.Barry Goldwater

And so, our Republic dies the death of a thousand cuts. Not with a bang, nor with a whimper, but with the self-satisfied sighs of millions of indolent citizens who cannot be bothered to pay attention as their elected representatives sell their future for short-term gains.

The most important political office is that of the private citizen. – Louis Brandeis

Current status: Pissed off

Current music: I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie