Posts Tagged “2012 campaign”

Stop and ThinkYesterday I blogged about Indiana’s Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s claim that rape-pregnancies are “something that God intended to happen.” In the wake of the understandable shitstorm this kicked up, Mourdock claimed he hadn’t said what he clearly had said, and whined that he was being criticized. It’s true that some Christians — including GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney — disavowed Mourdock’s statement, but some are actively defending the guy. For example, we have this piece from Christianity Today (WebCite cached article):

According to CBS News and a number of other outlets, last night Republican candidate for an Indiana U.S. Senate seat Richard Mourdock suggested that pregnancies resulting from rape are “something that God intended to happen.”…

Then again, it may be even more “disrespectful to the survivors of rape” to fail to tell them about the wondrous redeeming power of God, even in the most horrible circumstances.

Actually, yes, it would in fact be exceedingly “disrespectful to the survivors of rape” to tell them, “It’s OK, God is great, so everything is fine!” Or, “You were raped and are now pregnant? What a wonderful gift God gave you, you must be so thrilled!” Would it be appropriate to say anything like this? What if the situation weren’t a rape or rape-pregnancy, but something else … say, losing a child in an auto accident, getting a diagnosis of terminal cancer, or having one’s home wiped out in a wildfire? Do Christians really think it helps anyone dealing with any of these situations to tell them that whatever happened to them is OK because God is still around? Is it in any way “respectful” to them?

Of course it’s not. What’s more, Christians know it! Any Christian who says it would be appropriate, is lying.

Of course this is not the first time a Christianist’s idiotic or reprehensible statement is defended by other Christianists. Back when Marion “Pat” Robertson declared that the Haiti earthquake had happened because Haiti had been cursed, he had no small number of fellow Christians defending him.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Christianist tribalism … where nothing any Christian says is ever out of bounds, and where everything a Christian says is rationalized and justified, no matter how horrid or untrue it is. These people just can’t help themselves. The idea that a fellow Christian could have done something wrong, is an admission they cannot and will not ever make. Theirs is a harsh black-&-white world, one in which it’s them against everyone else, where “the Enemy” will revel in their every misstep, thus they defend their fellow Christians at all costs, because they can’t abide the idea that “the Enemy” might get an occasional “win” now and then. It’s all very irrational and even childish … but hey, what can you expect?

What this really shows us, is that these people have no integrity or character. They can blather on all they want about their morality and ethics and how their belief in God makes them great people — but they have no reservations about defending the indefensible whenever they need to in order to protect one of their own. If they did have any integrity, they’d have been willing to say, “Mr Mourdock was out of line. His words are unacceptable and I will not defend them, or him. Until he atones for what he’s said and offers a contrite, sincere apology, we will have nothing more to do with him.” It can’t damage them to say something like this, even though they think it will kill them. That’s because fierce religionists don’t have any integrity, nor do they have the courage to admit one of their own might have been wrong. They just have their primitive, reflexive tribal instinct.

Hat tip: Friendly Atheist.

Photo credit: mikmikko, via Flickr.

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And Jesus WeptThe number of Religious Rightist candidates making idiotic, Puritanical declarations that expose them as hateful misogynists just keeps growing. First we had Todd Akin of Missouri, then Joe Walsh of Illinois. Now, as NBC News reports, it’s a candidate from Indiana, Richard Mourdock, who’s running for U.S. Senate, likewise exposing the R.R.’s irrational hatred of women (WebCite cached article):

Richard Mourdock, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Indiana, said in a debate on Tuesday that “even when life begins with that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.” …

“The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother,” Mourdock said. “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen.”

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney tried to deflect Mourdock’s spew:

Romney, who on Monday launched statewide ads endorsing Mourdock, distanced himself on Tuesday from the remark by his fellow Republican. “Governor Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

But really, how far can the guy go to get away from this? Mourdock wouldn’t have made this kind of statement if he didn’t think lots of Republican voters — whom Romney also represents — also believed it.

Mourdock isn’t apologizing for his comment, even though Romney dealt him that mild, implied slap:

Mourdock issued a statement after the debate that said: “God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.”

No, Mr Mourdock. Your critics are not “absurd and sick.” You — and the sanctimoniously-enraged Religious Right whom you appeal to — are the ones who are “absurd and sick.” You cannot simultaneously declare that rape “is something God intended to happen,” then later claim it’s “a horrible thing.” According to your own Abrahamic tradition, your God is benevolent and only capable of doing good. This means that, if he has willed something to happen, then by this definition it cannot be “a horrible thing.” Moreover, when you state that rape-pregnancy “is something God intended to happen” then you absofuckinglutely are stating that God truly does “want rape.” The logic of your statement doesn’t work any other way. So Mr Mourdock … give your fucking juvenile indignation a rest already, and take responsibility for your own fucking words. No one shoved them down your throat and forced you to say them. You came up with them all by yourself. Bellyaching that people have criticized you for having said them, is childish. Man up, grow up, and stop with your crybaby whining.

Note, this is not the first time I’ve heard from believers that rape, or rape-pregnancy, are “God’s will.” Military chaplains have made this claim, too.

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Crusaders at ConstantinopleNote: A minor update on the CT-5 primaries is below.

With primaries underway for both parties in Connecticut’s hotly contested 5th Congressional District, it almost goes without saying that the Republican candidates are falling all over themselves trying to present themselves as dutifully sanctimonious Rightists. They’ve been advertising themselves as “job creators” and as wanting to promote “freedom” (even though, if any of them are elected to Congress, they will never hire anyone, and will only reduce people’s freedom rather than enhance it). They’ve mostly steered clear of religion, but I knew it wouldn’t be long before their urge to express their piety and sanctity would overpower them. The Hartford Courant reports that the first of them to do this, is Mark Greenberg (WebCite cached article):

Republican congressional candidate Mark Greenberg questioned whether Islam was a peaceful religion Thursday and said he believed it was “a cult in many respects.”

His remarks were made in a radio interview on WNPR’s “Where We Live” program. …

When [host John] Dankosky asked Greenberg if people who don’t share those beliefs also change the country and help make it great, Greenberg said, “perhaps, to a certain extent” and went on to talk about aspects related to the religion that he found objectionable. For example, he said he doesn’t believe a mosque should be built near Ground Zero in New York City, and he questioned whether Islam was a religion of peace. …

“I think it’s more a blueprint for living one’s life — a cult in many respects,” he said of Islam. “It’s a religion, but it’s also a way of living.”

Although agreeing with Dankosky that Judaism and Christianity are also ways of living, Greenberg said there is a difference.

“Judaism and Christianity are very peaceful religions,” he said. “I think they are more peaceful than Islam.”

First, I need to begin by commenting that the word “cult” has more or less become useless. It’s a pejorative term, a label slapped on any other religion one happens to dislike. The word itself has long since lost any specific meaning. That Greenberg used it of Islam, just tells me he doesn’t like Islam — it doesn’t mean anything else.

Second, his claim that Islam is not a “religion of peace” but Judaism and Christianity are, is absurd on its face. All three religions have violent pasts and they have adherents willing to resort to violence in the names of their faiths. The scriptures revered by Judaism and Christianity are chock full of violence. Some of that violence was supposedly committed by God himself, and the rest was done by his human followers. Those revered texts tell of the many bloody wars Israel supposedly fought while it was a tribal confederation and then a kingdom, including massacres and genocides. Christians have marched to war in the name of their god Jesus and took part in atrocities of their own. As recently as the late 20th century, Catholics and Protestants in Ireland were killing each other to prove which church was more Christlike. Christians have even engaged in terror campaigns of their own. And modern Judaism isn’t free of the stain of violence either; they are one side of a decades-old conflict in the Middle East, and there are some violent extremists among Jews, too.

As far as I’m concerned, any religion that carries an entitlement to impose itself on other human beings and on reality, can lead to violence in some of its adherents. That’s as true of Islam as it is of Christianity, Judaism, and a whole host of others.

I’m dreading this primary season here in the Nutmeg State. I’m sure things are going to get even weirder, very soon (the primaries are less than a month away).

Update: Things have, indeed, ramped up a bit in the twin primaries for CT’s 5th District, as I predicted they would. Dankosky’s interview with Greenberg was part of a series of planned interviews with all of the CT-5 candidates from both parties. It turns out, as the Torrington Register-Citizen reports (cached), none of the rest of them did any better than Greenberg — and one declined the interview out of fear of being asked a question she’s successfully avoided answering. The 5th District is doomed, folks … not one of these slippery creatures deserves a place in Congress, however, one of them is guaranteed to end up there. Ouch.

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If it makes no sense, then it must be God's will ... because I said so! (PsiCop original)You just gotta love the pathetic collection of religionistic dolts known as the slate of GOP presidential candidates. They just don’t give up spewing “God” at every possible moment. No matter how stupid, inspipid, or trite it sounds. They also love to use — and reuse, and re-reuse — the same old tropes. It’s no surprise, then, that Karen Santorum, wife of presidential candidate Rick, echoed the sentiment of former candidate Michele Bachmann, as reported by the Christian Post (WebCite cached version):

Karen Santorum, the wife of GOP presidential front-runner Rick Santorum, told talk show host Glenn Beck on Thursday that it is “God’s will” that her husband is seeking the presidency though she was initially opposed to the idea.

No, Mrs Santorum. Your husband’s candidacy is most certainly not “God’s will.” It is, rather, his will — and his alone.

I’m not sure Mrs Santorum’s declaration bodes well for her husband’s candidacy. After Mrs Bachmann claimed that God would hand her a miraculous victory in the Iowa caucuses, her candidacy imploded and she was forced to give up.

Photo credit: PsiCop original.

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Rick Santorum by Gage SkidmoreReligious Rightists seem to lose their microscopic little minds when it comes to marriage … or more specifically, gay marriage. They hate it, and they don’t want gays to marry, but they have trouble articulating any rational reasons for their subjective distaste for it. The most recent example of their stupidity and ignorance about this subject, came when GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum — the new “darling” of the Republican primary now that he’s had a near-win in the Iowa caucuses — as reported by the Los Angeles Times tried to explain to a college audience why he thought gays should not be allowed to marry (WebCite cached article):

Santorum is an ardent, outspoken opponent of gay marriage, favoring an amendment to the Constitution that would define marriage as solely between a man and a woman. He received a rough welcome from a group of college Republicans in Concord — and it likely didn’t help matters when he compared a same-sex union to polygamy.

“Are we saying everyone should have the right to marry? So anyone can marry anyone else?” Santorum asked, according to a video by NBC News. “So anybody can marry several people?”

Video of Santorum’s idiocy can be seen courtesy of NBC News:

The logical (and legal) problem with equating gay marriage with polygamy is one I’ve pointed out before, and that is that a gay marriage is still a contract between two people (as is a current “standard” heterosexual marriage), whereas a polygamous marriage involves several people. They’re fundamentally different, with polygamous marriages being much more complicated. They are just not the same.

Although I’m pointing out that he said it, I must concede that Santorum’s “gay marriage equals polygamy” equation is not something he devised, it’s actually standard Religious Right rhetoric. However, when one couples this piece of stupidity with his claim 10 months ago that the Crusades were not Christian “aggression,” you clearly have a man who’s blithely unconcerned with facts of any kind and unburdened by rationality. On top of that, last weekend Santorum said he thought the US should be open about its covert operations in Iran (cached):

“We need to say very clearly that we will be conducting covert activity to do everything we can to stop their nuclear program.

I could be wrong, but last I knew, anything you were open and “clear” about cannot also remain “covert.” And if the infamous Stuxnet cyberattack hasn’t clued the world — and the Iranians, not to mention Mr Santorum — into the fact that the US is covertly trying to sabotage Iran’s nuclear-weapon efforts … well, then no amount of being “clear” about it is going to help.

Either Rick Santorum is one of the stupidest people on earth, or he’s acting as though he is, just to play up to Christofascist GOP primary voters; but neither of these conclusions is very comforting.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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Michele Bachmann in Iowa / Evan Vucci/AP PhotoThe 2012 GOP presidential primary proceeds relentlessly. For many months the mass media have treated us to their “horse race” coverage, telling us who’s ahead, who’s behind, who collapsed, who’s surging, etc. It’s old and tired, and about to become more intense — and therefore even older and even more tired — with the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary coming up in the next 10 days.

As it turns out, one of the previous media-declared “frontrunners,” MN Rep. Michele Bachmann, now ironically enters the caucuses in her native Iowa with no discernible chance of winning (she was overtaken months ago successively by Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and lately even Rick Santorum). But the godly Mrs Bachmann hasn’t conceded defeat. Oh no! As reported in the ABC News “The Note” blog, she knows she’s going to win — because her God is going to hand her the victory (WebCite cached article):

Michele Bachmann told ABC News she expects to defy her dismal poll numbers with a “miraculous” result in the Iowa caucuses.

“We’re going to see an astounding result on Tuesday night — miraculous,” Bachmann told ABC News in an interview at her Iowa campaign headquarters surrounded by young supporters from her alma mater Oral Roberts University.

“We’re believing in a miracle because we know, I know, the one who gives miracles,” Bachmann said.

Yes, Mrs Bachmann. Of course, the Almighty has nothing better to do with his infinite power and knowledge, than magically grant electoral victories to his most devout followers! Why, we know it happens, because the Almighty did the same for Christine O’Donnell, who ran for the Senate from Delaware late last year.

Oh wait. O’Donnell lost that! Woops, never mind.

Folks, welcome to the “It’s All About ME!” world of the avowed religionist. Hyperreligious people typically think of God as being connected only to themselves and to no one else. Their God’s universe is their own personal universe. In their eyes, the Almighty does everything just for them, because they’re oh-so-extra-special in his Almighty eyes. It’s a dysfunctional, irrational, and even immature way of looking at the world — nevertheless it’s all too common, even in grown adults like Mrs Bachmann.

Update: Not only did Mrs Bachmann not get her promised “miracle,” her results in the Iowa caucuses were so bad that she was driven from the primaries (cached). Woops.

Photo credit: AP via ABC News / Evan Vucci.

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Map of Ottoman Empire in 1901Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker and current GOP candidate for president, is surging in the polls. Part of the reason is that he’s been cultivating the Religious Right, which largely ignores the fact that he’s been married three times, having cheated on two of his wives, including while he was trying to get Bill Clinton run out of the White House for having had an affair.* As part of his effort to build his reputation as a dutifully and devoutly Christian Rightist, the Newtster decided to court the Christian Zionist movement. Unfortunately, the way in which he chose to go about it, demonstrates conclusively that he’s a brazen ignoramus. CBS News reports on his idiotic spew (WebCite cached article):

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said this week that Palestinians are an “invented” people, a position that could be seen as putting him at odds with the U.S. push for a two-state solution in the Middle East.

“Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire,” Gingrich told the Jewish Channel, which posted portions of the interview online on Friday [cached]. “And I think that we’ve have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab community, and they had the chance to go many places.”

Here’s video of this part of the interview, courtesy of the Jewish Channel and Youtube:

His criterion for what makes the Palestinian people “invented” and therefore ineligible to have their own state — i.e. that their land once had been part of the Ottoman Empire — is more than a bit strange. After all, many countries that exist now, and have existed for a very long time, were also once part of the Ottoman Empire. Most of the Balkan states, for example, had once been under the Ottoman regime. The same goes for countries like Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Armenia and even Hungary … just to name a few. By the standards the Newtster has laid down, these nations are all “invented peoples,” and none are entitled to statehood.

In spite of his error, Gingrich is far too ideologically-driven (and too desperate to hold onto Christian Zionist primary voters) to admit his error. He maintains he’s factually correct, even though quite obviously he’s not (cached).

Yes folks, even though he’s a history professor, Newt Gingrich doesn’t actually know anything about history. I only have a B.A. in the field, yet I know how catastrophically wrong the man is. His lie about the Palestinian situation places him in my “lying liars for Jesus” club.

One last thing: During the interview, Newt says:

And for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel since the 1940s.

I have no idea who this “we” is that the Newtster claims has been waging a “war against Israel” all that time. Is he referring to the US? Somehow I doubt it, but I can’t imagine who else that “we” could possibly be.

Photo credit: Eliel.

* The R.R.’s fondness for hypocrisy is well-known, but is strange, considering the founder of their own religion clearly, explicitly, plainly and specifically forbid his followers to be hypocritical, ever.

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