Posts Tagged “alabama”
It looks as though the people of the Bible-thumping state of Alabama are poised to return to office someone who’d been run out, when he chose to defy a federal court order. CNN’s Belief Blog reports that Roy Moore won the GOP primary for Chief Justice in that state (WebCite cached article):
Roy Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice made famous by a Ten Commandments monument, is one step closer to getting his old job back. Moore won 50.14% of the vote on Tuesday in the Republican primary for the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. …
Moore held the job of Chief Justice from 2001 to 2003 but was forced out when he defied a federal order to remove a 2.6 ton stone monument of the Ten Commandments he had placed at the courthouse.
As one would expect of a ferocious Christofascist, Moore hasn’t changed his mind about what he did:
Today, Moore maintains the monument’s placement was constitutionally appropriate. “There’s nothing in the first amendment that prohibits the display of religious objects,” he said.
Even so, Moore doesn’t plan to return his Decalogue idol to Alabama’s Supreme Court:
“I don’t have any intention of bringing the monument because that will confuse the issue,” he said. At issue for him is the acknowledgement of God and he added, “I will continue to acknowledge the sovereignty of God.”
If Moore does get back into office, expect more Decalogue idolatry to crop up around the country, as fervent evangelical Christians everywhere will feel empowered to defy the Constitution and federal law on the matter.
Photo credit: dcdailyphotos, via Flickr.
, alabama supreme court
, chief justice
, chief justice roy moore
, christian right
, decalogue monument
, decalogue monuments
, judge roy moore
, justice roy moore
, montgomery AL
, religious right
, republican party
, roy moore
, ten commandment monument
, ten commandment monuments
, ten commandments
, ten commandments monument
, ten commandmnt monuments
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Here’s yet another news item of the “water is wet” variety. As the Los Angeles Times reports, Republicans in the deep south remain convinced President Barack Obama is a Muslim (WebCite cached article):
fter years of battling false claims and viral emails alleging that he is a Muslim, President Obama hasn’t gotten far among Republican voters in Alabama and Mississippi – about half still believe he is Muslim and about 1 in 4 believes his parents’ interracial marriage should have been illegal, a new poll shows. …
The poll of Mississippi Republicans found that 52% said they believed Obama is a Muslim, 36% weren’t sure and only 12% said they believed he is a Christian. He fared slightly better in Alabama, where 45% said he is a Muslim, 41% weren’t sure, and 14% said he is a Christian.
Recalling his childhood, Obama has said his family did not go to church every week, but said his faith grew as he got older and that his Christian beliefs have guided his career in public service.
People retain this irrational belief — in spite of the fact that both Obama himself, and politicians of both parties, have all said that he’s a Christian — because of something known as the “backfire effect.” This is a psychological phenomenon in which people retain untrue notions despite having their falsehood demonstrated, and in fact, they become even more intractably attached to the incorrect belief. I’ve blogged on this effect before. None of the researchers who’ve noted this phenomenon have offered any explanation for how it happens. My guess is, it results from the emotional attachment people have to their irrational beliefs; when faced with compelling evidence they’re false, they simply retrench and continue to tell themselves it’s true, because they can’t handle the emotional pain that would follow from letting go of the (false) belief. They really and truly prefer to lie to themselves, and others, rather than just admit they were wrong.
It’s like when a child plugs his ears, clamps his or her eyes shut, and yammers, so that s/he doesn’t have to hear something s/he’d rather not have to hear. In other words … it’s childish. Yes, folks, this means the Republican party in the deep south is populated mainly by little children who need to fucking grow the hell up for once and get over it already.
As for the legality of interracial marriage, that was established decades ago, by the US Supreme Court, in its decision in Loving v. Virginia (1967). I suppose people can believe anything they want to about it, including that it should be illegal, but it is legal nevertheless and it will remain legal indefinitely, in spite of their belief. Mature adults would just accept that fact and move on with their lives … but the GOP in the deep south is far too juvenile to do that, apparently.
Hat tip: Lordrag at Pulling to the Left on Delphi Forums.
Photo credit: New Yorker cover courtesy of scriptingnews, via Flickr.
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, barack hussein obama
, barack obama
, barack obama is a muslim
, christian right
, deep south
, fact checking
, interracial marriage
, irrational beliefs
, obama is a muslim
, president barack obama
, president obama
, religious right
, republican party
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Deep in the heart of the Bobble Bay-elt (also known as “the Bible Belt”), in the town of Bay Minette, Alabama, the local sheriff has come up with a clever way to increase church attendance and incentivize crime by churchgoers. The Mobile Press-Register reports that people convicted of non-violent crimes can go to church instead of to jail (WebCite cached article):
A new alternative sentencing program offering first-time, nonviolent offenders a choice of a year of church attendance or jail time and fines is drawing fire from the American Civil Liberties Union as well as national attention, officials said Friday. …
But the local police chief who is heading up the program starting Tuesday called “Restore Our Community” says no one is being forced to participate.
Forced? No. But what it means is that any regular churchgoers effectively won’t be punished at all. It’s also inherently selective, since those who don’t belong to a church cannot choose to participate in this program. This policy’s proponent explains his motivation:
“Operation ROC resulted from meetings with church leaders,” Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland said.
Of course the local preachermen like this idea, it will get more people through their doors and more collections in their plates! They stand to profit from this. The religiofascist continues idiotically:
“It was agreed by all the pastors that at the core of the crime problem was the erosion of family values and morals. We have children raising children and parents not instilling values in young people.”
Ah. I see. So there was no crime, way back when everyone was a devout, dutiful, church-going Christian. Is that it? Christians don’t commit crimes. Is that it?
Do you truly expect that we’re stupid enough to believe this, Chief Rowland? Especially since it’s demonstrably untrue that being Christian means one never commits crimes? Lots of Christians — including some who are famous because they’re Christian — are indeed criminals. I need only mention names such as Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and Ted Haggard … just to name a few … in order to show this is the case.
Religiofascists like Chief Rowland love to assert that churchgoing Christians don’t commit crimes, but they absolutely do. Crimes like embezzlement, fraud, buying the services of prostitutes, taking illegal drugs, and much more. The truth is that America’s prisons contain many, many Christians. It’s absurd and laughable that anyone could say otherwise … yet Chief Rowland does. And he means it.
Hat tip: Friendly Atheist.
Photo credit: swanksalot.
, bay minette
, bay minette AL
, church attendance
, community service
, get out of jail free
, get out of jail free card
, mike rowland
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Among the Right’s many mantras is a steady drone of whining about what they call “judicial activism” and the related “legal activism.” This is their term for when a judge issues a ruling, or a lawsuit is filed, with which they subjectively disagree. They’re essentially accusing the judges and/or lawyers of basing their decisions and actions not on the facts of the cases or on the law, but on their own personal beliefs. They just can’t abide the idea that, sometimes, their own beliefs aren’t borne out by circumstance or the law.
Even so, the Right — particularly the Religious Right — is nonetheless guilty of its own forms of legal activism. The (UK) Guardian reports on one of these, the practice of prosecuting women who’ve lost their babies (WebCite cached article):
[Rennie] Gibbs [of Mississippi] became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby’s death — they charged her with the “depraved-heart murder” of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
Before you assume this is just an an isolated case, read on and find out about more of them:
Bei Bei Shuai, 34, has spent the past three months in a prison cell in Indianapolis charged with murdering her baby. On 23 December she tried to commit suicide by taking rat poison after her boyfriend abandoned her.
Shuai was rushed to hospital and survived, but she was 33 weeks pregnant and her baby, to whom she gave birth a week after the suicide attempt and whom she called Angel, died after four days. In March Shuai was charged with murder and attempted foeticide and she has been in custody since without the offer of bail.
In Alabama at least 40 cases have been brought under the state’s “chemical endangerment” law. Introduced in 2006, the statute was designed to protect children whose parents were cooking methamphetamine in the home and thus putting their children at risk from inhaling the fumes.
The militant Rightist prosecutors have used laws against women, which ostensibly had been intended to help them:
At least 38 of the 50 states across America have introduced foetal homicide laws that were intended to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from violent attacks by third parties — usually abusive male partners — but are increasingly being turned by renegade prosecutors against the women themselves.
South Carolina was one of the first states to introduce such a foetal homicide law. National Advocates for Pregnant Women has found only one case of a South Carolina man who assaulted a pregnant woman having been charged under its terms, and his conviction was eventually overturned. Yet the group estimates there have been up to 300 women arrested for their actions during pregnancy.
Using laws for a purpose other than their stated intention, in order to bring retribution against people for doing things that prosecutors personally disapprove of, is the very same kind of legal activism the Right sees in the Left and kvetches about. Those Rightists who engage in this practice, therefore, are hypocrites of the highest order. Those among them who are Christian — and I assume all of them are — are directly disobeying the clear and unambiguous instructions of the founder of their religion.
Photo credit: Alamy / The Guardian.
, bei bei shuai
, chemical endangerment
, chemical endangerment law
, indianapolis IN
, judicial activism
, legal activism
, pregnant women
, religious right
, rennie gibbs
, south carolina
In a bid to promote himself as a dutiful general in the armies of the Religious Right, Alabama’s now-governor Robert Bentley declared that — while he is decidedly color-blind, he is most assuredly not belief-blind. The Birmingham News reports on his blanket disavowal of non-Christians (WebCite cached article):
Gov.-elect Robert Bentley in a speech at a Baptist church this afternoon said he plans to be the governor of all Alabamians and be color-blind, but he also said people who aren’t ”saved” Christians aren’t his brothers and sisters. …
“There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit,” Bentley said. ”But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister.”
Bentley added, ”Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”
Rather incredibly, Bentley later claimed not to have wanted to insult or offend anyone and does not think he did so:
Asked later if he meant to be insulting to people of other faiths, Bentley replied, ”We’re not trying to insult anybody.”
This is complete bullshit. Of course he intended to “insult” non-Christians! Of course he knew his comments would be offensive to them! Absolutely he knew exactly what he was doing … which was to ingratiate himself to the teeming masses of militant, angry, atheist-hating, Bible-thumping, God-praising, Christianists who make up the majority of Alabama. There’s no other explanation for this, and anything else he or his spokesman may say, can only be a lie. This makes Gov. Bentley (who was sworn in to office yesterday the 17th) the latest member of my “lying liars for Jesus” club.
Hat tip: Lordrag at iReligion Forum on Delphi Forums.
Photo credit: Press-Register / Kate Mercer.
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, dexter avenue king memorial baptist church
, jesus christ
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