Posts Tagged “delusion”
For a very long time I’ve been saying that Christians’ claims of historical persecution are overblown. Many of them think the Romans routinely and pervasively persecuted their religion throughout the first three centuries of its existence. And today, they view the loss of their religion’s once-mighty influence over occidental culture as a kind of persecution. They don’t realize that their beliefs about Roman Imperial persecution are vastly overstated, even though most scholars — beginning with Edward Gibbon, author of the seminal The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — acknowledge it was exaggerated. Their belief that, during Roman times, their religion hovered at the very edge of extinction at any moment and that being associated with Christianity in any way was an automatic instant death sentence, continues to be prevalent, in spite of the fact that it’s not true at all.
This Easter morning, the CNN Belief Blog posted an article about authors who’ve examined the record of Rome’s persecution of Christianity and found it wanting (WebCite cached article):
Millions of Christians worldwide will celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on this Easter Sunday. But the story of how the church rose to prominence after Jesus’ death is being turned upside down.
According to a belief passed down through the centuries, the church grew because of Roman persecution. The blood of Christian martyrs such as Perpetua became “the seed of the church,” said third-century church leader Tertullian. It’s the Hollywood version of Christianity reflected in epic biblical films such as “Ben-Hur” and “The Robe.” Vicious Romans relentlessly targeted early Christians, so the story goes, but the faith of people like Perpetua proved so inspiring that Christianity became the official religion of Rome, and eventually the largest religion in the world.
But that script is getting a rewrite. The first Christians were never systematically persecuted by the Romans, and most martyrdom stories — with the exception of a handful such as Perpetua’s — were exaggerated and invented, several scholars and historians say. It wasn’t just how the early Christians died that inspired so many people in the ancient world; it was how they lived.
“You had much better odds of winning the lottery than you would have becoming a martyr,” says Joyce E. Salisbury, author of “The Blood of Martyrs: Unintended Consequences of Ancient Violence.”
“The odds were pretty slim. More people read about martyrs than ever saw one.”
It’s absolutely true that some Christians were persecuted in Roman times. It’s also true that there were some periods of extensive, systematic persecution. No rational person who’s seen the historical evidence can deny either of these facts. That said, the persecution that did take place was sporadic, and far less common than is now widely believed. Systematic persecutions took place only under two emperors, Decius and Diocletian. Each of these persecutions lasted at most for two years. The Christian legend that Emperor Septimus Severus also ordered a systematic persecution of Christians is not supported by any evidence.
Christians’ obsession with martyrs has historically created a lot of problems. For example, in classical times, immediately after tolerance for their religion was declared by Emperor Constantine in 313, a hyperpious reverence for martyrs led to the catastrophic fracture of the Church in northern Africa, the Donatist schism.
Even worse, modern Christians have carried this false legend into their own lives, and believe themselves to be persecuted, even now:
The debate over exactly how many Christians were persecuted and martyred may seem irrelevant centuries later. A scholarly consensus has indeed emerged that Roman persecution of Christians was sporadic, and that at least some Christian martyrdom stories are theological tall tales.
But a new book by Candida Moss, a New Testament professor at the University of Notre Dame, is bringing that message to the masses.
Moss says ancient stories of church persecution have created a contemporary cult of bogus Christian martyrs. She says too many American Christians are acting like they’re members of a persecuted minority, being thrown to the lions by people who simply disagree with them.
She cited former Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Romney claimed last year that President Barack Obama was waging a “war against religion,” and Santorum said the gay community “had gone out on a jihad” against him. Other Christians invoke images of persecution when someone disagrees with them on controversial issues such as abortion or birth control, says Moss, whose “The Myth of Persecution” was recently released.
Too many Christians conflate mere disagreement with persecution … despite the fact that they’re not the same thing. Not even close!
Again, I do not deny that some Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire, nor do I deny that some Christians are being persecuted in other parts of the world. What I am saying is that Christians in the U.S. and the rest of the occidental world, are not being persecuted, and that for them to continue believing they are, is delusional thinking. It’s time for them to grow the fuck up, dial back the sniveling and the sanctimonious bellyaching, accept that their religion no longer rules the world with an iron fist, and stop accusing non-Christians of things they haven’t done.
P.S. I can see it now: Cue the Christians’ fury and outrage that CNN insolently published this article “dissing” their religion, on Easter morning, of all days. Why, it’s intolerable that the evil secularists at CNN and in the mass media are trying to wipe out their poor, put-upon faith, this way, on their holiest day! If only these Christians could see how such reasoning merely provides more evidence of this religiously-propagated psychopathology … !
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Tags: candida moss
, christian martyr complex
, christian persecution
, christian persecution complex
, joyce e salisbury
, roman empire
, roman persecution
, vibia perpetua
1 Comment »
After his pledge to destroy Jim Wallis over the issue of Christianity and “social justice” fizzled like old ginger ale, Glenn Beck has decided to take on another one of his old foes: George Soros. Soros, you see, leads a “shadow government” in the US and has been the puppet master of the country for years. He’s a Communist who rules the Democratic Party, and now the country, with an iron fist. (Forget for a moment that, for long stretches during the 80s, 90s, and 00s, we’ve had Republicans in charge — at various times and in various combinations, including all three at once — of the House, the Senate, and the White House. So it’s pretty hard to see how the Democratic Party’s “puppet master” could have been running the country for so long.) He recently ran what he considers an exposé of Soros, which, as the New York Times Lede blog revealed, included some stretches of the truth as well as some outright lies (WebCite cached article):
In his indictment of Mr. Soros this week, what Mr. Beck did not say about the list of governments he claimed the philanthropist had helped to topple was striking. Before naming America as Mr. Soros’s next “target,” Mr. Beck ominously intoned:
Soros has helped fund the ‘Velvet Revolution’ in the Czech Republic, the “Orange Revolution” in the Ukraine, the “Rose Revolution” in Georgia. He also helped to engineer coups in Slovakia, Croatia and Yugoslavia.
What Mr. Beck failed to mention is that in each of the countries he named, Mr. Soros in fact provided support to popular pro-democracy groups battling repressive regimes led by Communist or former Communist autocrats. The Fox host also seemed confused about some of the events he described in those nations.
To start with, the mass street protests led by the Czech playwright Vaclav Havel in 1989 that brought down Prague’s Communist regime took place in what was still Czechoslovakia, not the Czech Republic, which did not exist at the time.
There were also no coups in Slovakia, Croatia or Yugoslavia. Slovakia was created by the so-called “velvet divorce” [cached], the peaceful dissolution of the federal state of Czechoslovakia by democratically-elected leaders in 1993; Croatia’s wartime president, Franjo Tudjman, an authoritarian former Communist general, died in office [cached] in 1999 and was replaced by a former member of his party after a democratic election; Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav leader who was most responsible for the brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing that killed tens of thousands in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, resigned in 2000 [cached], following street protests after his loss in a democratic election.
Thus, if one looked only at Soros’s activities during the late 80s and early 90s, one would have to assume him to have been a vehement anti-communist, rather than the devout Marxist Beckie-boy tells us he is.
And while it is true that George Soros does bankroll a lot of Democratic Party operations and Leftist groups, the Times shows he doesn’t leave the Right untouched by his money:
The Fox News host also made no mention in his program of the fact — first reported by Justin Elliott of Salon on Friday — that Mr. Soros has paid more than $150,000 to Randy Scheunemann, a Republican lobbyist who is a senior adviser to Sarah Palin, to press Congress and the White House to keep sanctions in place against Myanmar’s military junta and promote a resolution “calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” whose party won the last free elections held in the country.
The Times goes on to say that Beckie-boy’s rhetoric is eerily similar to that of the Islamofascist regime of Iran:
Oddly, Mr. Beck’s conspiratorial reading of the recent history of Eastern Europe puts him in complete agreement with Iran’s intelligence ministry, which for years has been working to discredit the country’s reformist leaders and their calls for fair elections as the puppets of foreign plotters. …
Mr. Khatami called the allegation absurd, but, as The Lede explained in a post on “Iran’s Fear of a ‘Velvet Revolution’” [cached], Iran’s intelligence service seems to be obsessed with Mr. Soros.
What’s more, other commenters on Beckie-boy’s “exposé” of Soros have noted more than a whiff of anti-Semitism within it, among them Michelle Goldberg at the Daily Beast (cached article):
Anti-Semitism, like all ideologies, tells a story about the world. It’s a story about almost occult Jewish power, about cabals that manipulate world events for their own gain. In classic anti-Semitic narratives, Jews control both the elites and the masses; they’re responsible for the communist revolution and the speculative excesses of capitalism. Their goal is to undermine society so that they can take over. …
If you know this history, you’ll understand why Glenn Beck’s two-part “exposé” on George Soros, whom Beck calls “The Puppet Master,” was so shocking, even by Beck’s degraded standards. The program, which aired Tuesday and Wednesday, was a symphony of anti-Semitic dog-whistles. …
Soros, a billionaire financier and patron of liberal causes, has long been an object of hatred on the right. But Beck went beyond demonizing him; he cast him as the protagonist in an updated Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He described Soros as the most powerful man on earth, the creator of a “shadow government” that manipulates regimes and currencies for its own enrichment. Obama is his “puppet,” Beck says. Soros has even “infiltrated the churches.” He foments social unrest and economic distress so he can bring down governments, all for his own financial gain. “Four times before,” Beck warned. “We’ll be number five.”
Now, for the record, I do not believe Glenn Beck is an anti-Semite. And that’s not just because I believe Fox News’s denials of it, or because Beck claims he’s a supporter of Israel. No, it’s because I think he hates Soros so vehemently and so passionately, that he will stoop to nothing, including using Protocols of the Elders of Zion-type claims against him, in his campaign to destroy Soros. He’s so driven by hatred, that he simply doesn’t care that he’s using traditional anti-Semitic rhetoric against a Jewish survivor of the Third Reich.
Two final points: I’m not a fan of George Soros myself. He supports the ideological Left too much for my taste; I consider Americans’ thralldom to ideology of any sort to be counter-productive if not dangerous, and Soros is as responsible for this as anyone else at the moment.
And lastly … I’d like to point out that Glenn Beck, and the “Tea Party” movement of which he is a core part, is itself the product of secretive ideological philanthropists; David and Charles Koch, to be exact (cached article). Beck is very much an officer in their army, if not its Field Marshall. Presumably he has no problem with the Koch brothers’ own large, “shadow” ideological apparatus (seen as how Beckie happily does their bidding); yet he points an accusing finger at another ideological philanthropist. How dare he! What a fucking hypocrite. Glennie, haven’t you read your Bible recently? You must have missed the parts of it where your own Jesus instructed you never to be hypocritical … ever … not for any reason. He said it clearly, unambiguously, and offered no caveats or exceptions to this rule. Christians such as yourself, Glenn, must never be hypocritical. That’s just the way it is.
Hat tip: Religion Dispatches.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.
, christian hypocrisy
, fox news
, george soros
, glenn beck
, koch brothers
, liars for jesus
, lying liars for jesus
, puppet master
, tea party
, tea party movement
4 Comments »
As I’ve mentioned before, it appears Oklahoma has become the new Kansas. Writer Thomas Frank famously posited in 2004 — in his What’s the Matter with Kansas? — that the Religious Right had used his home state as a kind of crucible in which to construct a suitable following for its religiofascist agenda. It certainly appears, over the last couple years (as I’ve touched on a time or two here on this blog), that they’ve drifted one state to the south and are now trying to make Oklahoma into a second crucible. The latest example of this militant religiofascism is something known as the Save Our State amendment. Its goal is to prevent Islamic shari’a law from being followed by Oklahoma courts. ABC News reported on this insanely misguided effort (WebCite cached article):
Oklahoma is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban state judges from relying on Islamic law known as Sharia when deciding cases.
The ban is a cornerstone of a “Save our State” amendment to the Oklahoma constitution that was recently approved by the Legislature.
The amendment — which also would forbid judges from using international laws as a basis for decisions — will now be put before Oklahoma’s voters in November. Approval is expected.
There are two problems with this amendment. The most important is that it’s based on the paranoid delusion that Oklahoma courts may soon follow shari’a law. There is absolutely no evidence that this has yet happened, however, nor is there any evidence it’s on the horizon. The Religious Right is going to war over a mirage.
The second problem is that — where American courts following international-law precedent is concerned — that ship has already sailed. It has been done, and it might be done again; and because the US Supreme Court has done it, that means a state constitutional amendment cannot prevent it.
T. Scott Brown, Atheist Examiner for Oklahoma City, goes over this in more detail (including providing a list of relevant court cases).
I’d like to be clear on the fact that I am opposed to shari’a law being imposed on anyone, Muslims included. It’s a metaphysically-based legal system closely tied to Islamic religious doctrines and practices. As a form of justice, it leaves much to be desired. Metaphysically-based legal codes are nearly as detrimental to humanity as metaphysically-based medicine is. I’ve also blogged on the evils — and the follies — of shari’a law. I’ve also pointed out the foolishness of allowing shari’a law in UK courts. So by pointing out that Oklahoma’s “Save our State amendment” is insane, I am not “defending” shari’a law. What I am saying is that passing a state-constitutional amendment preventing something from happening, which is not currently happening and will never happen, is paranoid-delusional thinking, and that sane, mature adults do not engage in this kind of thing.
The hosts of Religiofascism are on the march, folks! They not only have taken over Kansas, they’ve pretty much got Oklahoma in their corner too.
Hat tip: OKC Atheist Examiner.
Photo credit: dustout.
Tags: christian right
, law system
, legal system
, oklahoma city
, oklahoma city OK
, oklahoma state constitution
, religious right
, save our state
, save our state amendment
, shari'a law
, state constitution
, t scott brown
, what's the matter with kansas
3 Comments »
The House recently voted to make targeting gays for violence a federal “hate crime,” and that means the Religious Right — which thrives on hatred for gays — is furious. First, the latest on this bill, from the New York Times (WebCite cached version):
The House voted Thursday to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim’s sexual orientation, a step that would extend new protection to lesbian, gay and transgender people. …
Under current federal law, hate crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction are defined as those motivated by the victim’s race, color, religion or national origin.
The new measure would broaden the definition to include those committed because of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. It was approved by the House right before a weekend when gay rights will be a focus in Washington, with a march to the Capitol and a speech by President Obama to the Human Rights Campaign.
While I’m not 100% behind this effort … compounding a criminal charge based solely on the thought behind it is not really a good idea, since it’s too subjective … I don’t support what the Right is doing about it, which is to lie about it. PolitiFact, a project of the St Petersburg Times, reports on two of of those who’ve lied about it:
Rep. John Kline and other Republicans say under Hate Crime bill, religious leaders could be prosecuted for preaching about sexual practices …
U.S. Rep. John Kline, a former Marine whose son serves in the military, voted for the defense bill in June before it included the expanded hate crimes provision. But in voting against the bill this week, Kline echoed a concern voiced by several Republican leaders that the hate crime bill could lead to prosecution of religious leaders preaching their morality about sexual preference from the pulpit.
“I disdain racism, sexism, and bigotry, but under this legislation, any pastor, preacher, priest, rabbi or imam who gives a sermon out of their moral traditions about sexual practices could be found guilty of a federal crime,” the Minnesota Republican stated in an Oct. 8, 2009, press release. …
“As has been previously stated by Judge Carter of Texas, under Section 2 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code today, an individual may be held criminally liable who ‘aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures’ in the commission of a federal crime,” Pence said from the House floor on Oct. 8. “Therefore, to put a fine point on it, any pastor, preacher, priest, rabbi, or imam, who may give a sermon out of their moral traditions about sexual practices, could presumably under this legislation be found to have aided, abetted or induced in the commission of a federal crime. This will have a chilling effect on religious expression, from the pulpits, in our temples, in our mosques and in our churches. And it must be undone.”
Sounds very onerous, doesn’t it? The federal government intends to criminalize the beliefs of clergy, no? Well, according to Politifact, not quite:
But we quote more from the bill: “Nothing in this division shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and peaceful picketing or demonstration.”
Politifact’s conclusion that Kline is lying, aligns with FactCheck’s conclusion earlier this year about the same thing. That’s a fairly explicit protection to clergy.
I’ve blogged before on the matter of why the Religious Right despises the notion of “hate crimes” and why they consider it evil. But that’s predicated on their prevailing persecution complex, and in this case, is completely unfounded. I’m not sure why guys like Kline and Pence are acting as though it’s not present in the bill … but they are. That makes them the latest members of my lying liars for Jesus club. That they would lie about this bill, based solely on the delusion that they’re being persecuted only makes this offense worse.
Tags: christian martyr complex
, hate crimes
, john kline
, liars for jesus
, lying liars for jesus
, mike pence
, persecution complex
, religious right
No Comments »
As a brief follow-up on my earlier blog entry concerning the Rightists’ “birther” delusion, it turns out that Obama’s original, long-form birth certificate cannot be produced, not merely because the state of Hawai’i provides no means to request it … but it has been destroyed. The Los Angeles Times Show Tracker reports on what CNN has found out (WebCite cached article):
The website TVNewser reported today that Klein sent an e-mail to staffers of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” just as the program went to air, informing them that CNN researchers had determined that Hawaiian officials discarded all paper documents in 2001. A long-form birth certificate with details about the doctor who delivered Obama no longer exists, they reported.
I’m sure all those dutiful Rightists out there will say, “Sure, CNN claims that. They’re CNN, after all, the flagship media outlet of the Liberal Media Elite®!” While CNN does lean toward the Left, though, the claim that the state of Hawai’i destroyed the long-form certificate in 2001 is something that could easily be verified … meaning one need not take CNN’s word for it.
Of course, despite having been told this by his own network, Lou Dobbs continues to pander to the birther-delusionists, as the LA Times goes on to say:
In his show Thursday, Dobbs did note the explanation from Hawaiian officials, though he went on to devote another segment to the topic, interviewing CNN contributor Roland Martin and Rep. Ted Poe, a co-sponsor of a bill that would require future presidential candidates to produce their birth certificates. …
In the segment, Dobbs stressed that he has said repeatedly that he believes Obama is a citizen, something that he said his critics in the “left-wing media” ignore.
Note how deftly Dobbs plays both sides … on the one hand he concedes Obama is a citizen, but on the other, he courts those who think otherwise. In other words, he’s being disingenuous. His duplicity is especially obvious, since he also said:
But he continued to press the question of why Obama has not shown a long-form birth certificate. “When this could be dispelled so quickly, and — and simply by producing it, why not do it?” Dobbs asked.
Earth to Lou — and all the other birther-delusionists out there: Now you know why Obama can’t produce the long-form cerificate … IT DOESN’T EXIST! The time has finally come for you to grow the fuck up and stop demanding what can never be provided.
P.S. To everyone who goes along with the old canard about CNN being part of the Liberal Media Elite® … if this is true, please explain how such an outlet could possibly keep guys like Dobbs on its payroll? Just wondering.
Tags: barack obama
, birth certificate
, cerificate of live birth
, certification of live birth
, conspiracy theorist
, conspiracy theorists
, honolulu HI
, long form
, lou dobbs
, paranoid conspiracy theorist
, short form
1 Comment »
I mentioned this controversy a couple of times already, in an earlier blog post on the “moon-landing” hoaxers, but apparently this is another one that just won’t die. This particular misbelief — that President Barack Obama is not a “natural-born citizen” of the US as required by the Constitution and therefore not legally the President — is a favorite of the Religious Right and assorted other paranoid conspiracy theorists.
It became an issue during the 2008 campaign, and despite his electoral victory, it appears never to have died out. It kicked up afresh when a “birther” showed up at Republican Congressman Mike Castle’s “town meeting,” sanctimoniously raging about Obama not having a birth certificate and waving her own — which she believes constitutes proof that Obama refuses to provide his own. The Chicago Tribune‘s Swamp blog comments on this and other events that have pushed this misbelief back into the limelight:
Listen to the cheers for the woman holding up her birth certificate and asking why the president won’t share his.
Listen to the boos when a Republican congressman asserts rather assuredly that the president of the United States, a Democrat, “is a citizen of the United States” …
Listen to the Pledge of Allegiance break out.
Yes, indeed … the assembled childish crowd was angered by Castle’s response that Obama is, in fact, a citizen. And yes, they actually launched into a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance … as if that, too, were somehow proof that Obama is not a citizen.
Folks, the matter of Obama’s birth was settled long ago. Obama has produced all the documentation necessary to show that he is a “natural-born citizen” as defined by federal law. Claims that his birth certification is not valid, are simply untrue, as FactCheck has demonstrated conclusively:
Some claim that Obama posted a fake birth certificate to his Web page. That charge leaped from the blogosphere to the mainstream media earlier this week when Jerome Corsi, author of a book attacking Obama, repeated the claim in an Aug. 15 interview with Steve Doocy on Fox News. …
Corsi isn’t the only skeptic claiming that the document is a forgery. Among the most frequent objections we saw on forums, blogs and e-mails are:
- The birth certificate doesn’t have a raised seal.
- It isn’t signed.
- No creases from folding are evident in the scanned version.
- In the zoomed-in view, there’s a strange halo around the letters.
- The certificate number is blacked out.
- The date bleeding through from the back seems to say “2007,” but the document wasn’t released until 2008.
- The document is a “certification of birth,” not a “certificate of birth.”
Recently FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate, and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago. We can assure readers that the certificate does bear a raised seal, and that it’s stamped on the back by Hawaii state registrar Alvin T. Onaka (who uses a signature stamp rather than signing individual birth certificates). We even brought home a few photographs.
Said photographs are available on the FactCheck page in question, including full-size high-resolution photos if you click on the smaller images on the page itself. FactCheck explains a bit more about this document and why it constitutes proof that Obama is truly a “natural-born citizen”:
The document is a “certification of birth,” also known as a short-form birth certificate. The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents’ hometowns. The short form is printed by the state and draws from a database with fewer details. The Hawaii Department of Health’s birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department. We tried to ask the Hawaii DOH why they only offer the short form, among other questions, but they have not given a response.
Note that Hawai’i is not the only place that provides a “short-form certification” rather than the “long-form certificate.” A friend of mine recently requested a copy of her birth certificate, in the town of her birth, and was given a generated document very similar to this one. It was more than enough to get her a passport … which means it passes muster according to federal standards of citizenship.
Something the “birthers” fail to understand is that, while the Constitution requires that the President be a natural-born citizen, it does not state what documentation is required to show this. There is nothing in the Constitution about whether birth certificates or certifications of birth are necessary. Rather, it allows the federal government to decide what is necessary. And according to federal statutes and legal decisions, what Obama has provided, suffices … just as a similar document sufficed for my friend when she applied for her passport.
While the sanctimoniously-outraged woman at Mike Castle’s “town hall meeting” was able to get her long-form birth certificate, for any number of reasons, not all Americans are able to get them. Local officials in some jurisdictions simply do not provide them, and offer no means to get them.
Whether Obama is a “natural-born citizen” is a matter for officials in Hawai’i to decide … and they have done so, as FactCheck explains in the article:
Update Nov. 1: The Associated Press quoted Chiyome Fukino as saying that both she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama’s original birth certificate.
Fukino also was quoted by several other news organizations. The Honolulu Advertiser quoted Fukino as saying the agency had been bombarded by requests, and that the registrar of statistics had even been called in at home in the middle of the night.
Honolulu Advertiser, Nov. 1 2008: “This has gotten ridiculous,” state health director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said yesterday. “There are plenty of other, important things to focus on, like the economy, taxes, energy.” … Will this be enough to quiet the doubters? “I hope so,” Fukino said. “We need to get some work done.”
Fukino said she has “personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”
It turns out that Fukino was incorrect, back in November; it was not enough. His word and those of other local officials are simply being ignored by those who are too committed to their irrational beliefs and delusional thinking to accept otherwise.
It’s really time for the “birthers” like the raging woman at Castle’s “town hall meeting” to grow the hell up and stop denying reality … but we all know they will not do so.
I’m not a big fan of Chris Matthews, but he has a point, as the Tribune‘s Swamp blog entry mentions:
See Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball question Rep. John Campbell, a Republican from California, about the “crazy” bill that he and others are sponsoring requiring future candidates for president to present their birth certificates. …
“Wouldn’t you like to put it to rest? That’s what this proposal is all about,” replies Campbell, noting that people also questioned Republican Sen. John McCain’s credentials because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone. …
“Nice try,” replies Matthews. “What you’re doing is appeasing the nut-cases… You’re verifying the paranoia out there… You are playing to the crazies… You guys are playing to the whacko wing” of the Republican Party.
It’s true. Acting as though the “birthers” have a legitimate objection, only makes them feel as though their delusion is well-founded. Yet, as the Swamp blog relates, even Campbell has little doubt:
“As far as I know,” concedes the congressman, pressed to say whether Obama was born in the United States. “Yes,” he says, “I believe so.”
If this concession is good enough for Campbell, it should be good enough for everyone.
Tags: barack obama
, birth certificate
, cerificate of live birth
, certification of live birth
, conspiracy theorist
, conspiracy theorists
, honolulu HI
, long form
, mike castle
, paranoid conspiracy theorist
, religious right
, short form
No Comments »
I blogged twice before (here and here) about the case of Madeline Kara Neumann, an 11-year-old girl who died of complications from diabetes, whose life easily could have been saved, but who hand’t been treated because her parents — knowing something was wrong — chose to pray about it instead. It was a young life snuffed out because of idiotic religiosity.
After a great deal of hand-wringing over “religious freedom” concerns, and seriously entertaining not doing anything about it, officials finally charged the parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann; Ms Neumann’s trial has just finished, and she was convicted.
Nevertheless, she remains in denial as to what she did wrong, as the Wausau Daily Herald reports:
Leilani Neumann, the town of Weston mother convicted of allowing her daughter to die while praying for healing, says in a written statement that her emotions do not hinge on whether the rest of the world approves of her actions. …
“I did what I thought was lawful,” Neumann wrote in a statement released over the weekend. “I didn’t realize it would be a crime to pray for my daughter.”
I’m not sure why Ms Neumann thought she faced a mutually-exclusive “either/or” choice, to only pray for Kara, or only get treatment for her. Lots of religious folks manage to do both. (That’s what hospital chapels and chaplains are for!) The Neumanns’ pathological denial goes further than that, however:
Neumann also was critical of the judicial system in her letter, writing that “this trial did not afford the opportunity to tell our side of the story.” Neumann’s attorney, Gene Linehan, chose not to call any witnesses during the trial. Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Howard did not allow a faith healer from Texas to testify at the trial, however.
“I believe the law should be more clearly written before any charges can be made against parents who pray,” Neumann wrote. “Where is the law written that we apparently broke? And someone make sure to tell everyone that this is no more the America we thought it was. Also, please tell them not to try to hide it behind ‘reckless homicide charges or neglect charges,’ because the real issue is our local and national government is turning more and more anti-God.”
For a second time the Neumanns reiterate the “either/or” choice to pray or get medical treatment, which as I said, does not exist. Moreover, they perceive the conviction as an “anti-God” thing, rather than as anti-manslaughter, which it is.
It’s a good thing this happened in Wisconsin instead of Texas, which offers explicit legal permission to harm, and even kill, people as a form of religious expression. (Seriously … I intend never to set foot in Texas unless it’s absolutely necessary … because in that state, anyone could do anything to me, and so long as they can pass it off as a religious rite, it’s permissible and I can do nothing about it.)
, leilani neumann
, Madeline Kara Neumann
, religious exemption
No Comments »