Posts Tagged “gop”

Rick Santorum addresses the Ohio Christian Alliance conference, Feb. 18, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (Credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay)The presidential campaign of Rick Santorum, former US Senator from Pennsylvania, continues to churn out ludicrous religiofascist gibberish. I’ve cited some of it previously, including his claim that the Crusades were not “aggression,” and his implication that the pro-choice movement are Nazis. Most recently he claimed President Obama had a “‘weird’ theology.”

It’s that last item that triggered the next spurt of Christofascist nonsense from his campaign. CBS News reports his spokeswoman was forced to take back comments she made in support of that assertion (WebCite cached article):

Rick Santorum’s new presidential campaign spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, retracted her comment Monday that compared President Obama’s policies to “radical Islamic policies.” …

“He was not questioning the president’s character, he wasn’t questioning the president’s religion,” Stewart said. “As he’s said, he has clarified the statement. He was talking about radical environmentalists. There is a type of theological secularism when it comes to the global warmists in this country. He was referring to the president’s policies, in terms of the radical Islamic policies the president has, particular in terms of the energy exploration.”

It’s true that Ms Stewart retracted these remarks, but they were said, so a retraction is like trying to un-ring a bell. And the fact that she said them, reveals a lot.

The problems with these comments are so numerous that I hardly know where to begin. First of all, she talks about “theological secularism,” which quite obviously is a contradiction in terms. There can never be anything “theological” about “secularism” because “secularism” is a rejection of “theological” influence.

Second, she talks about “global warmists.” I have never heard of this phrase before, although a Google search shows it’s not really new. It is a neat propaganda trick, to make “global warming” an ideology of its own. While some global-warming advocates may be ideologues, I’m not sure it really deserves that kind of a general apellation (not yet, anyway). But even if it did, there’s no evidence that president Obama adheres to it as an ideology.

Third, she said Obama has “radical Islamic policies.” This can’t be the case, though, because the president is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. This fits in with the old Rightist mantra that Obama is a Muslim — which is untrue, nevertheless it persists among Rightists.

What Ms Stewart was trying to do here is an old rhetorical trick, that of sprinkling certain keywords into her comments, ones the Santorum campaign hopes will trigger GOP primary voters to support him. In the process she ends up spewing nonsensical gibberish … nonsensical because it’s self-contradictory, and does not coincide with reality. That her remarks ended up being gibberish doesn’t matter; primary voters will have heard those keywords, and the implication that Obama is a Muslim, and will only remember that. Her retraction won’t matter to them, because they heard what they wanted to hear.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay, via CBS News.

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Rick Santorum CPAC FL 2011Religious Rightists tend to view all of Christianity as being their Christianity … whichever version of it they belong to … and see no difference between its many varieties. What’s worse, they sometimes extend this even further, and view all religions has being their particular version of their particular religion (i.e. Christianity). In other words, they tend to ignore differences between denominations and sects, and even between religions. All things religious are, therefore, conflated within their minds.

This tendency leads them into all sorts of nonsensical territories. One of which is the all-too-common statement, “S/he isn’t a Christian because s/he doesn’t believe X,” where “X” is some theological point that person holds to, but which other Christians might disagree on.

As CNN reports, the ferocious Religious Rightist and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently used this type of reasoning to attack the incumbent president (WebCite cached article):

Rick Santorum drew applause from Ohio tea party voters – but perhaps raised some eyebrows, too – when he suggested Saturday that President Barack Obama leads based on a theology different from that in the Bible.

It left some wondering whether he was implying that Obama subscribes to a religion other than Christianity. …

“It’s not about your job. It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology,” Santorum said. “Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology. But no less a theology.”

Santorum is wrong on several counts. The most obvious of these is that lots of Christians have lots of different “theologies,” but each is no less of a Christian than the rest. And he must know this; after all, there are thousands of different Christian denominations in the world. More specifically, as a Catholic, Santorum must be aware that his Church has different “theology” than Protestant churches, which among other things refuse to acknowledge the Pope’s primacy and reject transubstantiation. Yet, I cannot imagine him complaining about the “different theology” of other Religious Rightists who happen to be Protestant.

Second, the many different theologies which the many Christian denominations hold, are all widely viewed as originating in the same Christian Bible. He can’t very well claim that Obama’s “theology” — whatever it is — can’t be based on the Bible, merely because it’s different from his own. History shows that devoted and sincere Christians can and do disagree on what their Bible tells them. Again, no Christian theology is appreciably less Christian or less scriptural than any other. They simply happen not to be identical.

Third, Santorum’s desire to conflate governance and theology directly contradicts the teachings of the founder of his own religion. Jesus Christ was very clear on the matter; three of the four evangelists report that he said the following:

  • Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God, the things that are God’s. (Mt 22:21b)
  • Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. (Mk 12:17b)
  • Render therefore to Caesar the things, that are Caesar’s: and to God the things that are God’s. (Lk 20:25b)

Jesus was very clearly apolitical and unconcerned with statecraft. He viewed government as being part of the physical realm and therefore of no importance; his preaching was about, instead, the spiritual realm, or the Kingdom of God. Santorum need only concern himself with this one lone theological point. No other “theology” ought to cross the mind — or the lips — of a dutiful Christian politician who claims to obey the words of his own Bible.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons.

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U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities OfficeSome militant Christianists in Congress are furious over changes that have been made to the logo of an Air Force unit. Specifically, “God” has been removed from it. The Washington Post On Faith blog reports that they find this absolutely intolerable (WebCite cached article):

Dozens of members of Congress are upset that the Air Force has removed the Latin word for “God” from the logo of an Air Force acquisitions office.

Led by Rep. J. Randy Forbes, co-chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, 36 lawmakers Monday (Feb. 6) sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz objecting to the removal of “God” from the logo of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO).

The logo was recently removed, according to Forbes, after objections by the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers.

They claim it’s OK for the RCO’s logo to promote God, because God is found elsewhere in government, even where it shouldn’t be:

The letter argues that “courts consistently have upheld the constitutionality of our national motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ despite the obvious mention of God.”

In other words, they’re saying, “We’ve gotten away with injecting ‘God’ into Americans’ lives for decades now and no one has stopped us … therefore it’s OK for us to keep doing it, wherever and whenever we want, forever.”

Here’s an open invitation to Randy Forbes and every other member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus: If you want this cynical, cold-hearted, godless agnostic heathen to actually obey the U.S. motto and truly “trust” your God, then go right ahead and make me trust him. I dare you all to give it your best shot. If — as you claim — I’m required as an American to “trust” your God, then you have no reason to hold anything back. Come on … do your worst, and make me.

Photo credit: USAF RCO Fact Sheet.

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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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Help! Help! I'm being repressed! (Dennis the constitutional peasant, Monty Python & the Holy Grail)Militant Christianist, Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry has released a commercial for his failing campaign. In an effort to get the media talking about him again after he flamed out in recent debates, he’s decided to wade into Christian-persecution territory, and as CNN reports, is making the bullshit claim that current President Barack Obama is at war with religion (WebCite cached article):

Rick Perry says that if he’s elected president, he’ll end what he calls President Barack Obama’s “war on religion.”

Perry makes the comments in a new TV commercial that’s sure to create controversy. …

In an interview Wednesday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Perry said he stood by the ad.

“The administration is clearly sending messages to people of faith, and organizations of faith, that we’re not going to support you with federal dollars,” Perry said. “I’m very comfortable with that ad, for one thing. My faith is a part of me, and the values I learned in my Christian upbringing will affect my governing.”

You see, Christofascists like Perry have a strange definition of “persecution.” The president failing to obey the strictures of their metaphysics — you see — is an “attack” on them, and a “war” on their religion. To fail to obey them, is the virtual equivalent of a physical attack on their persons, and is also equivalent to an effort to abolish their faith.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth … but in his raging paranoia, Rickie-boy doesn’t understand that.

Here, Rickie. Let me help you out. A true “war on religion” would include any of the following:

  • Churches being shuttered
  • Bibles removed from homes
  • Religious art being confiscated
  • Clergy being jailed
  • Crucifixes and crosses being seized
  • Arresting people for praying
  • And so on; you get the idea.

President Obama is doing none of these things — not one of them! — and will never do so. For you to talk as though he is, Rickie-boy, is the worst sort of lie. It’s flatly untrue and it’s ridiculous for you to say it.

Neverthless, I expect the Rickster will get a lot of traction out of this. The Religious Right in the US more or less believes exactly as he does … i.e. that refusing to obey their beliefs is the same as trying to utterly destroy them. Rickie-boy’s lies about Obama place him force me to list Perry as a member of my “lying liars for Jesus” club.

Photo credit: Based on Monty Python & the Holy Grail.

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