Posts Tagged “gop”

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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St Stephen, first Christian martyr, by Giacomo CavedoneI’ve long said that most Christians like to view themselves as being persecuted for their religion. This tendency seems to be proportional to their devoutness: The more ardently they believe, the more firmly they’re convinced they’re being attacked because of their faith. It’s a desire that goes back almost to the very start of Christianity. After all, Christians are taught that the founder of their religion was persecuted and ultimately executed because of what he believed and taught, and so too were all of his apostles. It stands to reason that martyrdom is the highest aspiration for any Christian.

While it’s true that, at some points in history (and even in a few places right now) there are Christians who are being persecuted for their religion, reality is that no Christian anywhere in the occidental world is being persecuted for his/her beliefs. It just doesn’t happen. Christianity is still the dominant religion in the occidental world; it’s impossible for someone of a majority religion to be persecuted for belonging to it. Nevertheless, devout Christians still are psychopathologically driven to view themselves as being persecuted for Jesus. This means that, essentially, they cook up fictional scenarios in which they’re being attacked — essentially, they delude themselves into thinking they’re being harassed for Jesus. In fact, they aren’t, but to a religionist, facts don’t matter. All that matters to them is that feeling of being “attacked.” To them, it’s a very real sensation.

The latest example of this false martyrdom being called down is reported by the Dallas Morning News; Anita Perry, wife of GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry, complained that her husband is being “brutalized” by the media — and pretty much everyone else in the world (WebCite cached article):

Anita Perry, campaigning for husband Rick Perry in South Carolina , suggests he’s been “brutalized” by the media and the GOP because of his faith. …

“It’s been a rough month. We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today. We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party. So much of that is, I think, they look at him because of his faith. He is the only true conservative — well, there are some true conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.”

Mrs Perry either cannot or will not admit that maybe — just maybe! — her husband has come under fire because he’s a raging militant Christofascist, or because he lied about Social Security being a “Ponzi scheme,” or because one of his most prominent supporters claimed that Mormonism is a “cult” and that Mormons are not Christians.

Oh no. That couldn’t possibly be the case! Perry’s recent troubles can only be happening because he’s the only “‘Real’ Christian™” in the GOP field, so everyone on the planet is attacking him over it. Why, the poor man is being “brutalized” because of his religion!

I don’t know about you, but the verb “to brutalize” brings to mind someone who’s been pummeled and kicked and pounded into submission … not a politician who’s been merely criticized for his own excesses. It’s hard to know whether or not Mrs Perry is serious about this. After all, it’s not common to run into someone as thoroughly delusional as this … so one’s initial impulse is to wonder whether or not she’s making it up in order to draw sympathy. Even so, it’s not to their religion’s credit that militant Christians find such delusional sanctimony attractive.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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First Baptist Church of Dallas 1891 by Albert UllrichIt was inevitable, I suppose, that a religious-political movement such as the Religious Right is, would eventually show some sectarian cracks in its edifice. The R.R. was originally established by Southern Baptists — that wing of the American Baptists who, in the years leading up to the Civil War, accommodated and embraced slavery, whereas Baptists (and in fact, most Protestants generally) elsewhere in the country condemned it. Since its beginnings in the 1980s, other types of Christians have latched onto and made themselves part of the R.R. movement, but it basically remains in the control of evangelical Protestants of the Southern Baptist variety.

Among the consequences of this is the fact that Mormons, who were among the denominations that glommed onto the R.R., are finding themselves at odds with the rest of the movement. Initially one might be surprised at this. After all, Mormons are very, very conservative, and faithfully hew to the line of other “social conservatives.” That they would find themselves marginalized as part of the R.R., is because the S.B.C has never really cared for Mormons or the LDS church, and has a history of campaigning against them (WebCite cached version).

With former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon, a leader among the large rabble of Republican candidates for president in 2012, this rivalry has roared to the fore. A megachurch pastor and supporter of Romney’s rival, Texas governor Rick Perry, recently commented that “Mormonism is a cult” and said that Mormons are not Christians. He caught some flack over this, but as Reuters reports, he’s digging his heels in and has not given up on the matter (cached):

An unapologetic Pastor Robert Jeffress, who created a stir for calling Mormonism a “cult” at a political gathering, told hundreds of congregants at his Texas megachurch on Sunday that he welcomed the opportunity he’s had to warn people about a “false religion.”

“I have not changed my position,” Jeffress told the crowd of about 2,000 attending the early service at First Baptist Church of Dallas.

The TV evangelist and prominent religious leader spent the last two days defending statements he made to reporters at a conservative gathering on Friday in Washington DC, in which he called Mormonism a “cult” just minutes after introducing and endorsing Texas Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry.

This should provide a warning to other elements of the R.R. who aren’t evangelical Protestants; you, too, could find yourselves excluded by sectarian sentiment. It’s not just Mormons who could be frozen out, Catholics — especially because the American bishops have hitched their political car to the R.R. train — might very well end up being denounced as idolators or “Mary-worshippers” in the same way that Mormons are condemned as being part of a “cult.”

The lesson is clear: Religious movements of any kind almost always break down along sectarian lines. It’s foolish to assume it cannot happen.

Lastly, there’s something that desperately needs to be cleared up, which many people aren’t aware of. Mormonism is most certainly a form of Christianity. As a religion, it reveres the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. In this regard the LDS Church is every bit as “Christian” as any other Christian denomination on earth. That the Mormons don’t view Jesus or God precisely as other types of Christians do, cannot and will never change this fact. It just means their form of Christianity is different from that of others. Nothing more than that.

Photo credit: Bryan Amann via Picasaweb.

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Syringe 5 With DropsThe recent “tea party” sponsored GOP presidential debate has kicked up some testiness within the Religious Right over the simple matter of a vaccine.

Yes, that’s right, a vaccine.

As the New York Times explains, this controversy concerns TX governor Rick Perry’s support for vaccinating all girls in his state against HPV or human papilloma virus (WebCite cached article):

An unlikely issue — whether to vaccinate preadolescent girls against a sexually transmitted virus — has become the latest flashpoint among Republican presidential candidates as they vie for the support of social conservatives and Tea Party members.

The issue exploded Monday night when Representative Michele Bachmann and former Senator Rick Santorum attacked Gov. Rick Perry of Texas during a debate for issuing an executive order requiring sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, criticizing the order as an overreach of state power in a decision properly left to parents. Later, Sarah Palin, who has yet to announce her 2012 intentions, also found fault with Mr. Perry.

This particular controversy is multi-pronged, as the Times explains:

The issue pushes many buttons with conservatives: overreach of government in health care decisions, suspicion that sex education leads to promiscuity and even the belief — debunked by science — that childhood vaccinations may be linked to mental disorders.

The militant Ms Bachmann insisted that the problem was the “dangerous” nature of the vaccine, however, the HPV vaccine was approved a number of years ago and its safety is not at issue. Rather, from the time it was approved — as Time magazine reported then (cached) — it became a target of the Religious Right, having been tagged “the promiscuity vaccine.” They can claim concern with the vaccine’s “safety” all they want … but really, their sole concern is women’s health and depriving them of control over their own affairs. We already know that the Roman Catholic Church considers the lives of pregnant women forfeit and of no account; the mostly-Protestant Religious Right more or less agrees with this position.

Yes, it’s true: Christianists like Bachmann actually believe it’s better for women to contract illnesses caused by HPV, including deadly cancers, rather than innoculate them early in life, merely because they perceive that it grants girls license to be sexually active. The idea that an HPV virus does so, of course, is completely laughable; it prevents only HPV-borne illnesses, it has no effect on other STD’s, and it doesn’t prevent pregnancy.

It just goes to show that facts and reason don’t matter to the Religious Right, just their emotional assessments, irrational beliefs, and slavish devotion to laughable dogmas.

Lastly, I’d like to give Gov. Perry, whom I generally dislike, some credit here. In the name of promoting health and fighting cancer, he’s taking on his own co-religionists and seems rather determined about it. I only hope he doesn’t cave in to them.

Photo credit: ZaldyImg.

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Michelle BachmannDemonstrating that religionistic stupidity doesn’t have any gender boundaries, Congresswoman, GOP presidential candidate and religiofascist Michele Bachmann tossed out a little “disaster theology” at a rally in Sarasota, Florida. It was mentioned only near the end of a St Petersburg Times article on this event (WebCite cached article):

[Bachmann said] “I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”

Video of her statement comes from WSMV-TV in Nashville, via Mediaite (cached):

In Bachmann’s world, the Almighty — you see — can get the attention of politicians only by sending a deadly and destructive hurricane around. He has no other choice, apparently, and can’t come up with any other means of communication with them. He can only communicate by causing widespread devastation.

I guess. Somehow. I must have missed when “omnipotence” was redefined from “the power to do anything at all at any time” to “unable to do things except in one way” … ?

Bachmann’s office claims she had said it “in jest” in order to make a point (cached). I for one am nowhere near stupid enough to buy that little evasion. I don’t see the slightest bit of humor in her delivery, and no one in the crowd reacted as though they’d just heard a joke. Her office will have to look a little harder to find someone dumb enough to believe that sniveling excuse.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

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