The list of Religious Rightists who feel compelled to yammer about rape continues to grow. They do it, even though they ought to have learned, by now, to just shut the fuck up about it already. Their absurd spew about it just makes them look ridiculous, and it’s sunk a few of their candidacies, too. So one would think they’d want to avoid the subject entirely. But too many of them refuse to do so. They’re too worked up about it, and too sanctimonious, to hold back. In other words, they just can’t help themselves.
A controversial anti-abortion bill passed the House Tuesday, but not before a heated debate over the Bible, rape, and incest.
HB1549 punishes doctors who perform abortions if the mother is seeking one because of a genetic disorder.…
“Representative, is rape the will of God?” Rep. Cory Williams asked [the bill’s author, Rep. George] Faught.
“Well, you know, if you read the Bible, there are a couple circumstances where that happened, and the Lord uses all circumstances,” Faught replied.
“Is incest the will of God?” Williams asked.
“Same answer,” Faught said.
Here’s video of Faught’s bone-chilling pronouncement, via Youtube:This sounds horrific to anyone who’s not deeply immersed in evangelical Christianity. What person with a brain would want to worship a deity who “uses” terrible incidents like rape like some kind of cosmic tool? And it sounds horrible to the ear of this cynical, godless agnostic heathen.
But with that said … there is a reason Faught trotted this out: This chilling theology does, in fact, have sound roots in Christian thought.
Second, it’s a natural consequence of believing that God is the omnipotent and omniscient creator of the universe. God’s limitless power and knowledge of all that has ever happened, is happening, and ever will happen, is an absolute quality, and that has a number of logical ramifications. One of them is that nothing can ever happen that God does not permit to happen … because if God didn’t wish something to occur, then it couldn’t occur. His/her/its wishes are, after all, absolute! What’s more, since God knew everything that would ever happen, even long before s/he/it ever created the universe, that means the very act of creating the universe caused it all to happen. Thus, God bears final and total accountability for everything … and I do mean absolutely everything!
This last point is one that most theists don’t accept, even if it’s completely logical. The bottom line is that God is, according to much of what Abrahmic-tradition followers say about him/her/it, a monster who uses events like rape as tools to achieve his goals. It’s an unavoidable conclusion. So any Abrahamic believer who says they don’t agree with vicious cretins like Faught, are going to have to think long and hard about what, exactly, they believe in and what kind of God they worship. Most of them, for better or worse, have never really thought out what it means to believe in a deity who has all the qualities they say their God has. It’s just never occurred to them to lay it all out — all of it — and figure out exactly what it means. They simply like thinking their deity is all-powerful. The emotional comfort this provides, is all they know and all they care about. They ignore the other ramifications of this belief.
No one should be surprised that this would have happened. Within the Religious Right there’s long been a seething undercurrent of sanctimonious outrage that P.P. even exists at all. Of course those videos lit a few fuses around the country! How could they not? Surely that was what the group that created them intended. They had to know they’d be stirring up a latent fury.
In any event, as soon as I’d heard a P.P. facility was the scene of an “active shooter” incident, I knew there were two possibilities: First, that the shooter knew someone there (either an employee or a patient) and that the incident grew out of some domestic disagreement; or second, that it was a furious Religious Rightist on a personal crusade to shut down P.P. and end its supposed practice of “selling baby parts” — which, as I said, they do not do (cached). It turns out that the shooter, Robert Dear, had a most recent address in North Carolina (cached), so the domestic angle would seem improbable at best.
That would make him an anti-abortion crusader. In other words, a domestic, Right-wing Christian terrorist. But … one wouldn’t know that from local officials or from mass-media coverage. The current mantra they’re all mouthing is that Dear’s motive is “unknown.” This is in spite of the fact that it’s also been widely reported that he’s been cooperating with police since his surrender. It’s difficult to believe they’d characterize him as “cooperating” if he hadn’t given them some idea of what he’d been trying to do.
The man who police say staged a deadly shooting attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic that offers abortion services said “no more baby parts” after his arrest, a law enforcement official said Saturday.
Even so, the same story repeats local officials’ insistence that there’s no known motive:
Police, however, have not disclosed a motive for Friday’s attack during which they say Dear stormed the Colorado Springs clinic, killing three people, including a police officer, before he surrendered to authorities.
It seems no one in the mass media or in law enforcement will dare put 2 and 2 together and just come right out and say what most of us already know: That Robert Dear is a domestic, Right-wing, anti-abortion Christian terrorist.
No, instead of admitting the US has a Right-wing terror problem, we have Neocrusaders stomping around the country, desperate to outlaw Islam. We have presidential candidates who want to shut down mosques and possibly even track all Muslims (cached), as ways of eliminating terror. None of that bullshit is going to help much, if everyone just lets the likes of Robert Dear off the hook, making whiney excuses for why we supposedly don’t know why he did what he did. The truth is, we all fucking know why he did what he did. To say otherwise is a fucking lie.
This is one of those stories so ridiculous, I considered not posting about it. But … since this follows a common Christianist model (i.e. a Christian claiming to have converted from some profane or violent religion, thus proving the moral, spiritual and supernatural superiority of Christianity), I figured it was worth noting.
Zachary King remembers the day well. It was in 1982. He was young, rebellious and dabbling in the occult.
But on that day, he would make the transition from novice to the deeper things of Satan.
“I had just turned 14, and they told me there was going to be a sex party in someone’s house and all the males in the coven were going to sleep with this woman,” recalls King, now 47 and a pro-life activist living in Florida.
“And the purpose of the party was to get her pregnant, and then nine months later we were going to be doing an abortion,” he said.…
He said he performed many of the sacrificial abortion rituals at the clinics of “a large abortion provider,” but he would not identify the provider for fear of lawsuits.
Yes folks, if you can believe it, doctors working in clinics actually set aside space and time for Satanic priests to perform profane rituals that get blood all over the place. That’s what this guy is saying … !
This selection is enough to make clear how crazy this crank’s story is. I was immediately drawn back to my own days as a fundamentalist Christian, when I’d read The Satan Seller by former Satanist-turned-Christian and comedian Mike Warnke. His tale was similar, of having been lured into “the occult” and becoming a Satanic high priest who presided over any number of profane rituals, only to turn his life around once he converted to Christianity. His act was a combination of stand-up comedy and fire-&-brimstone preaching.
Now, I’m not actually calling this Zachary King a liar. Oh no. I have no idea if he’s spinning tall tales. All I’m saying is that his story reminds me of all those other guys, and this motif is a common way for Christians to draw attention to themselves among their co-religionists.
Beneath American Christendom lurks a stream of what I refer to as “disaster theology.” It’s the idea that pretty much anything bad that happens, occurs because God is upset about some societal failure. He’s angry with humanity, so he takes out his rage on us. This tactic is a way to invoke terror among believers, inciting them to do something about the societal failure — whatever it may be — before some other (usually worse) disaster happens. Lots of Christianists use this tactic as part of their ongoing “psy-ops” campaigns, keeping the faithful all frothed up and in a tizzy. And the faithful, of course, are too ignorant, gullible, and/or stupid to realize how asinine it all is, or understand they’re being manipulated.
The frequency with which Christianists use “disaster theology” prevents me from calling attention to all of them. Otherwise I’d do nothing all day but post examples of this phenomenon. Most of the time, I remark only on the more egregious or cruel examples of it, such as whenmassacres are usedthis way. That people would use such events as weapons in their “psy-cops” warfare is horrific, and demonstrates their total lack of character.
Televangelist Pat Robertson responded to the dramatic market sell-off today by suggesting that it was only a foretaste of God’s judgment for legal abortion and federal funding of Planned Parenthood.…
“We will pay dearly as a nation for this thing going on,” he said. “And possibly if we were to stop all this slaughter the judgment of God might be lifted from us. But it’s coming, ladies and gentlemen. We just had a little taste of it in terms of the financial system, but it’s going to be shaken to its core in the next few months, years or however long it tastes and it will hurt every one of us.”
Earlier in the program, Robertson claimed that the market crash was prophesied by Jonathan Cahn, who believes that something bad will happen in late September as part of the biblical Shemittah cycle. Today’s market turmoil, according to Robertson, is a sign that conditions will only get worse next month.
“This thing is hitting with great force and if Cahn is right on that Shemittah we could be in for some really rough days in the markets,” he said, before urging his viewers to buy gold in preparation for greater market deterioration.
This is ridiculous and laughable for two reasons:
First, the stock markets tanked for a very well-known reason. It’s one that’s been widely reported in numerous media outlets: An economic seizure in China, which has ripple effects in other markets around the world (cached). One might ask why there’s so much market trouble coming out of China, but it’s been building for a couple months, due to the popping of China’s stock market bubble in June (cached). And why, one might further ask, did China’s stock market bubble burst? That’s actually a stupid question: All market bubbles burst at some point. It’s inevitable! The question isn’t whether or not they will, it’s when. The causes of today’s stock market “correction” are well known, and something of this sort has been anticipated for a while. Appeals to the supernatural aren’t necessary … and corrections, while disruptive in the short term, are actually a normal part of healthy markets.
Second, all the caterwauling about government spending on abortions, and especially all the called lately to “defund Planned Parenthood,” ignores a very salient fact: No federal money is ever spent on abortions, due to something called the Hyde Amendment, which has been in force in one way or another since 1976. That’s right, since the mid-70s not one red cent of federal money has ever been spent on abortions! Robertson, and the rest of the bellicose Religious Right, is whining about something that isn’t actually the problem he claims it is.
(I note a lot of folks over on the Right have a fascination with selling gold; many Rightist pundits’ shows feature gold-broker advertisements, and folks like Ron Paul are heavily invested in gold, as well (cached). These people are not looking out for the interests of their viewers/readers/listeners/followers … they’re actually trying to fatten their own wallets, at their viewers/readers/listeners/followers’ expense!)
It’s funny how a guy who’s so concerned about abortions, just happens to discern a course of action (i.e. buying gold) for his viewers to follow which — conveniently for him! — also just happens to be something he stands to profit from (via his gold-industry investments). Hmm. Coincidence? I think not!
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who is facing a tough race to retain his seat in Congress, told reporters Thursday that he was opposed to abortion under any circumstances — and that thanks to medical progress, “you can’t find one instance” when it might be necessary to perform an abortion to protect a woman’s health.
“There’s no such exception as life of the mother,” Walsh said, according to this report from Bloomberg News. “And as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology. Health of the mother has become a tool for abortions any time, under any reason.”
Walsh, you see, is among the most fiercely Puritanical of the anti-abortionists, who refuse to provide any exceptions in their anti-abortion legislation. His problem — aside from the fact that he has no medical training whatsoever and hasn’t the expertise to make this claim — is that this is simply not true:
Within hours, women’s heath advocates — and physicians — attacked his remarks.
“Joe Walsh’s ignorance about women’s health is alarming,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood, in a statement.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) fired its own salvo, calling the congressman’s comments “inaccurate” in a widely distributed response.
“Abortions are necessary in a number of circumstances to save the life of a woman or to preserve her health,” the doctors’ organization said. The group reported that more than 600 women die every year from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes and that “many more would die each year if they did not have access to abortion.”
There are, in fact, any number of problems that might come along, which require an abortion to save a woman’s life. Walsh cannot simply declare they don’t exist. For him to do so, is fucking ridiculous.
I have news for Rep Walsh and others of his ilk: That you have certain metaphysics beliefs — e.g. that abortion is impermissible — does not entitle you to lie in support of that belief. You can’t just make scientific or medical claims that aren’t true, in order to make your beliefs apear valid. That he’d do this, places Rep Walsh in my “lying liars for Jesus” club, where he’s sure to enjoy the company.
Finally, that Rep Walsh thinks women must be allowed to die, merely because of a problem during their pregnancies, is a downright evil proposition. Even so, he’s not the only one who espouses this very philosophy; The Roman Catholic Church teaches it, too.
The vast armies of the Religious Right are on the march, and are working harder than ever before to turn the US into a Christofascist paradise. The 2010 elections have fired them up, and they’re taking no prisoners. The latest example of this trend comes from South Dakota, where a bill under consideration may make it legally permissible to kill abortion doctors. You read that right. Mother Jones reports on S.D. House Bill 1171 and its possible ramifications (WebCite cached article):
A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171 [cached], has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights [cached], alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Phil Jensen (R), spoke to Mother Jones on Tuesday morning, after the story was published. He disagreed with this interpretation of the bill, claiming that it is simply meant to “bring consistency to South Dakota statute as it relates to justifiable homicide.” This echoes the argument he made in the committee hearing on the bill last week. “If you look at the code, these codes are dealing with illegal acts. Now, abortion is a legal act. So this has got nothing to do with abortion.” Jensen also aggressively defended the bill [cached] in an interview with the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent on Tuesday morning.
So, we have here a man who’s on the record as opposing abortion, and who sponsors a bill that has implications for abortion … yet somehow I’m supposed to believe him when he says it “has got nothing to do with abortion”? Really!? Sorry, Representative, I’m not stupid enough to buy that. Not for one moment.
Folks, the relentless onslaught of Christofascism is coming.
Two months ago I blogged on a strange religiofascist crew from out-of-state who decided to protest in front of a mosque in Bridgeport, Connecticut, screaming “Islam is a lie!” at it, among other things. At the time, I had never heard of their leader, Flip Benham, and assumed him to just be some run-of-the-mill hyperreligious nutjob with a lot of time on his hands. But authorities in North Carolina have known who he is; they prosecuted him for harassing doctors and he was recently convicted of this, as station WSOC TV-9 in Charlotte, NC explains (WebCite cached article):
A local pastor was found guilty Monday of stalking a doctor who performs abortions. He was sentenced to 24 months probation and plans to appeal.
Reverend “Flip” Benham posted wild west-style “Wanted” posters which gave the doctor’s name and home address. Benham said this was a free speech issue, that he has a constitutional right to speak his mind.
Quite aside from all of this, however, Benham is obviously off his rocker. And now, he’s a convict. His defense for what he did is rather thin:
Benham replied, “Nobody has gone and killed because [he or she] saw a poster. That is most absurd and logical fallacy that there possibly could be.”
First of all, as a ferocious religionist and fascist at heart, Benham wouldn’t know what a “fallacy” was, if one smashed him in the face and knocked him to the ground. Second, that Benham included the doctor’s face and address makes evident his intention to intimidate the doctor, at the very least. The Flipster may be free to practice his religion, but that freedom is not a license to harass or intimidate others, and intimidating or harassing speech is not protected by the First Amendment.