Posts Tagged “oklahoma legislature”

And Jesus WeptThe 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.

The latest example of this kind of asinine behavior comes from the Oklahoma legislature. There, as KFOR-TV reports, Rep. George Faught agreed with the idea that rape is “the will of God” (WebCite cached article):

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.

First, it’s not uncommon for Christians to view horrific events, such as violent crimes, or larger catastrophes such as plagues, earthquakes, etc. as warnings issued by the Almighty. This is, in fact, what I call “disaster theology,” and I’ve blogged about many examples of this sort of thinking. It’s a very old and tired trope within Christianity.

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.

Photo credit: Terry Alexander, via Flickr.

Hat tip: Raw Story.

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To use a tired formulation, Oklahoma is the new Kansas. It’s being turned into a crucible for the Religious Right, a place which they can seize and remake into a theocratic state of their own, in which everyone — regardless of his or her own religion or lack thereof — must obey the strictures of evangelical Protestant fundamentalist Christianity. I’ve blogged twice before about these religionazis. As the Tulsa World reports, they’re at it again:

A state lawmaker is urging Oklahomans to sign a morality proclamation “to acknowledge the need for a national awakening of righteousness.”

Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, has called a press conference for noon Thursday on the first floor of the state Capitol to discuss the “Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality,” which may be sent to Gov. Brad Henry, President Barack Obama and the state’s congressional delegation.

“We believe our economic woes are consequences of our greater national moral crisis,” a draft of the proclamation states. “This nation has become a world leader in promoting abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery.”

The resolution goes on to claim that the US is a Christian state, an old whine that the Religious Right has long made, but which remains as untrue as it was, the first time it was spewed.

These people seriously want a new order in the United States … a government based on Old Testament, Judges-era principles, in which everyone is an evangelical Protestant fundamentalist Christian like themselves, and where crimes such as “breaking the sabbath” are capital offenses.

Watch out, folks … despite having lost the 2006 mid-terms and the 2008 election, these people have not given up. They want power, and they’re not going to stop trying to get it.

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I saw a news story on what I thought was an unusual bill proposed in the Oklahoma legislature. I call it “unusual” because, so far as I know, what the bill permits already exists by law. It didn’t take long, though, before I realized that this is another example of religioneering in the Oklahoma legislature that I’d blogged about earlier. This story is from TV station KOCO in Oklahoma City:

A bill in the Oklahoma Legislature would allow pregnant women to use deadly force in order to save the lives of their babies.

The bill stems from a Michigan case where a woman who was carrying quadruplets stabbed and killed her boyfriend after he hit her in the stomach. The woman lost the babies and was convicted of manslaughter.

Oklahoma lawmakers said they want to make sure that a woman can legally protect her unborn child.

As KOCO reports, however:

Oklahoma already has a law allowing a person to use force to protect himself or another person from someone else.

So this new law is extraneous and unnecessary. But the KOCO story revealed the true impetus behind this law:

The group Americans United for Life came to state lawmakers and asked for the bill that Thompson co-authored.

This is a pro-life group, which — although less well-known than some others, such as Operation Rescue — is nonetheless influential among the Religious Right. Its biggest claim to fame, perhaps, was its legal battle to prevent the FDA from approving the drug RU-486.

At any rate, the admission that a pro-life Religious Right group is pushing this law, the real motive becomes obvious, and the story states it explicitly:

The new bill includes an unborn child as “another” person. Oklahoma has also had a law covering the murder of unborn babies since 2005.

The idea, then, is to reinforce in Oklahoma state law that an unborn child is a “person,” legally. This will set up a legal precedent for outlawing abortion as the “murder” of a “person” and thus open a potential avenue by which to challenge Roe v. Wade — you know, the court case that’s had the Religious Right’s knickers in a knot for decades and which they are too juvenile to get over.

Way to go, Oklahoma legislators … keep using your institution to enforce your religion on the people of your state — and perhaps the country, if you can contrive some way to get Roe v. Wade overturned — and squash any dissent from your religionism (like you did when you tried to stop Richard Dawkins from speaking at OU). It would be better for you, your state, and the country if you simply grew up, for the first time in your lives, and accepted that not everyone else is a wild-eyed, foaming-at-the-mouth, fire-&-brimstone-threatening, Bible-thumping, End-Times-loving, evangelical fundamentalist Christian — but we all know you’re too far gone to be mature enough to realize this.

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The Oklahoma legislature has gone around the bend when it comes to the famous British evolutionary scientist — and more to the point, outspoken atheist — Richard Dawkins. On learning that Dawkins was planning to speak at the University of Oklahoma, Rep. Todd Thomsen sponsored legislation that would denounce Dawkins personally and condemn the teaching of evolution at UOK.

No joke, it really happened.

The intrepid and irrepressible Dawkins appeared anyway, in defiance of Oklahoma’s legislative maneuverings. One would think the matter is now closed …

… but the reactionary Bible-thumpers in the Oklahoma legislature are not done with it. They’ve launched an investigation into the invitation and the expenses surrounding his lecture there:

Well, it’s official: Oklahoma’s state legislature is investigating the University of Oklahoma for hosting a speech by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. …

Despite their efforts, the legislature failed to prevent Dawkins from speaking on March 6 to an audience of thousands at the University of Oklahoma.

Last week, however, I received multiple reports that the legislature was now investigating the speech, and I wrote the University of Oklahoma President David Boren directly asking to know if this was true.

Sure enough, I just received confirmation today in a letter from the Open Records Office at the University of Oklahoma. The letter confirms that on the day of Dawkins’ speech, Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton requested substantial information relating to the speech from Vice President for Governmental Relations Danny Hilliard.

Although Dawkins was not paid for his appearance, it seems the reactionaries are still incensed that Oklahoma taxpayer money was spent helping this vile, spawn-of-Satan evolution-teacher present his (GASP!) unabashedly atheistic views.

You may also remember that about one year ago, another Oklahoma legislator, Rep. Sally Kern, launched a ridiculous diatribe against gays, which included just about every anti-gay cliche statement you can name (listen to it at ABC News). Among the factually-incorrect statements she made was that homosexuality-accepting societies never lasted more than “a few decades.” This contradicts known history — e.g. the Greek civilization accepted certain practices, but they lasted for centuries as a distinct entity; and Greek civilization didn’t even die off, it morphed into the larger Greco-Roman world, which has in turn become the occidental culture we now enjoy.

Maybe it’s just me, but I wonder if these ferocious religionazis in Oklahoma shouldn’t just grow up already and find better things to do with their state’s time?

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