Posts Tagged “religionism”

Newt Gingrich / Gage Skidmore, via FlickrChristofascists are nothing if not paranoid. Anything and everything that exists, other than each other and their dour religion, is a dire threat to them, and their very lives are at risk … merely because they believe in their Jesus the way they do. This has been Christianity’s stock in trade pretty much since the religion began. They’ve worked hard, over the last couple millennia, to cultivate a deep-seated persecution complex. It is, in fact, so profound that it’s made them downright delusional. They actually invent “persecution” that doesn’t exist, solely so that they can feel like martyrs for Jesus.

A terrific example of this came from someone I haven’t blogged about in a while: Newt Gingrich, the hypocritical Christofascist. As the Naples Daily News reports, he claims atheism is a greater threat to Christianity than terrorism (Archive.Is cached article):

The secular philosophy of the left in Western society is at least as grave a danger to Christianity as that posed by terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaida, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Saturday night in North Naples.

The Republican from Georgia addressed about 300 people at The Ritz-Carlton for the annual Speaker Event dinner of the Ave Maria School of Law.

“The rise of a secular, atheist philosophy” in the West is “an equally or even more dangerous threat” to Christianity than terrorist organizations that will kill Christians if “they don’t submit,” Gingrich said.

He exhorted this school to become part of the “resistance” to his putative “war on Christianity.”

Yeah. That’s right, folks. He actually compared the mere existence of atheism to terrorism that’s fucking killing people around the world.

No shit. That’s exactly what the Newtster said!

Before you think this sort of comparison is out of character for him, it’s not. Seven years ago, he actually stated that “secular atheists” were “radical Islamists.” I still haven’t figured out how that works. I mean, it’s a semantic impossibility — “radical Islamists” are, by definition, religious, whereas by definition, “secular atheists” are not — but that’s what the cretin said. Honest! So comparing the rather brazen evil which is Islamist terror, with “secular atheism” (which is not inherently harmful to anyone) is a game the Newtster has been playing for a very long time now.

The problem, of course — and the reason he’s continued making these comparisons — is that his audience totally swallows this contention. The precious snowflakes really and truly do think that the mere existence of atheism is a dire threat to their very lives, and that atheism exists solely to wipe out Christianity (but somehow, not Islam, nor any other religion). These people are fucking nuts and have woven their own delusion. That makes them extraordinarily dangerous.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr.

Hat tip: Friendly Atheist.

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'You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste.' / PsiCop original graphic, based on quotation by Rahm Emanuel (see https://www.factcheck.org/2011/01/bum-rap-for-rahm/)By now, you’ve heard about the Parkland, FL school shooting, this past Wednesday (cached article). And if you’ve read my blog for more than a few months, you’d be able to predict Christianists would use it to promote their dour metaphysics. After all, what good is a terrible — and terrifying — event, if one can’t exploit it, in order to terrify others into believing something?

The overall phenomenon is something I’ve called (generally) “disaster theology,” and this case is part of a subset of that, called “massacre theology.” I have for your review two examples of this related to the Parkland massacre.

First, we have Fox News pundit and raging Christofascist Todd Starnes, who says this shooting was caused by the Devil, and abortions and other Christianist bogeymen (cached):

They kicked God out of the public marketplace, banned Bibles and prayer in school.

And the Devil smiled.

Tens of millions of unborn babies have been slaughtered in the name of choice.

And the Devil smiled.

His whole whiney diatribe is a parade of lies, such as that Bibles and prayer were outlawed in schools … that never actually happened. In truth, there are Bibles in public schools all over the country, and prayer takes place in them all the time (“Please God, help me pass this geometry test!”). And God has never been removed from “the public marketplace” … that too is a damned lie. If anything, the Religious Right has made sure their God remains firmly in control of “the public marketplace.”

The second example of “massacre theology” comes from Lucian Wintrich. (Who’s that, you say? He’s the White House beat reporter for a Right-wing blog called the Gateway Pundit. Yes, folks, Right-wing blogs now have White House beat reporters. Really.) As Right Wing Watch reports, this cretin says the massacre happened because Christianity has been “demonized” (cached):

“Part of it is the lack of community and the lack of the role of the church in modern American society. And I think that the way the left has disparaged that, what they’ve done—and it infuriates me what the left has done these days—is they have demonized Christianity, the church, Jesus Christ, who if you read his teachings, right, it was ‘We’re all brothers. Look out for one another.’”

While it’s true Jesus did teach those things, no one should forget that, since his time, Christians themselves have rejected those teachings; they tend to view only each other as “brothers,” and outsiders as vile creatures who need to be treated like garbage. So let’s be honest here: This “Christianity” that Wintrich thinks has been “demonized,” doesn’t actually exist, and hasn’t existed for nearly a couple millennia. Aside from this, Wintrich’s complaint is yet another manifestation of the Christian martyr complex. Yes, Lucian, Chrishuns are just soooooo persecuted, aren’t you, you preciously little snowflakes? Yawn.

Another yawner: Both Starnes and Wintrich also fell back on the Religious Right trope that there’s no morality without their Christianism. That’s not true, but it happens to be a very old complaint among their ilk. If they genuinely think I’m an amoral person because of my agnosticism, and that I need to become a Christian in order to have any morals, I invite both of them to track me down and make me convert to their Christianity. Go right ahead, guys. Lock and load! I’ll be ready for you. You won’t be able to convert me, even by force, but please, by all means, give it your best shot. OK?

I continue to marvel at how supposedly-devout people are so eager to exploit horrific events for their own aggrandizement and to advance their religion. I find that tactic despicable … but then, hey, what could some cynical, cold-hearted, godless agnostic heathen possibly know about such important, sacred things? Right?

Photo credit: PsiCop graphic, based on Rahm Emanuel quotation.

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Pakistani security officials clash with supporters of the Movement in Service to the Finality of the Prophet, a religious group, in Islamabad on Saturday as the government tries to disperse protesters who have blocked the main highway for days. (Sohail Shahzad/EPA/EFE/REX/Shutterstock, via Washington Post)We all know Pakistan is home to a lot of militant Islamists. The country has stern laws against anti-Islamic blasphemy, and it’s the place where a hundred thousand people turned out to mourn the Islamofascist assassin of one of their state governors. Pakistan’s pervasive, extremist Islamism once again reared its ugly head, as the Washington Post reports, in the wake of convictions after a mob murdered a university student almost a year ago (Archive.Is cached article):

When an anti-terrorism court sentenced one man to death and 25 others to prison terms Wednesday in the slaying of a student last year in northwest Pakistan [cached], the ruling was meant to send a strong warning that murder in the name of defending Islam would not be tolerated.

But the court’s decision immediately triggered large, angry protest rallies by religious groups in the area, along with homecoming celebrations for those acquitted of the mob beating and shooting death of Mashal Khan last April. Banners welcomed them as heroes of the faith.…

The movement, led by clerics from Pakistan’s largest and generally peaceful Sunni Muslim sect, has swelled since November, when a protest they staged in the capital, Islamabad [cached], ended with the federal government capitulating to their major demands and calling in army leaders to negotiate.

Really, the government of Pakistan is doing what it always does in cases like this: Surrendering to its people’s childish, irrational, violent Islamism. And that’s the reason Pakistan has become a bastion of Islamist extremism; its government won’t really press the issue, discipline their own people and force them to grow the fuck up already. Instead, they indulge the infantile rabble, because they haven’t the fortitude to deal with the inevitable backlash.

Will Pakistan’s One of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, via Assyrian Information Management military do anything about this? I don’t expect it. This is the same military that let none other than Osama bin-Laden live for years just under a thousand yards from their own equivalent of West Point, without ever having offered any explanation for how that happened.

As for blasphemy Lars Vilks Muhammad cartoon, via Gawker being a crime that must be punished with death … well, that’s just fucking ridiculous. Blasphemy is no crime at all, because it never harms anything. (Except maybe for believers’ feelings.) Islam won’t be damaged just because there was a non-believer on a university campus. It won’t be damaged if someone burns a Qur’an. It won’t be damaged if people draw cartoons of Mohammad. It simply won’t. Islam will continue on, as it always has, in spite of anyone’s “blasphemy.”

As I always do when blogging about the topic of murderous anti-blasphemy rage among Muslims, I’ve decorated this post with a couple added blasphemous graphics … just to tweak any infantile Islamofascists who might happen to see it. Boo hoo hoo, little babies. Book hoo!

Photo credits: Top, Sohail Shahzad/EPA/EFE/REX/Shutterstock, via Washington Post; middle, Jyllands-Posten, via Assyrian Information Management; bottom, Lars Vilks, via Gawker.

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Conquest of Jeusalem (1099)I’ve blogged a lot about the movement I call “the Great Neocrusade” … an effort to remove Islam and Muslims from the US (and for many of its followers, to eradicate it from the planet after that). I’ve noted that, as of a couple years ago, it became an openly violent movement, with people being attacked over it (sometimes by mistake). Attacking people because they’re Muslims is, of course, not really new, but it did pick up a bit after the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.

Well, the anti-Muslim violence is still going on. As KOLD-TV reports, it manifested recently in Tuscon, AZ (Archive.Is cached article):

A man is in custody after allegedly attacking a group of Muslim women in Tucson, city police said.

The Tucson Police Department said Manuel Lewis, 44, was arrested Sunday, Jan. 14 at an incident outside of the Starbucks on University Boulevard.

This attack appears not to have been Lewis’s first ride on this rodeo:

We’ve been told this has happened before – that Lewis specifically shouted derogatory comments nearby at Sinbad’s Restaurant, a middle-eastern food establishment in the area.

As I’ve said pretty much every time one of these stories pops up: Look, I get it. There is such a thing as Islamist terror. Muslim extremists have done a lot of terrible things. Oh yeah. I know all about it. I definitely don’t dismiss it. But, with that said … violent rages against those who’re part of a religion whose extreme members have also been violent, just doesn’t make any fucking sense. It’s time for Americans to grow the fuck up already and stop lashing out at every Muslim they come across. Sure, Islamist terrorists are dangerous … but on average, Americans are in far greater danger from ordinary sociopaths, than they are from Islamist terrorists. As horrific as their attacks are, there are lots of other dangers that deserve much more attention.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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This Christmas tree is upside down! Outside a local bar :) #upsticksandgo #bar #bangkok #christmas #christmastree #upsidedown #travelgram #travellinglife #travellingtheworld #michfrostA new salvo has been fired in the Religious Right’s phantasmal “war on Christmas.” And that is, upside-down Christmas trees. Yes, you heard that right … upside-down Christmas trees. I’d heard of these a few years ago, as a space-saving way of having a Christmas tree that doesn’t take up floor space. In other words, a sometimes-practical variation on a traditional practice.

But as with everything else associated with the solstice-time holiday, it becomes fodder for Rightists’ annual “war on Christmas.” As Newsweek reports, pundits on Fox News have taken them as an assault on Christianity itself (Archive.Is cached article):

The president’s favorite TV show tackled an important topic inspiring nationwide debate on Friday, brought in an expert and somehow turned it all into a political controversy. Yes, we’re talking about upside-down Christmas trees.

In a segment on Fox & Friends, host Pete Hegseth opened a discussion about trendy inverted decorations by linking them to the so-called war on Christmas, a rallying cry for some evangelicals and Republicans who argue politically correct culture is hurting American values. Hegseth wondered aloud whether having a traditional, right-side-up Christmas tree was part of those values and then asked Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski what he thought.

This was, of course, a setup; the irrationality snowballed from there:

Lewandowski first said he didn’t know what the trend was about. Then, in a swift and almost masterful maneuver, he used it to attack the Democrats for their response to Senator Al Franken’s recently revealed sexual misconduct.

“It’s like an upside-down world. It’s like Seinfeld, the bizarro world. Like you can be a U.S. senator after groping people on a picture and nobody has any accountability for it,” Lewandowski said. “That’s what the upside-down Christmas tree means to me. I mean, it’s everything that is wrong.”

He went on to say that he thought the Trump family would be keeping the White House Christmas tree—a 19-and-a-half-foot Balsam fir from Wisconsin—right side up because they appreciate the country’s traditions.

This is a dense package of habitual Right-wing appeals. Lewandowski alluded to Al Franken — who, contrary to what the Groper-in-Chief’s minion claimed, has offered to be held accountable for his actions (cached). He asserted his boss, the GiC, would bravely defend the country against the relentless onslaught of upside-down Christmas trees and courageously protect “tradition” — which, if Rightists are to be believed, is perpetually in danger. He mentioned the world being turned upside-down, which is a common Rightist complaint in the face of almost anything that ever happens, e.g. the advent of gay marriage).

That the GiC’s own White House is, itself, a “bizarro world” is something that neither Lewandowski or anyone else on this show accepted … but I digress.

Really, there’s nothing insidious, blasphemous, anti-Christmas or anti-Christian about upside-down Christmas trees. Newsweek links to an article on their antiquity; they actually date to the early Middle Ages (cached). I also found articles. One is at Christianity Today, surveying the history of Christmas trees, which mentions those early-medieval upside-down Christmas trees (cached). There’s also a religious commentary, by a prominent minister, at the Gaston Cty, NC Gazette suggesting upside-down Christmas trees are theologically appropriate (cached)! So really, this complaint has no basis in reality … or in the metaphysical irrationality of Christianity.

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“Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’” (Matthew 7:23, New American Bible) / PsiCop original graphicReally, I wish this wasn’t the case. But I can’t say I didn’t expect this. It certainly appears Alabama’s fundagelicals managed to live down to all my expectations of them, in the wake of the possibility that former Judge Roy Moore — thunderous proponent of Ten Commandments worship — may have had relations with teen girls back when he was in his 30s. Newsweek reports that their support for him has actually increased since these allegations were reported (Archive.Is cached article):

Talk about loving the sinner!

Nearly 40 percent of Evangelical Christians in Alabama say they’re now more likely to vote for Roy Moore after multiple allegations that he molested children, even as voters across the historically red state now seem to be punishing Moore for his past actions, a new poll shows.

A plurality of evangelicals — 37 percent — described themselves as more likely to support Moore because of recent sexual assault allegations levied against him, while only 28 percent were less likely to do so. Thirty-four percent of the supposedly devout Christians said that the allegations reported last week in the Washington Post [cached] made no difference in their support for Moore.

Yes, that’s right, folks. More than 1/3 of Alabama’s Christianists actually have a higher regard for Moore, now, than they did before WaPo‘s takedown.

There are lots of rationales these folk can employ in order to justify this (cached). Many will dismiss the story as fiction, or “fake news,” merely because it comes from the insidiously liberal Washington Post, which cooked up vicious lies about their precious “Ten Commandments Judge” in order to deprive him of his deserved Senate seat. There are also no doubt others who don’t really see anything wrong with older men dating (or courting, or whatever they call it) teen girls (cached). There’s also, of course, the matter of consent (i.e. the girls didn’t object to whatever Moore did), but in at least some cases — especially that of the 14-year-old — “consent” is not relevant, since no one that age can consent to sex. And there’s the objection that statutory rape isn’t as bad as some other crimes, so what Moore did is OK. Yeah, one of his defenders actually said that (cached)!

Look, this is the very same crowd who chanted that Hillary Clinton should have been “locked up” over her private email server. I don’t point this out as a way of defending her on that … as an I.T. professional, I know that using a private email server to conduct public business was a profoundly bad idea and diminished transparency, which is necessary for office holders … but I am saying that these folk are willing to think the worst, and demand prosecution of, their ideological foes whenever they feel it appropriate. They just refuse to ask the same of their own, and are willing to give them license to do — well, whatever the fuck they feel like. Because they’re good Christians, of course. And as we all know, they’re not perfect, just forgiven. Right?

And there’s the matter of the decades that passed before this came to the nation’s attention. Moore and his defenders think that means the allegations can’t be true (cached). But Moore’s penchant for hitting up teen girls wasn’t exactly not known. Locals in Gadsden, AL were aware of his habits as long ago as the 1970s (cached and cached). As for why these women would have remained silent (beyond the Gadsden area), keep in mind that Moore was a county prosecutor and worked his way up Alabama’s judicial ladder after that. Taking on such a person is intimidating … and remained so even after his removals from office, due to his popularity as the “Ten Commandments Judge.”

At long last, we can now dispense with any pretense that any of these Religious Rightists are interested in promoting “family values.” They are not. For all their claimed high morals, they’re all just sex-obsessed deviants, who scream and rail against the “perversions” of others (e.g. homosexuals, transgenders, etc.), but they’re just as perverted, only in their own ways. They’re all just fucking hypocrites, in spite of the fact that their own Jesus Christ explicitly and unambiguously forbid them ever to be hypocritical … for any reason or at any time. It is, quite simply, not permitted them.

What these folk are really after is what Moore has promised to provide them: A Christocracy, in which they rule the country (as though they don’t already), in which their fundagelical version of Christianity is the national religion, in which their dour metaphysics is the law of the land, and non-Christians who insolently dare defy them by failing to convert are either jailed, exiled, or killed. They are, in a word, militants, and they’re going to stand by their Ten Commandments Judge no matter what, because of that.

Photo credit: PsiCop original graphic, based on Mt 7:23.

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Hypocrites Are Us (aka Hypocrites R Us)Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A sanctimoniously angry religionist who rails and fumes against the perceived “perversions” of others (e.g. gays), and who condemns the prevailing licentiousness of society generally, turns out to be just a tad less than the morally-unassailable, pure-as-the-driven-snow icon of ethical perfection s/he claims to be. Yeah, it’s not a new story. Like me, you’ve heard it a million times already. Jimmy Swaggart, George Alan Rekers, Jim Bakker, Marcus Lamb, Ted Haggard, are just a few of the many names that leap to mind in this regard. Well, today the Washington Post reported that Alabama’s most famous and most militant Christofascist might also be a pedophile (Archive.Is cached article):

Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore.

It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.…

Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.…

Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.

As if to fend off the inevitable Right-wing cry of “Fake news! Fake news!”, WaPo explains the ways in which they attempted to verify Corfman’s story. For instance, they checked court records to find that Corfman’s mother did, in fact, have a hearing at the time described. The paper also explains that neither she, nor the other three women mentioned, came forward with allegations against Moore on their own; they only coughed up their stories after multiple interviews. So none of them was motivated to “bring down” Moore.

Moore, of course, denies all of this and decried WaPo‘s story as fiction intended to destroy him. (Yeah, it’s that old Right-wing “Fake news!” mantra, coupled with the old standby “Left-wing bias” complaint. Yawn.) Still, that they checked out many details and have confirmed what they were able to, suggests this is anything but fiction.

Moore is, as one expects of furious Christofascists, angry and is resisting quitting Alabama’s Senate race. He has a lot of support in Alabamastan, even among folks who haven’t denied the encounters described might have taken place. For instance, state auditor Jim Ziegler has pointed out that Jesus’ mother Mary was a teenager when she was married (cached). They’re quite happy with their perpetually-outraged, militant Christianist “Ten Commandments” judge, and have no problem with him being — maybe! — a pedophile. All they care about is, once he’s in Washington, he can help force the entire country to worship the Ten Commandments right along with him.

That Moore would decry the sexual perversions of others, but engage in some of his own, makes him a brazen hypocrite. And hypocrisy, he may be interested to know, was explicitly and unambiguously forbidden him by the founder of his religion. But I guess Moore and his fanbois think it’s OK for him to disobey Jesus. After all, they’re doing it in his name. Right?

Photo credit: PsiCop original graphic.

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