Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blessed Be The Atheists? The Pope and Obama Conspire To Put Non-Believers In Heaven!

"We are not fighting against flesh and bone.  We are fighting the forces of spiritual darkness.  It doesn't matter what people's intent are.  I will tell you: that was there for a reason."

Atheist Alert! Both the Pope and Obama want you to know that atheists are actually normal - and moral - human beings!

It must be very cold in hell today. Freezing, actually. Because it's official: atheists can be as good as Christians, meet the pope and possibly go to heaven! There is, of course, much wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments among the echelons of the Christian Right who have been linking all atheists to Stalin and Pol Pot for decades. And the enemies of Catholicism (like Cindy Japan-is-shaped-like-a-dragon Jacobs) will be out in full force to tell the world that the new pope is not a true (atheist-hating) Christian.

Atheists don’t like our happiness. They don’t want you to be happy, they want you to be miserable. They’re miserable so they want you to be miserable. - Pat Robertson
Two incidents: first off, the new pope, Francis I, gave a homily about the duty of everyone to be good, not just Christians, because Christ died for everyone's sins and that killing in the name of God may be the ultimate blasphemy:
“This ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy … The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! 
We all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there,” – Pope Francis I

Of course, that statement didn't exactly make some people (like me) forego their suspicions. Doubts still remain; but the statement has substance: it takes on the Christofascist world and lays it on its ear. The bedrock of its righteously arrogant world is its belief that only "believers" will go to heaven because only "believers" can be righteous. The feeling that Christians have cornered the market on goodness is reflected in the practices of hiring only Christians and declaring heretofore unknown "wars" (e.g. the "war on Christmas") to perpetuate the image of persecuted martyrs.

The second incident occurred when Wolff Blitzer's interviewed a tornado victim: when asked by Blitzer if she "thanked the Lord" for her family's survival, she replied: "Actually, I'm an atheist...But we don't blame anybody for thanking the Lord."


This prompted the King of Conspiracy Theorists, Glenn Beck, to immediately smell something foul: "I tell you that was there for a reason." And we don't need a convoluted blackboard pitch to know that he's telling us that Obama is behind it all: the "forces of spiritual darkness" are telling us that atheists are OK people - and they're doing it with a sweet mother and her darling little boy! The effrontery!

The Great and Glorious Reaction

As Leader and First Conspiracy Theorist, Glenn Beck has now given his imprimatur to those who need to react to Francis and the Blitzer incident: "Well, it seems to me.." will emanate from a confused Pat Robertson, Bryan Fischer will fume that Francis is not a real Christian and must be a secret Muslim sympathizer as well, Southern Baptists everywhere will ask "How can you go to heaven if you don't believe in it?" and the rest of the Christian Right will scream "demon-inspired political propaganda!"

The last reaction may be the loudest, since more youth are becoming atheists, causing church pews to go empty as congregations die off. The idea that atheists could be as good as non-believers comes as a slap in the wallet, especially to prosperity gospel preachers.

Poor Joel Osteen.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Guns Guns Guns ... and More Guns: Texas Leads The Way In NRA's Armed Revolt

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas House approved a batch of bills Saturday to further soften gun laws that were already among the country's most firearms-friendly, allowing college students to carry handguns in class, putting potentially armed marshals in public schools and exempting the state from any future federal bans on assault rifles, high-capacity magazines or universal background checks.

Texas has exquisite timing: with all that pro-gun legislation coming at the same time that the NRA hosted the world's snazziest gun extravaganza in Houston, it was sure to surround itself with tens of thousands of Second Amendmenters who stood their ground on the nation's gun issues along with some opportunists straight out of a mockumentary:
Nine acres of exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston show off guns, scopes, grips, holsters, targets, magazines, cabinets, safes and antiques.And that's just the beginning.Zombie Industries sells $90 bleeding zombie targets. The human-scale targets can take thousands of rounds, and come in terrorist, Nazi, alien and zombie kangaroo varieties.
Added to holster bras and, well, you get the picture: it was a show to tell the world that America was "gun country" and that Texas is its capital.
But for all its bravado, Texas looks now looks like the stronghold of isolationism: of then 5 million members boasted by the NRA, most of them live in Texas. And most of them idolize isolationists like Glenn Beck. True, some form of revolt is in the air, but how many states are seriously considering it? How many are so rabidly pro-gun that they are willing to eradicate federal statutes?

What About The Children?
In a horrific accident Tuesday that shocked a rural area far removed from the national debate over gun control, the boy had killed his 2-year-old sister, Caroline, with a single shot to the chest.

The recent incident of 5-year-old Kristian and 2-year-old Caroline shocked the nation, not because so much because of the incident itself, but because it woke up to the fact that, for years, a gun manufacturer had been marketing guns for children. We've all seen children pictured with guns - even assault rifles - but assumed those guns were the property of their parents. "My First Rifle", manufactured by gun maker, Keystone, has been around for a number of years. It even markets to small girls with guns in stereotypical pink.

The NRA shrugged off the incident as a fluke, since "guns are passed down from generation to generation" in rural America and Keystone posturing as an advocate for gun safety.

But urban America is not buying it: the outcry has been horrendous, with Sandy Hook giving everyone visions of even younger assailants gunning down classmates. Try as it might, America cannot wrap its psyche around a child getting a gun as a gift ... at the age of four.

And in Texas, where "everybody carries a gun" (or at least seems to), guns for children seem as natural as toys.

Rick Perry - The Pride Of Gary Cass

"You can't be Christian and not own a gun," has been the rallying cry of sorts for Pastor Gary Cass, who, when following up his statement said that it would definitely go well in Texas. This is an aspect that governor Rick Perry focused on in his appearance at the NRA show-of-strength when he fired off an assault rifle. His appearance, in fact, gave the show a religious imprimatur: ever since he broadcast his Fundamentalist religiosity (along with his blatant homophobia) with a sponsored "prayer rally" in 2011, he has been the darling of the Christian Right.

He has also been the darling of Texas secessionists: his rumblings of revolt have always been heard in the distance, but the current gun debate has made his rumblings into a rather potent roar.

Beyond Glenn Beck

The gun debate has taken the country beyond the conspiracy theories of Glenn Beck: yes, Beck epitomizes the isolationism Texas is leaning towards, but Beck's hunker-down attitude is not what Americans see in the resolute state of Texas.

They see outright, armed revolt.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Poor Paulie Ryan: The Boy Don't Get No Respect

"Adoption, I’d vote differently these days. That was I think a vote I took in my first term, 1999 or 2000," Ryan said. "I do believe that if there are children who are orphans who do not have a loving person or couple, I think if a person wants to love and raise a child they ought to be able to do that. Period. I would vote that way."

But he's against gay marriage. Whatever. His position on gay adoption just landed him in the doghouse of the Christian Right. Those little darlings who applauded him at the Values Voters Summit last year are now wailing and gnashing their teeth (not to mention rending their Walmart suits!). In their eyes, the Budget Slasher just slashed his own political throat for being pro-gay in any way.