Conservatives Still Playing in the Planned Parenthood Sandbox

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The world is in disarray; our sworn enemies are getting stronger and closer; with the release of the billion$ to Iran (after our Jihadist-in-Chief worked his magic) we are now one of the largest financiers of terrorist networks in the world and, simultaneously, we are assisting our most diabolical enemy in the creation of Nuclear warheads that will be pointed at us; our national Debt is near the breaking point; we have millions of uninvited guest living and working here and using resources that were only intended for U.S. citizens; our unemployment rate is ridiculously and dangerously high.

With all this (just the tip of the iceberg) and even more going on and threatening our existence, the so-called Conservative Republican contenders for President in 2017 are still going to extreme, nauseating lengths, planning a war with Planned Parenthood.

I agree with the basic Conservative principle of limited government, I champion a free market, I oppose excessive taxes and unnecessary regulations on business and I champion a strong national defense, but I loudly and firmly oppose any connection between organized religion and organized politics (only because there IS NO CONNECTION and there should not be one).

Mr or Ms Conservative candidate proudly proclaim, on a near-daily basis, the purely moral position that they are “pro-life.” Does that make them better at making the right political decision when the good of the country is at stake? NO, of course not! Politicians (even Conservative ones) should do their jobs and make decisions on the bases of Constitutionality and relevant law. Yes, we are all moral beings, that’s just part of our better nature and part how most of us were brought up; with ingrained rules that say this is right and that is wrong. A politician who self-identifies as either “pro-life” or “pro-choice” brings NOTHING to the table when it comes to doing the jobs they were elected to do. Yet that seems to be the primary “credential” for many of them in this (and past) election seasons.

Here’s a news flash for citizen, non-politicians who have been drinking the Religious Conservative Kool-Aid for so long that they believe that they can’t call themselves Conservative without being devoutly religious and advertising it! You’ve been duped! If you believe, as I stated above that I do, in the core Conservative values of small government, less regulation and a strong free market a strong national defense and responsible levels of taxation you ARE a Conservative. Don’t let Sean Hannity, Mark Levin or any other Conservative talker tell you otherwise because you disagree with them on the LEAST IMPORTANT issues facing America and Americans.

The Website About.com has an excellent “Overview of Political Conservatism”. What is excellent about this particular definition of Conservatism is the fact that it correctly identifies Conservatism as a two-part philosophy:

Part 1 is identified as “core tenets” of Conservatism. For me, these core tenets define what I call “Secular Conservatism. The “core tenets” of Conservatism are the basic beliefs in three principles: (from the article): “1) Economic liberty and the central role of free enterprise in American society, 2) A small, non-invasive government, (and) 3) A strong national defense focused on protection and the fight against terrorism.”

Part 2 consists of the “Ancillary Principles & Ideologies” of Conservatism. These ancillary principles are the things that Religious Conservatives see as potential threats to their religious beliefs: Attitudes about “traditional family values”, marriage, the commitment to faith and religion and the assumed right to life for still un-born potential citizens. Even the strongest Religious Conservative would have to scratch pretty hard to find an “Ancillary Conservative Principle” that will help them do the main job they were elected to do.

Nothing wrong with morality or religion, but my point is, when these things become the focal point of an elected official’s political life the importance and connotations of the words ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ as they were intended by our forefathers can become too easily lost in admonitions from bible verse. Also, when Religious Conservatism is forced down the country’s throat as the ONLY alternative to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden, it begins to ‘taste and smell’ like sour milk.

One more thing, all this ranting and raving against Planned Parenthood is based solely on some videos that were produced by a group whose primary (and perhaps ONLY) goal is to cripple Planned Parenthood. Sounds suspicious to me!

Recommended:

Washington Post: “Why the war over Planned Parenthood will hurt the GOP in 2016

Ding Dong the DOMAs Dead!

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DOMA
The BIG news today is, of course the Supreme Court’s ruling “overturning” DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act); it’s hard to understand legalese sometimes, but I think that means that they declared DOMA unconstitutional.

I don’t know how many times I’ve declared DOMA unconstitutional over the past years in this blog, but it feels good to be proved right.

The absolute foolishness of believing, as most anti-gay marriage activists apparently do, that a same-sex marriage in any way effects a traditional marriage, is mind boggling. Do they really think that every time a same-sex couple gets married, a heterosexual couple will get unmarried? Do they really believe that “straight” people will be lured into same-sex relationships simply by the legalization of same-sex marriage? If they do they are thinking stupid. Do they worry that their straight kids will all suddenly go against their natural attractions and suddenly become attracted to someone of the same sex? Apparently they do and that’s even worse than stupid, it’s illogical.

This whole anti-gay phenomenon is simply a reaction by people who have been raised with (and by)religion. The simple realization that all society is not ruled strictly by bible verse is driving them crazy. There are many wonderful lessons to be learned by the Bible but there are also many falsehoods (such as the basic falsehood, the inerrancy of the Bible) that have been taken for granted as true. To understand that the Bible was written by mortal men who inserted their own beliefs into what they felt to be “the word of God” is a very important understanding.

Back from the sublime: there will probably be more “Gay Pride” parades in the following days, with gay guys dancing around like a bunch of Disney fairies. News Flash! You have nothing to be proud of. You are what you are and antagonizing the rest of the population (the majority) will gain you nothing but more ridicule and more hate! Well deserved ridicule for acting like uncivilized children and understandable hate by people who refuse to believe that gay is NOT a choice — but a God-given (if you’ll allow me that phrase), inherent sexual preference.

References:

Politico: Justice Antonin Scalia brings drama to DOMA ruling

USA Today: How will same-sex marriage rulings affect children?

The Psychology of the “Fair-Weather” Believer

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Nigel Barber is an author, blogger and biopsychologist . . . wait a minute, what’s a biopsychologist? I looked it up and apparently it’s a real branch of psychology; it is: “The branch of psychology that studies the biological foundations of behavior, emotions, and mental processes,” i.e., how what’s happening in your life effects your thinking and your actions.

Nigel Barber has published an article in the “Huff Post” blogs titled: “Big Government Kills Religion.” I found this title particularly interesting because I’ve argued for years that Religion is the poison pill that has destroyed fair, equitable and rational government, but I had never really considered the effect of government on religion.

Mr Barber proves his thesis pretty well by citing statistics that show that, in his words:

“It seems that people turn to religion as a salve for the difficulties and uncertainties of their lives. In an earlier study of 137 countries, I found that belief in God was higher in countries with a heavy load of infectious diseases, making life difficult and uncertain. Moreover, fewer people believed in God in wealthy and well-educated countries where life is easier. Countries with a more equal distribution of income – and hence less social problems had more atheists. Atheism was higher for countries with a well-developed welfare state (as indexed by high taxation rates). [see *NOTE].

Assuming that Mr. Barber’s thesis: “Big Government Kills Religion” is 100% accurate what does that tell you about religious people. It is more of an indictment of religion than it is of government (large or small). It suggests to me that people use religion as a “crutch” not as a firm, honest belief. To them, the existence of their God, their religious texts and their belief in an afterlife are just medicine to see them through the “sick” times; but when ‘the “patient” is “well,” the “medicine” sits on the shelf over the bathroom sink, just as the ‘religious text’ sits in a drawer; until, that is, it is needed again at the moments just before death.

*NOTE: Mr. Barber, tends to prove his ignorance of Atheism with statements like this: “Countries with a more equal distribution of income – and hence less social problems had more atheists.” If anyone were to think about it, they would realize that social problems or the existence or non-existence of a welfare state have very little to do with true Atheists; these things might, however, effect how much supposed ‘believers’ bother to embrace their religion. People who go to church and pray during the hard times and forget religion during the good times are NOT Atheists, they are “fair-weather believers.”.

The BSA Motto Should Be: “Character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world”

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The headline on the current NBC News blog reads:

“‘Gravely distressed’: Religion looms large over Boy Scouts decision on gays.”

That decision is supposed to be announced in the middle of this week.

There is no real need to specify who is gravely distressed, everyone involved in the situation is stressed.

The churches who sponsor boy scout troops are distressed to imagine that the Boy Scouts will be forced to accept gay scouts and possibly even gay scout leaders. It’s pretty obvious why the religious groups would be distressed and, if gays are allowed in scouting, the religious organizations might be forced (by their membership) to stop sponsoring Boy Scout Troops or if not, they will certainly go into overtime praying to keep their kids on the “straight” and narrow.

That possibility plus the possibility that many parents of Boy Scouts may pull their kids out of scouting altogether and make a big “stink” in the press while they do it is certainly stressing out the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) leadership.

Then there are gay kids who just want to be Boy Scouts: go camping, have fun and learn all the skills that boy scouting teaches. They are distressed that the churches and the BSA are attempting to reinforce their status as “social outcasts” based on nothing more than an unreasoned fear of their sexual preferences.

The false assumption that underlies all this is that gay kids who go into scouting and gay scout leaders are predators and will try to molest and/or convert straight kids. It’s as simple as that! To say that will never happen in isolated instances is being as naive as those who think that all gay scouts will be happy and accepted and not be routinely taunted, bullied and brutalized by the good “Christian” scouts.

Many kids have been brought up (by their parents and by religious institutions) to be intolerant and have little respect for those who have different beliefs and values than they have. If this were not true school bullying would not be the epidemic that schools are being forced to spend time and money trying to control and many gay kids would still be alive. The churches that sponsor scout troops, even if they sincerely try, will not have a major impact on that unfortunate situation; but continuing to deny straight kids the option of normal socialization with gay kids not only exacerbates that situation, it reinforce myths, rumors and misleading religious teachings.

Maybe the BSA and the religious groups should look at this entire situation as a challenge rather that a distressing problem. If the leadership of the BSA is up to the challenge of developing better leaders, and if the pressure being put on BSA leaders by the church are minimized, it’s very possible that current boyscouts may learn to truly accept the fact that there are many different types of people and social beliefs in the world. Who knows, a boy who learns that, may well grow up to become a tolerant, open-minded individual with a better understanding of how life really works and how the world in general works. That type of person may no longer be welcomed into the strict, narrow-minded world of some religious organizations but, if they are not, it’s a win for society and a loss for those religions.

It is said that scouting builds character! The title of this blog entry is taken from a popular quote about character building by ‘Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe:’ “Talents are best nurtured in solitude. Character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world.”

In closing, let me emphasize that in America the BSA, as a private organization, will not be forced by the government to accept gay scouts — nor should they be. Scouting has been going on for many, many years without being all inclusive. Over the years, time, attitudes and public pressure have changed their outlook and methods. In the 1970s there was a Nudist Resort that sponsored small troops of boy and girl scouts. That would probably be unheard of in America in the 21st Century but times change and attitudes change — sometimes for the better.

An Enemy of Intelligent Thought: Bryan Fischer

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Right Wing Watch is thankfully watching a dangerous man: Bryan Fischer.

The above linked article is filled with Fischer’s homophobia but there are two statements in particular I would like to point out:

“If we want to see fewer students commit suicide, we want fewer homosexual students.”

and

“Not One Loving Father Should Entrust Son (sic) to the Boy Scouts if Gays Are Included”

These statements are a clear indication that Mr. Fischer has lost his ability to relate to the world outside of his right-wing/the bible is the Word of God and is infallible cocoon.

Religion can be, as Brynn Tannehill said, in THIS article “either a benefit or a hazard.”

Religion is beneficial when it helps people understand that they are how “God” (I use that term because it is what most people call the universe’s creative force) made them, and not how extremely literal religionists paint them.

It is hazardous when it does not help people understand this.

If we want to see fewer students commit suicide, ALL children will have to be raised to understand that everyone is different and there is no “right” way to be.

THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN because there are too many parents like Bryan Fischer in the world.

The only antidote to student suicide then is the student’s self-acceptance combined with self-defense. That sounds ugly but it’s true. Self-defense does not necessarily mean “mortal combat” but in the case of physical bullying it may mean just that. In my view, every child should be taught some form self defense; it can help protect them from harm and will, if taught properly, improve his or her character.

In most cases, however, self-defense is education. A parent of a gay child is doing an injustice to the child if he/she/they do not give the child a complete understanding of the mental illness that the extremely literal religionists are suffering from, i.e. “ammunition” for their brain so they can combat ignorant religionist banter.

Know your enemy . . . and anyone who can make illiterate remarks like Bryan Fischer IS your enemy.

As to his other comment: “Not One Loving Father’ Should Entrust (His) Son to the Boy Scouts if Gays Are Included” it certainly sounds like he is afraid that the gay lifestyle may appeal to boys more than the hate speech of the Christian Right. I would go so far as to suggest that Bryan Fischer fears the gay life style because he knows that he himself is drawn to it by his own nature. That is, of course, clearly just conjecture but it is one of the few ways to look at and understand the motivation of an extreme homophobe.

Chick-Fil-A: Biblical Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom?

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Well if you been off-planet and haven’t heard, Atlanta based Chick-Fil-A’s president Dan Cathy has turned his restaurant franchise into a religious organization that just happens to sell chicken and this religious organization has sent out a loud, clear message of intolerance toward the LGBT crowd; this is triggering both an avalanche of support from other homophobes and many colorful protests from those who feel that who marries whom is a personal decision that can be easily reached without the advise and consent of the church or the government (or the corner Chick-Fil-A).

Such a furor arose that Chick-Fil-A’s vice president of public relations had a heart attack this past week and died. Not surprising considering that Dan Cathy ‘napalmed’ the restaurant’s community image while dropping a bomb on the PR department.

There was quite enough intolerance in this country before Dan Cathy, in his company’s name, decided to air his holy underwear — we really didn’t need more.

I understand the concept! The Religious Right feels that we can’t just have people willy-nilly falling in love with each other without the guidance of the church. That would almost be too . . . too American — and of course not at all compatible with far-Right Christian doctrine. To allow people to think and act for themselves is probably considered a sin . . . at least to those religious factions who have stopped reading the Constitution in favor of the Bible.

As I said, I understand the likes of Dan Cathy! These are insecure people with little real faith in God’s “plan”; this makes them (figuratively) reluctant to put their pants on in the morning without finding a supportive bible passage; these are people who try to make up for their lack of faith by acting so self-righteous that they have developed an actual addiction to the act of ‘straightening people out’ (even those who were born anything but “straight”).

Personally, I understand and support religious or other groups showing strong public disapproval of people who are doing harm to others — but to publicly disrespect a man or woman who has a legal, loving relationship with another person, really showcases the unhealthy, tyrannical attitude of many religious sects. If the torture rack was still an option it’s easy to picture attempts to ‘stretch the gay out of people’ in the basements of some churches.

Back to Dan Cathy; it tells a lot about him that it is much more important to him to bring his religion to work and mobilize the rest of the mindless, intolerant heard than it is to allow employees and customers to think for themselves. Independent thought can, after all, be dangerous to highly structured organizations.

I would be negligent if I did not point out that there are many good religious sects left in the world and many of them are Christian based. It’s all a matter of interpretation and realization — realizing the the Bible is a book of lessons, not a book of edicts; realizing that we human creatures have independent will, independent destinies and independent needs and realizing that the herd mentality may work for a while in human society but it slowly kills the human spirit and mind.

References:

CNS News: Hollywood’s War on Chicken

CNN’s Belief Blog: Chick-fil-A wades into a fast-food fight over same-sex marriage rights

Social Conservativism: Another Form of Socialism

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Social Conservatives (as opposed to Fiscal Conservatives who don’t make a big deal out of the “Conservative” label) are as much of a danger to freedom as is Socialism.

It appears that, to most Social Conservatives, America’s premier founding document should be the Christian Bible, not the United States Constitution.

From Wikipedia on Social Conservatism (just the opening paragraph):

Social conservatism is a political ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the national government should have a greater role in the social affairs of its citizens, generally supporting whatever it sees as morally correct choices and discouraging or outright forbidding those it considers morally wrong ones.

Please read that carefully and consider: do you want the government to have a “greater role” making decisions about how YOU live your life based on the personal views of politicians?

Another short discussion of Social Conservatism concludes:

“For somebody who is politically conservative, the idea of entrenching social mores into a constitution should be troubling.”

Everybody is “Thumping” a Bible!

Most disturbing is that Social Conservatism is hiding — it has assumed the deceptive name of “Conservatism” and it is everywhere. The most famous Conservatives, the ones you listen to every day on the radio and watch on TV: Hannity, Limbaugh, Levin, and a large cadre of others, are, in reality Social Conservatives who think nothing of fouling the spirit of the First Amendment with their anti-pro-choice rants and their assertions that an an amendment prohibiting any marriage that does not conform to THEIR personal religious beliefs is a noble thing for ALL Americans.

These two topics: pro-choice and gay marriage, should logically be, but apparently are not, outside the purview of any level of government in the United States.

What Was That About The First Amendment?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Granted, there is no law in effect that officially names Christianity as “America’s religion” but you will find very few who flaunt themselves as Conservatives, who do not believe in their hearts and minds that Christianity is indeed America’s religion! They believe that the Christian Bible is, or at least should be, the one and only social guideline for all laws passed in the United States and should supersede the U.S. Constitution wherever conflicts arise.

Am I Anti-Religious?

Definitely not! I understand and appreciate the facts that religion guides millions of people safely through their lives, it gives them strength to face hardships and it saves may lives every day through it’s perspectives and through it’s missionary work.

Also, it can’t be denied or ignored that every politician brings with him or her, into office, a set of moral values that has been formed by his or her religious upbringing, attitudes and, hopefully, through rational and logical independent thought.

Politicians, however, are not common citizens. They do not serve well unless they serve all of their constituents.

It is a politician’s sworn duty, when they swear allegiance to the Constitution, to maintain a distance in the relationship between organized religion, his or her own personal beliefs and the propositions he or she votes into the laws that govern all of us.

A Final Thought: What’s More Dangerous?

It’s clear that I think Social Conservatism is a danger to our freedoms as Americans but I need to clarify that Socialism (the road we have been traveling for the past 3-1/2 years) is far more dangerous.

Socialism will destroy America and if we continue on this road the America we knew since birth will be lost.

As destructive as Social Conservatism can be to our personal freedoms it poses no permanent danger to America as a whole. Legislation can be repealed and modified — but once our country’s economy is destroyed through socialist policies it’s too late to rethink the damage.