Posts Tagged ‘Christian’
It’s hard to get 70 percent of Americans to agree on much of anything these days. But, for the first time, one of those things is Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
According to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, released on the law’s 40th anniversary Tuesday, fully seven in 10 Americans say they would oppose the overturning of the Supreme Court decision. And perhaps more remarkably, 57 percent say they “feel strongly” that it should not be overturned…
The poll also shows for the first time that a majority of Americans (54 percent) support abortion rights. And a new Pew Research Center poll largely confirms those findings, showing 63 percent of Americans oppose overturning Roe, while 29 percent would like to see it scrapped. Even Republicans are split down the middle, with 48 percent opposed to overturning Roe and 46 percent who support overturning it…
The trend line is clear: Americans are becoming more accepting of abortion rights…
As they are with issues like gay marriage and illegal immigration, though, Republicans are now caught between their base and the general public.
While much of the GOP base remains firmly anti-abortion rights and those most passionate conservatives would like to see Roe overturned, Republicans need to recognize more broadly that overturning Roe is no longer sound politics.
What’s more, the party has already begun to lose ground on issues concerning women’s rights. Over the last two years, Republicans have struggled with issues like contraception, rape and “transvaginal ultrasounds” — so much so that a pollster at last weekend’s Republican retreat went so far as to urge lawmakers to stop talking about rape altogether.
Abortion isn’t as fraught an issue as the ones listed above, but it’s still a wedge issue that is increasingly working against the GOP and risks turning off female voters, who stuck by President Obama more than a lot of other demographics in 2012.
Republicans have two years – or less – to turn away from becoming America’s Christian Confederate Party. They can continue on the course of strict reliance on Christian fundamentalist conservatives with all the baggage that brings: homophobia, racism, subjugating women, opposing public secular education, fear and hatred of science, the endless mobius loopiness of 14th Century ideology and superstition. If they fail – and I think they will – they are likely to take their place as a permanent minority party.
If and when that happens, the clot of leftover Birchers, Cold Warriors, Confederacy fans, chickenhawks and 19th Century capitalists like the Koch Brothers will shout “huzzah” – and keep it going as a mouthpiece for their dedication to the worst of dead and dying politics.
An American history freak show.
A minister in Angela Merkel’s government has sparked a pre-Christmas row among Germany’s ruling parties by suggesting God be referred to with the neutral article “das” instead of the masculine “der”.
Family Minister Kristina Schroeder made the comments when asked in an interview with German weekly Die Zeit how she explained to her young daughter the use of the masculine form for God.
“The article is not important,” she responded, adding that it was fine to use “das” instead of the traditional “der” when referring to God.
The remarks were immediately denounced by members of Schroeder’s own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU)…
Stefan Mueller, a CSU lawmaker, said he was “bewildered” by Schroeder’s “inappropriate” comments.
When pressed on the matter at a government news conference on Friday, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert backed Schroeder.
“If you believe in God, the article is not important,” he said. “If you speak to God in a different way, the prayers are still heard.”
Cripes. Another herd of elected officials with nothing better to do, eh?
Dutch authorities have decided to approve a motion abandoning a law under which it is a crime to insult God.
A majority of parties in parliament said the blasphemy law was no longer relevant in the 21st Century…
The legislation, introduced in the 1930s, has not been invoked in the last half century. However, it still remains illegal under Dutch law to be disrespectful to police officers or to insult Queen Beatrix, the country’s monarch…
The BBC’s Anna Holligan, in The Hague, says that there was much debate about the issue after a Dutch court ruled that the far-right anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders should be allowed to criticise Islam, even if his outspoken opinions offended many Muslims.
In 2008, a coalition government decided against repealing the blasphemy law in order to maintain support from a conservative Christian political party.
But, sooner or later, even the opportunism of professional politicians will be overcome by freedom-loving voters. Eventually, people realize that most “coalitions” are arranged to share power – not principles.
Christian conservatives, for more than two decades a pivotal force in American politics, are grappling with Election Day results that repudiated their influence and suggested that the cultural tide — especially on gay issues — has shifted against them.
They are reeling not only from the loss of the presidency, but from what many of them see as a rejection of their agenda. They lost fights against same-sex marriage in all four states where it was on the ballot, and saw anti-abortion-rights Senate candidates defeated and two states vote to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
It is not as though they did not put up a fight; they went all out as never before: The Rev. Billy Graham dropped any pretense of nonpartisanship and all but endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Roman Catholic bishops denounced President Obama’s policies as a threat to life, religious liberty and the traditional nuclear family. Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition distributed more voter guides in churches and contacted more homes by mail and phone than ever before.
“Millions of American evangelicals are absolutely shocked by not just the presidential election, but by the entire avalanche of results that came in,” R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Louisville, Ky., said in an interview. “It’s not that our message — we think abortion is wrong, we think same-sex marriage is wrong — didn’t get out. It did get out.
“It’s that the entire moral landscape has changed,” he said. “An increasingly secularized America understands our positions, and has rejected them…”
Compared to the rest of the industrial, educated world, that is long overdue.
So, when did you realize you need to be Christian to run for office?
The story of Mitt Romney’s loss among Hispanic voters is on the front pages of today’s New York Times and Washington Post. And it should be.
According to exit polls, President Barack Obama won the Hispanic vote by a whopping margin of 71 percent to 27 percent. That’s larger than Obama’s margin against McCain in 2008. Having doubled their share of the total vote since 1996, Hispanics constituted 10 percent of the electorate in 2012. In the next presidential race in 2016, more than three million additional Hispanic citizens will be eligible to vote.
You don’t have to be a statistician to see where this is going. Even Republicans see it, though they don’t know what to do about it. The quandary inevitably leads to discussion of comprehensive immigration reform. Hispanics are for it, Republicans are not. But the alienation of Hispanics, many of whom are culturally conservative, from the Republican Party is both bigger and smaller than the issue of immigration.
For a little perspective, consider the votes of another minority — Asians. Romney won among all voters making more than $100,000 a year by a margin of 54-44. Asian-Americans happen to be the highest-earning group in the U.S., out-earning whites, and they generally place enormous emphasis on family. A perfect fit for Republicans, no?
No. Asians voted for Obama by 73-26; they were more Democratic than Hispanics…
Perhaps the decisive characteristics are not in the Asian and Hispanic communities so much as in the Republican Party. The GOP is overwhelmingly white and insistently, at times militantly, Christian. Democrats, by contrast, are multiracial with a laissez faire attitude toward religion and spirituality. If you were a black-haired Buddhist from Taipei or a brown-skinned Hindu from Bangalore, which party would instinctively seem more comfortable?
Republican exceptions prove the rule. As Shikha Dalmia has pointed out, the two high-profile Indian-Americans in the Republican constellation — Governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana — both converted from their traditional eastern faiths to Christianity. It’s unlikely that’s a coincidence.
There is also the problem that polite people avoid identifying: the persistence of a rump of racists in the Republican base and on conservative airwaves. Nothing the party advocates — from walls along the border with Mexico to the “papers please” laws of Arizona and Alabama — is designed to disabuse those conservatives of their racial views or of their belief that the party will tolerate them.
For many years the racial smoke signals worked in Republicans favor. Now Asians, blacks and Hispanics are sending the signals. Blacks vote Democratic 9-1; Asians 3-1; Hispanics almost 3-1. Support for immigration reform will help. But Democrats have a four-decade head start in building and managing multiracial coalitions. Republicans have a lot of catching up to do in a hurry.
I think it unlikely there will be a serious effort to do the catching up addressed in Wilkinson’s article. Lip service. Yes.
How could you expect action on racism, internal and ideological, when the only significant change in the Republican rank-and-file in decades has been the infusion from the Tea Party? Sure, the moneyboys, the Kochs and Rove whispered to leaders who floated to the top like crap in a cesspool to lose overt racists from the public eye. But, the crowd marching around proclaiming their self-identified importance in the Republican Party are still composed of fundamentalist white Christians. Twice in the past few months, here in New Mexico, folks have shuddered over their public activities while flying the Confederate flag.
Anyone expect this crowd to deal with xenophobia and racism? Wait! Let me get my rubber boots on.
Make up your own caption
Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham’s mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
In a section of the website called Billy Graham’s My Answer there had been the question “What is a cult?”
One fundamentalist hustler cooperating with another.
I think this will become about half of what we get to see in coming years from this crowd. The other half will stick to telling those who haven’t become True Believers – in their own particular sect – that you will roast in Perdition.
Reed – 2nd from left – the only creep in the front row who skipped prison
Ralph Reed is clearly relishing his revival.
Just six years ago, the man who turned the Christian Coalition into such a powerful political force that he was called “God’s right-hand man” was all but written off, tarnished by his ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, then trounced in his campaign to become Georgia’s lieutenant governor.
But after several years in political purgatory, Mr. Reed has found his way back.
Courtesy of the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican.
Three years ago, Mr. Reed formed the Faith and Freedom Coalition and began assembling what he calls the largest-ever database of reliably conservative religious voters. In the coming weeks, he says, each of those 17.1 million registered voters in 15 key states will receive three phone calls and at least three pieces of mail. Seven million of them will get e-mail and text messages. Two million will be visited by one of more than 5,000 volunteers. Over 25 million voter guides will be distributed in 117,000 churches…
The rank-and-file of white conservative Christianity are treated as little obedient puppets – like a target for a corporate marketing maven out to sell his quota of laundry detergent.
With…a database with the addresses and, in many cases, e-mail addresses and cellphone numbers of the more than 17 million faith-centric registered voters — not just evangelical Protestants but also Mass-attending Catholics. The group is also reaching out to nearly two million more people who have never registered to vote…
In addition to its presidential election turnout campaign, the group plans to focus on two state ballot measures: a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota and an effort to recall an Iowa Supreme Court justice who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state…
The group plans to pair its social message with a broader economic one. The president’s health care overhaul will be depicted as both big government spending and an assault on religious liberty; the law mandates that employees of organizations affiliated with religions, like hospitals, universities and charities, be able to obtain free contraception through their health care plans.
Romney and his claque haven’t any problem accepting the publicly reactionary portion of Reed’s religious ideology. It matches their private conversation perfectly. They just get a little testy when pushed to admit how backwards their goals really are.
Reed fits the plastic-fantastic shiny veneer adopted by hustlers – whether religion-based or political. He’s working his way back up towards the position of power he was aiming for under the crusader’s shield of George W. Bush. Let’s hope he fails as badly, once again.
Christian evangelical groups in the US are attempting a “cultural colonisation” of Africa, opening offices in numerous countries to promote attacks on homosexuality and abortion, according to an investigation by a liberal thinktank…
“The religious right [in effect] claims that human rights activists are neocolonialists out to destroy Africa,” the report states…
Entitled Colonising African Values: How the US Christian Right is Transforming Sexual Politics in Africa, the study analysed data from seven African countries and employed researchers for several months in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It identified three organisations it believes are aggressively targeting the continent: Pat Robertson’s ACLJ, the Catholic group Human Life International and Family Watch International, led by the Mormon activist Sharon Slater.
Each of these “frame their agendas as authentically African, in an effort to brand human rights advocacy as a new colonialism bent on destroying cultural traditions and values”, the report says.
In the past five years, the report alleges, all “have launched or expanded their work in Africa dedicated to promoting their Christian right worldview”. A loose network of rightwing charismatic Christians called the transformation movement joins them in fanning the flames of the culture wars over homosexuality and abortion by backing prominent African campaigners and political leaders…”
The report was welcomed by gay rights campaigners. Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities in Uganda, said: “I’m grateful for the documentation in the report that confirms that it is homophobia (not homosexuality) that is exported from the west.
RTFA for the whole range of idjit ideology is being exported to Africa. The Christian Clown Show spends as much energy in opposing reproductive rights – including access to birth control and safe sex – as it dedicates to hatred and fearmongering homophobia.
As I noted last night, if mainstream Christians don’t get off their rusty dustys and fight for progressive freedoms, educated rights – they deserve to be tarred with the same brush.
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission
A wildfire raging near some of Colorado’s most popular tourist sites grew suddenly more ferocious on Tuesday, forcing 32,000 people from their homes, prompting evacuations from the U.S. Air Force Academy and swallowing numerous houses at the edge of Colorado Springs…
“This is a fire of epic proportions,” Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown said as ash drifted down on the city, sirens wailed and the thick smell of smoke permeated the air.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper flew into the city Tuesday night by helicopter to meet with fire commanders and tour the fire zone first-hand. He noted that the blaze was one of at least a dozen burning throughout the state. Four people have died in Colorado wildfires so far this year.
“This is the worst fire season in the history of Colorado,” he said during an impromptu news conference, adding that from the air he saw many homes destroyed in a glowing landscape that looked “surreal.”
The Waldo Canyon Fire, which has roared through at least 6,200 acres of dry timber since Saturday, has grabbed attention for days because of its proximity to landmarks like the famed mountaintop of Pikes Peak and the Air Force Academy.
The blaze claimed its first property losses on Tuesday as wind-driven flames swept over containment lines into Colorado’s second-most populous city, consuming an unknown number of homes on the town’s outskirts as authorities hurried to evacuate residents…
The sudden closure of service stations along with other businesses, leaving fleeing motorists unable to fill up their cars, added to a sense of urgency as roads filled with traffic…Columns of vehicles carrying evacuees and hastily packed belongings stretched bumper-to-bumper for miles, crawling slowly southward out of town along Interstate 25…
Asked how quickly the fire was spreading after the latest flare-up on Tuesday afternoon, incident commander Rich Harvey said, “If I gave acreage right now, it would be wrong in five minutes. It’s growing…”
There is a quality of human behavior described as “spontaneous materialism”.
Colorado Springs is a national center, a focal point for Christian fundamentalism – especially the moralizing breed who spend their idle time advising every other living person on the planet how to live their lives. They prate about birth and death, sex and the absence of sex, they advise anyone in sight how to live their lives. They are self-important in their standards, profligate in advice about values. And in an older time I would expect to see a number of them kneeling before the approaching flames praying to their Jehovah to redirect the wildfires back upon their track of destruction.
Ain’t especially about to happen. Even folks dedicated to a religion of precedence – in a nation characterized by mediocre education – know enough not to waste their lives in what would be a foolish gesture. Foolish – if not insane. And of that I am glad.
Folks are in enough danger of losing homes and lives. They need not put responders, the brave folks risking their lives to save their fellows into greater danger to rescue nutballs who would walk into the furnace on behalf of an archaic belief system.
So, behave as any philosophical materialist would advise you and get your friends and family to safety. I’ll tease you about this – just a little – several years down the road when, hopefully, you’ve had time to resume a normal life.
Now that we know what Republicans are afraid of…
A lawmaker was barred from speaking on the floor of the Michigan state legislature for saying “vagina” during a heated debate over abortions. House Republicans blocked Democratic Rep. Lisa Brown for her remark during a speech blasting the controversial bill that would restrict abortions after 20 weeks, according to The Detroit News.
“Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,’” Brown said at the end of her speech Wednesday.
A spokesman for Michigan Speaker James Bolger said in a statement that Brown would not be allowed to give her opinion on a school employee retirement bill Thursday because she had “failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives.”
Republican Rep. Mike Callton added that Brown’s remark went over the line.
You not only have to wonder what century Republicans have parked their brains in – I’m beginning to wonder what species they think they represent.
Brown defended her right to say “vagina” at a press conference Thursday, arguing that it’s the “anatomically, medically correct term. “If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?” Brown asked…
In her remarks Wednesday, Brown argued that the abortion regulation bill would violate her Jewish faith, which permits therapeutic abortions when the mother’s life is at risk.
“I have not asked you to adopt and to adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?” Brown asked.
There was a time when Republicans actually believed in the Bill of Rights – at least, to a certain extent. Nowadays, only speech which directly follows the party line is allowed in legislative bodies they control.
In an era when what passes for a conservative falls over themselves naming the list of people they hate – Canadians, women, Hispanics and Blacks, gays, lesbians, liberals, progressives and people who drive small cars – you wonder when the list of acceptable human beings and body parts becomes the short list.