Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – screw your courage to the sticking place!

The goats won, barely.   And it is a reason to be angry.  However, it is also reason to be resolved, because it won’t last long.   In six months, half of those who voted for Trump will have buyer’s remorse; indeed Trump will have it himself when he realizes that being president isn’t being dictator. He isn’t the CEO of a company anymore, he is the employee now.   He may try to be the dictator, but history has indeed taught us how to handle those people.   You can depend on people to forget history, hopefully they won’t have time to forget it again when Trump implodes.

And heck, it gives me even more evidence that religion isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be.  So much for objective morality, eh?

Obama said that this election was judgment on his legacy. That legacy will be burnished to a new shine in 4 years, when it will be demonstrated that all of the magic prizes and ponies promised by his successor were simply lies told to be elected.

There are still humane people in the world.   We will still do the right thing, despite the attempts of others to hold us back, to return to ignorance and fear.  Shake them off and move ahead.  There is plenty of space to move in that direction.  Screw your courage to the sticking place!

But just in case I’m wrong about humanity, and I often am, anyone of my overseas friends have a room for me in a few years?

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – insisting on apologies for telling the truth

no-evidence-no-respectThere’s an op-ed by Christine Flowers, a conservative Catholic with a problem. She isn’t happy that her religion is presented in a less than favorable light by some emails that are supposedly from the Clinton campaign, released by Wikileaks. She demands that Ms. Clinton apologize for what one of her staffers said. Let’s see how this plays out.

Ms. Flowers is aghast that anyone would point out that her church is rather medieval in its outlook, and sophist in its approach. She, like many American Roman Catholics, has invented her own Catholicism, picking and choosing what she obeys. However, if you show that she and her church are without base for their claims and hypocrites, then the wagons get circled immediately. She claims she can’t bear to actually post what was said except for one excerpt, but we can do that easily enough.

This is the excerpt she posted “Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the (Supreme Court) and think tanks to the media and social groups. It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”

Hmmm, now, is there anything untrue about this? Well, there is and it’s from the fellows assuming that there is anything called “Christian democracy” since that term is never supported or mentioned by the bible’s Christianity nor by the Roman Catholic Church. Some more liberal Christians from various sects (including Catholics) do go by this, but it is an invention to match modern mores, not biblical standards. The truths stated are that the RCC has very systemic thought (going all the way back to the Church fathers aka Thomism amongst others) that is still considered dogma, and the completely ignorant ideas about women and homosexuals that the RCC tries to instill as law in any country they can. We have blasphemy laws still on the books in majority Catholic countries, and we have such wannabe theocracies like El Salvador where the RCC is so strong, a woman can’t get an abortion for any reason and children are forced to have babies or die in the attempt. We also have the RCC’s efforts to prevent sex education and their concerted effort in countries in Africa where AIDS is rampant to prevent anyone from taking any precautions at all, including wearing condoms. Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – and one more instance of Christians telling just a little lie, Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham,  the son of Billy Graham, famous American Christian evangelist, was in Harrisburg today.   It was part of his tour insisting that one needs to pray for America.  He didn’t endorse a candidate, but it’s not hard to know who he wants to win, mostly because he has said it himself despites the claims to the contrary “Asked whether Mr Trump might be his preferred candidate, Rev Graham told ABC’s “This Week” program: “Sure, yes.”

“When I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, well, this has got to be a joke,” Rev Graham said. “But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, you know, maybe this guy’s right.”

The same kind of person like himself, who makes false claims about how horrible things are in the US,  about the president of the US, and who is sure that making the US a Christian theocracy is just a peachy idea.

Graham, true to form, was ginning up more fear.

“If we’re not careful, we’re going to lose our religious freedom anyway, so we might as well go ahead and get people out there and vote and get them to vote by the busloads,” he said. “Make sure people are registered in their churches, and I’m talking about registered. Get your grandparents, your children, grandchildren; just don’t go to the graveyard and start digging up your ancestors. Don’t do that. People have done that. That’s not right. Anybody of legal age, get them out there to vote.”

Because, you know,  being persecuted for being Christian and losing your religious freedom looks exactly like this. Hundreds, if not thousands of Christians standing in a state owned park created to honor military personnel,  right across from the state capitol building, in an area that has ten pages of churches in its yellow pages, in a country that has hundreds of media outlets devoted to Christianity.

photo from ABC27

photo from ABC27

 

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – beating back the theocrats again, Pennsylvania

control-of-the-Republican-party-and-theyre-sure-trying-to-do-so-its-going-to-be-a-terrible-damn-problem_-Frankly-these-people-frighten-me_-Barry-GoldwaterHere, in my lovely home state of Pennsylvania, the PA House of Representatives has been sued by some residents for not allowing a secular e.g. non-theist based invocation before the body. The suit, brought by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, American Atheists, and members of various local groups here in PA, is brought because the PA HR has refused to allow a secular invocation.

The US Supreme Court decided in 1983 that bodies like the PA HR can start their business with an invocation, so this is not to stop invocations. It is to stand up for equal representation, requiring such bodies to acknowledge that not only their pet religion be allowed to stand up in front of them and be counted. The PA Senate allowed a secular invocation, but the House is notoriously conservative and goes out of its way to advocate for Christian, and Christian only, legislation like requiring In God We Trust be in public schools, that the Bible be the official book, and other theocratic nonsense. That is not to say every House member is a wannabe theocrat but a large number of them are.

Now, the invocations that are proposed are to follow. My question to my theist readers is why this should not be allowed? Why would a house member (unsurprisingly a Republican and the Speaker) hide behind this?

“Nowhere [in the Supreme Court decision of Greece v. Galloway] did we see any language which would require legislative bodies to allow nonbelievers to address the opening of legislative bodies in lieu of an opening prayer by a regular chaplain. It is our opinion, that while the Court encouraged a diversity of prayer givers, we do not believe that government bodies are required to allowed non-adherents or nonbelievers the opportunity to serve as chaplains.”

And why do the leaders of the HR try to use security to force obedience to their religion: Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Here we go again in PA, TrueChristians hiding behind nationalism

In their ritual of showing off how virtuous they are, some PA representatives are trying to again force their version of their religion on others in HB 1640, aka “National Motto Display Act”.  The sponsoring representative is Chris Dush (such a name, miserable to grow up with and certainly appropriate now).   The rest of the sponsors are: DUSH, BAKER, V. BROWN, FARINA, GROVE, KAUFFMAN, MAJOR, McGINNIS, MILLARD, MILNE, REESE, SACCONE, STAATS AND ZIMMERMAN.  Pretty much the usual suspects, who need to show their constituents that they are indeed trying to make a theocracy. Of course, they can’t be honest about it. No, they hide under the skirts of nationalism.  They intentionally lie to try to force their religion on others.  I guess they must not have read the bit in their bible that says lying is bad and lying “for” their god isn’t good either (Romans 3)

HB 1640, titled the “National Motto Display Act”, is nothing more than an attempt to force religion into schools, using a phrase put on money (in a desperate attempt to curry divine favor during the US Civil War)and on the US motto in hysterical fear over Communism.  Political leaders decided that we should curry favor with one god, out of fear of the “goddless Commies”, as if putting the word God on money and the motto would make them, what, burst into flames?  Again, we have some Christians trying to force their version of their religion on others, now through the backdoor of patriotism when they now present HB 1640 for a vote.  It seems that intentional dishonesty is what some Christians try to get their way

There is no place for sectarian nonsense in schools as a display to be respected as the authors and supporters of the bill want.  Let the history of such silly attempts be told in history books.  This attempt tries to force a single religion’s claim onto all Pennsylvanians, onto our children and ignoring any parent’s right to teach their own children about their own religion, or lack of one.  The Pew Research Center has that here is around 70% Christians in the US (and we know that is far smaller since most of those Christians are sure that those Christians who don’t agree with them aren’t Christians at all).  That means around 30% of us have no trust in the Christian god.   This attempt at theocracy and petty nationalism has no place in our schools.  These Christians can have whatever they want in their homes and churches, they have no right to force the rest of us to participate in their religion.

This idiocy is why voting matters.

PS – had some formatting issues.

PPS: with much thanks to Ron, here is the amendment offered for this stinker: Sponsor: REPRESENTATIVE McCARTER Printer’s No. 2388 1Amend Bill, page 4, by inserting between lines 1 and 2 2(d) Referendum.–Prior to a school district posting the3motto under subsection (a), it must conduct a nonbinding voter4referendum on the question of displaying the motto and which 5explains any possible cost or the potential cost of any6potential exposure to litigation as a result of displaying the 7motto.2016/90LKK/HB1640A06585 -1-“

Nah, they don’t know that they are wrong and completely anti-Constitutional, do they?   Ooh fuck, don’t blame *us* if you get sued.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – yep, one more abuse scandal – here in PA

Unsurprisingly, we have yet ONE MORE investigation that shows that the Roman Catholic Church has aided and abetted the rape and abuse of children. This is now in the diocese about an hour’s drive from the state capitol Harrisburg.

There are many excuses given for the church, that it isn’t at fault. The church has hid these crimes intentionally again and again. They have lied again and again and destroyed lives again and again. The claims that these crimes are a “Cancer in the church” misses the point; the church is the cancer. The church as an entity controlled by its leaders has intentionally done nearly everything possible (awful to think what it could have done) to hide its complicity.

My spouse asked: Why no RICO prosecution? Well, it’s evidently because there is no singular entity that represents the Catholic Church in the US, though the RCC claims that they are all one happy family ruled by one man. So, yep, we get to see that the RCC uses the same dodges as any good mafia don. Now doesn’t this sound familiar “An archetype [of a racket] is the protection racket, wherein a person or group indicates that they could protect a store from potential damage, damage that the same person or group would otherwise inflict, while the correlation of threat and protection may be more or less deniably veiled, distinguishing it from the more direct act of extortion.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racket_(crime)    Hmmm, nice soul we told you that you have, wouldn’t want anything to happen to it… The claim has been also made that the RCC isn’t in the “business” of harming children, but funny how it uses its resources to hide this action, just like any “honest businessman”.

I know some of my readers are Catholics. I have some questions for you:

Why does this god do nothing at all?

Do you really think that the children weren’t praying?

Where is the holy smiting that this god used to do without any care for “free will”?

What about the free will of the children?

(of course these questions can apply to any religion that has its leaders abusing others.  I’m sure Catholic bashing Christians will be ever so sure that their nonsense is so much better, happily ignorant of what their fellows do.)

One could make the argument that the priests prayed to see if this god was okay with this, and since this god does absolutely nothing, decided that this was their god giving its tacit approval, as many Christians do when wanting to do something that they aren’t sure if their god will approve of.

I wonder, where does Senator Pat Toomey (a Roman Catholic) stands on prosecuting the RCC with his sponsorship of a sex offender law? Well, he is all about removing sexual predators from public schools, but it’s striking that he doesn’t mention religious institutions at all. Indeed, read this excerpt from Toomey’s own website “The Toomey-Manchin legislation provides that any state receiving federal education funds must perform criminal background checks on all school employees who have unsupervised access to children. This includes substitute teachers and coaches, who are often hired as contractors.

The bill forbids schools from hiring a teacher who has committed certain crimes, including any violent or sexual crime against a child. Moreover, the bipartisan legislation bans the horrible practice of a school helping a child molester obtain a new teaching job at another school-a practice so common that it has its own moniker, “passing the trash.”

Sounds familiar, eh?

Now when will believers cease excusing their religion and their god?

 

Addendum:

Not particularly on topic but isn’t this great

trump sheep

What the Boss Likes – John Fetterman, hopefully my next Senator

John Fetterman is mayor of Braddock, a mill town near Pittsburgh, PA.  It suffered awfully when the steel mills ended in many towns here in the northeast.  Mr. Fetterman has been doing wonders for it, but it’s a tough row to hoe.

He’s running for the US Senate.  Support him if you can.  He also has one of the most awesome political ads.   It’s a riff on a very famous one from the Coca-Cola company (and a slightly less famous one).   Watch it until the very end.  Seriously.

Yep, the mayor is a *big* guy.