Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Why climate change is a state/church issue

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has an excellent news release on this.  I am a member and I recommend that you be one too.

Trump has appointed an active climate change denialist, religionist Scott Pruitt, to head the EPA. The New York Times documents in an article boldly titled “Denialists in Charge” how federal posts are now filled with officials “who have a record of openly denying the established science of human-caused climate change.” These include the fundamentalist Christian Rick Perry, our secretary of energy, known for mocking climate science.

Denying anthropogenic climate change is based on the rejection of facts and reality in favor of blind faith, wishful thinking or willful denial. Many of the climate denialists in politics, such as Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. James Inhofe and former Senators Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, deny climate change for explicitly religious reasons.

There seems to be a correlation between religiosity and climate denial. While other factors, such as political party affiliation, race and ethnicity are stronger predictors of views about climate change, Pew Research found “it is the religiously unaffiliated, not those who identify with a religious tradition, who are particularly likely to say the Earth is warming due to human activity. . . White evangelical Protestants stand out as least likely to have this view.”

Sen. Inhofe, R-Okla., cited Genesis to bolster his denial of reality: “my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.” Inhofe, who wrote a 2012 book, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” serves on the Senate’s standing committee on science. That’s outrageous.

A few months ago, the conservative Christian radio host Bryan Fischer tweeted, “Jesus would be for whatever is best for the poor. A warmer climate—if it’s even happening—is better for the poor.”

– See more at: https://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/29062-why-climate-change-is-a-state-church-issue#sthash.omwVox8Y.dpuf

That last quote just takes the cake for pure selfishness, ignorance and stupidity.  I guess Jesus doesn’t give a f@ck about the islanders losing their homes, the folks on the coasts who will lose theirs, and suffer worse storms, etc.

Attend the March for Science in Washington, DC on April 22, 2017, or find one in your area.  Marches do work, perhaps not quickly or exactly the way you want but they do work.  It’s to support the sciences, widen the diversity of those in the sciences and to stand against the clown and circus in the White House.

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a new poll indicating a more secular America, and a hardening of evangelicals

The Public Religion Research Institute has come out with a new poll on the religious attitudes in the US, specifically about gender and sex: “Majority of Americans Oppose Transgender Bathroom Restrictions”    It indicates that attitudes are changing, with white evangelicals losing ground for their claims of having a divine “truth”.   Curiously enough, this group voted overwhelmingly for Trump, a man who ignored them until it was politically convenient.  This does show how much a promise of returning people back to a time when they felt in control can get their support.

A Salon article about the research, says the following: “Despite all the conservative posturing about how their movement represents “real” America and liberal political attitudes are restricted mainly to the “coastal elite,” new research from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) suggests that, at least in political terms, most Americans are secular in their orientation. While many Americans may still hold conservative personal beliefs, when it comes to the issue of church-state separation, large majorities reject efforts by the religious right to use the power of the state to impose conservative Christian values on others. 

In fact, the polling data shows that there’s really only one group of Americans that rejects a secular society: White evangelical Christians. And this study is just further evidence that a lot of the political polarization in our country is the direct result of white evangelical Christians realizing that they are no longer dominant majority, and lashing out angrily in an effort to regain the levels of dominance they used to enjoy.”

The need for no change and obedience to their demands is what many Christian conservatives evince.  They need that external validation for their beliefs; the mere existence of anyone who doesn’t agree with them (and isn’t being punished by some god) shows that their beliefs are not quite what they claim.  If they do not get this obedience and agreement, they often seem to act out like a three year old who isn’t getting her way.

For additional information on the actions of those who need to imagine that they and theirs are in authority, I recommend Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a gathering of thoughts about various recent events.

and this is the fellow that some atheists claim is a nice guy

and this is the fellow that some atheists claim is a nice guy

Vermin-in-Chief Ray Comfort, the fellow who tried to get atheists to take his book by giving out food gift certificates and was shamed in to giving said certificates to people who need food (still $7,000 unaccounted for), wants to tell his followers to tell the Jewish people that they are so very “angry” about the bomb threats and defacement of their cemeteries but hey, let me tell you about Jesus.”

Directly from the email that Living Waters sent out: “You can use these sick acts as an excuse to extend some extra love to the Jewish people in your life. With sensitivity and empathy, tell them how angry you were to hear of it. Lead the conversation into the Jewish Messiah who died on the cross, in fulfillment of the Holy Scriptures prophecies.”

Because it’s always good for Christians to use things to spread their nonsense and tell Jews, “Hey, you’re going to hell, but a shame about those tombstones.”

The Kellyanne Conway on the couch thing? Can you imagine on what the GOTP would have said if FLOTUS Obama would have done that?   We had enough comparisons of her to an ape from the usual deplorables. I wonder, does Conway know to take her shoes off before she climbs on the furniture? I think I learned that before kindergarten. Oh, it seems that some dickhead Democrat male made some comment about a woman kneeling. Jackasses on all sides, it seems.

Trump now wants to blame anyone and everyone for the failed military operation in Yemen, but simultaneously wants to claim it recovered very good intelligence, and now they have what appears to be a snipe hunt going on, with claims of “hundreds” of names that they are supposedly tracking down that they supposedly found during the raid. The vet who sits in the same room with me wonders about someone who blames the soldiers for something he approved over dinner and then ignored while it was going on.

Witches supposedly tried to cast a spell on Trump. Alas, no more effect than a prayer. Now where are those “real” spells so many Christian twits claimed that I would learn from playing Dungeons and Dragons?

Good article on what the EPA has done for the US, and how fucking stupid it is to think to dismantle it from Popular Science.

Good article on abiogenesis and how the RNA world model might not be correct.

All for today.  If you are a new reader or old, please do visit the Boss’s Office to see my stance on how I allow comments.  Bring your facts with you if you care to discuss things with me.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – wannabee theocrats marching in DC today

what pro-control people want women to believe

what pro-control people want women to believe

Today there is a “march for life” in Washington, DC. There are a lot of women there, who insist that they are feminists. There may be some men who also would claim this, since being a feminist isn’t limited by sex. They all declare that they are “for life”, aka against abortion and birth control.

These people want to control others, and that is all they want to do. They want to tell women that they can’t. They can’t make their own decisions. They can’t believe what they want. They can’t be trusted to be intelligent enough to know what they want. They aren’t feminists, they are wolves in sheeps clothing. Feminism isn’t about telling a woman “no”. It’s about knowing that a woman can make her own decisions and that supporting women is important.

These wannabee theocrats demand that their opinion become law, that no one may choose to disagree with them. They want women to be punished for daring to make their own decisions and not obeying them. They claim that women need their help because of a myth with a talking snake. Most, if not all of them, want their particular version of one religion to be the law of the land, conservative Christianity. Of course, they can’t agree on which version of Christianity they want. They may insist that each other is doing to hell for accepting the Pope, for not accepting the Pope, for being baptized in one way or another, being divorced or not divorced, but they are harnessed in the same yoke for this one reason, in their pure hypocrisy.

They want to claim that they are for life, but they are against anything that would help the children that they wish forced on others to live. They are for punishment and obedience. They support the murder and terrorism of those who believe different than they do. They want no assistance be given to assure that these children have healthy food and a safe home. They want to keep families from having affordable health insurance. They want no assistance given to assure that these children have a good education, no matter if they are wealthy or poor . They want none but their religion taught to these children and they want only the families they approve of to take care of these children. They depend on lying to women to convince them to have children, intentionally misleading women by how they name their services. After the uterus is vacated, they are not interested.

Caring for another isn’t important at all, only forcing a woman to bear a child she cannot support, either financially or emotionally. They pretend that their churches will help these women but every shelter everywhere is desperate for money despite that there are pages upon pages of churches and other religious organizations in the phone book. They haven’t taken care of these families so far, so why should anyone believe that they will now?

These conservative Christians prate that this god would never give a woman more than she could handle, but they turn their heads when these women harm or kill themselves and their children because they could not handle those things, no matter how much they prayed and others prayed for them. They needed real help and that real help requires that people support them through real resources, resources payed by taxes and given to everyone, not just people who agree with the taxpayers or obey the rules of a religion that has no more evidence that it is true than any other religion.

These people want to take over the government, and force their religion on everyone. For all of their false claims of being unable to make their own choices, they do their best to remove the ability to choose from others. For all of their false claims of being pro-life, they do their best to ensure that those lives suffer as much as possible.

Hypocrisy personified, when this woman thinks she is being silenced and she’s walking down streets in the nation’s capital saying  exactly what she wants.

hypocrite

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “alternative facts” and that tie…

It is no surprise that Trump is having a tantrum over the fact that it was noted that the audience for his inauguration was quite a bit smaller than other inaugurations. He was so taken aback that the truth was told that he dishonored men and women who have died in service to this country when he gave a speech at the CIA by whining about this fact.

Then we get his mouthpiece, Kellyanne Conway, insisting on “alternative facts”. Sounds quite Orwellian, doesn’t it? The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, went in front of the cameras and claims that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period”. This is of course a bald faced lie and we have lovely photographic evidence to show this wasn’t the case at all.

Photo by Reuters and Pool Camera

Photo by Reuters and Pool Camera

When confronted with this lie, Ms. Conway said “”You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts,”. This amazingly pathetic response was given to Chuck Todd, the moderator on NBC’s Meet the Press. When asked again why she was trying to spread nonsense, she responded “”Your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president. That’s not your job.”

AKA How dare you say that the Emperor has no clothes! Ms. Conway seems to think that Trump and his coterie have the right to lie to others and take away their ability to make informed choices. Calling the things she and Trump et al say ridiculous, lies, false, etc is exactly the job all of us have now, and if the press doesn’t lead the charge, we all do.

Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. Hugo L. Black, associate justice US Supreme Court (New York Times Company v. United States, 1971).

To preserve the freedom of the human mind then and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement. –Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Green Mumford (18 June 1799).

And then there is the tie. The really really long red one that Trump wore the inauguration. The one that was held together by tape. Ties are generally made with a loop in the back where the narrow end is tucked to keep it in place. This always works if the tie is knotted correctly. And this isn’t a hard thing to do. Millions can do it (my spouse suggests bringing the wide end down to the crotch and then tying it because it will then be at the beltline after the knot is made). But evidently not Trump.  Tie tacks and tie bars are also evidently beyond him.

It may seem petty to pick on the man’s tie but it reveals two possibilities, neither of which are reassuring: this man has no friends that will keep him from looking like a buffoon or that he has no one he will listen to. Not one of his family members, not one of his staff said “Don, let me take care of your tie for you.” or he was stupid enough to ignore them. I’ve had no problem telling my boss that she has snot hanging from her nose from a less than successful blow. If no one can do that for you, it’s just sad.

Stephen Colbert does a great monologue on the inauguration and that tie

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – the lying lips of a prince

Photo by Reuters and Pool Camera

Photo by Reuters and Pool Camera

We’re deep in it now. The sad little orange man has been inaugurated thanks to the ignorant and fearful and greedy who have sold their honor and responsibility for false promises.  Update:  The women’s march is doing quite well. Poor Donnie, he doesn’t react well to reality. What will TwitterFuhrer do?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/womens-march.htm  ( I don’t know if you will be able to see it. I have a subscription)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/21/chicago-womens-rally-massive-march-canceled/96882902/

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/womens-march-heads-washington-day-trumps-inauguration/story?id=44936042

and this interesting bit: http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/01/womens-march-canadian-protesters-denied-u-s-entry.html  and here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/20/womens-march-canada-protesters-denied-entry-us

Donald J. Trump, still is trying to spread those lies and spread that fear. Fear and greed is what fascism and totalitarianism grows in. Willful ignorance is what fertilizes it. Trump’s inaugural speech was nothing but lies, intended to spread fear. He claims that the US is in shambles, that “carnage” reigns in our streets and that simply isn’t true. He need people to believe though, because he can’t get his way if people stand strong and say “no”.

The US does have its problems, like any other country. However, we’ve always gone forward and have shed the shackles of our ignorance and fear, albeit slower than I would wish. Now we have to stand up against men and women who would wish to return us to the bad old days. They intentionally lie to us, trying to take away our right to make informed decisions on our own. They want obedience and no one to speak against them. They want the truth hidden, so people will believe them without question.

They can’t stand the truth, so they try to punish those who speak it. A National Park Service employee retweeted true tweets that showed how small the crowd was for the inauguration and this was termed not sympathetic to the president. It was also noted that the new administration stripped the White House website of any LGBT, climate change and health care webpages (snopes has the lowdown here. And it again shows that the transition team for Trump is utterly incompetent since they had nothing to put up). This was also declared not sympathetic to the president. The account was shut down with claims of urgency.

It has been reopened with the understanding that everything depends on the confirmation of Trump’s nominee, Rep. Ryan Zinke, who is of course supports mining, oil, loggin, trophy hunting, etc on public lands, and wants to transfer public lands to states, so the federal laws concerning wildlife, clean water and clean air don’t apply: anything but what his supposed hero, Teddy Roosevelt would have approved of.

The truth doesn’t have to be sympathetic, it is what it is. And it is in everyone’s interest to constantly point out the false claims and lies told by anyone, but especially when its someone in power.

Trump and his team were wrong when they claimed that millions would attend his inauguration (and more shots of the emptiness, and a great timelapse video of the Mall being occupied – scroll down on that link). Trump and his team were wrong when they claimed that there were no more fancy dresses in DC. Trump and his team were wrong when they claimed that hotels were sold out. They lied that he won the popular vote and they lied when they said it was a landslide and that Trump has a “mandate”.  This is only a few false claims about petty little things. It’s a problem when the lies keep coming about important things that will affect everyone.

“It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. — Abraham Lincoln, October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton, Illinois

Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.” – Proverbs 17 (KJV)

One might think that some of those Christians who voted for Trump might consider one of the few admirable things about their bible.

And just because I like them:

nazis

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – fundamentalist white rural America

burialWhite, rural fundamentalist America is where I grew up.  This article on Raw Story (which seems to have come from Alter Net) gets it very much right.

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/the-dark-rigidity-of-fundamentalist-rural-america-a-view-from-the-inside/

“When you have a belief system that is built on fundamentalism, it isn’t open to outside criticism, especially by anyone not a member of your tribe and in a position of power. The problem isn’t “coastal elites don’t understand rural Americans.” The problem is rural America doesn’t understand itself and will NEVER listen to anyone outside their bubble. It doesn’t matter how “understanding” you are, how well you listen, what language you use…if you are viewed as an outsider, your views are automatically discounted. I’ve had hundreds of discussions with rural white Americans and whenever I present them any information that contradicts their entrenched beliefs, no matter how sound, how unquestionable, how obvious, they WILL NOT even entertain the possibility it might be true. ”

Is this true for everyone in white rural America? Nope, but unfortunately it’s become the way to bet. Sometimes you can get free of such nonsense, sometimes you can’t and sometimes you choose not to.  We have had people, friends and relatives, we thought were humane people who supported the ideal of America, of the lady with the lamp beside the golden door, that where everyone deserved to be considered equal and to have the same rights.  We never thought they would decide that they could ignore racism, misogyny, lies, cheating employees, xenophobia, etc, for the promise that someone will fulfill “every dream they ever dreamed“.  I don’t think even a three year old child would believe this.  But they did.

I’ve read where some people have said it has felt like someone died when Trump won.  I think that is pretty accurate.  The people we thought we knew “died” that day, and their places were taken by people we didn’t recognize anymore.