The military has a long history and terrible reputation of being infiltrated by evangelical Christians that will heavily proselytize to soldiers. I know of many personal stories of nonreligious soldiers being forced to either run laps or clean on Sundays while Christians attended church service. A West Point cadet even resigned recently over the intense religiosity of the military, even though he was only five months from graduation.
In response to the rampant proselytization in the military, the Air Force has published a 27 page document with new rules on religion and sharing one’s religious beliefs.
The main point of the publication that is worth noting, as reported by the Washington Post, is this rule about proselytizing:
Leaders at all levels must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.
The publication also says on the cover sheet, “COMPLIANCE WITH THIS PUBLICATION IS MANDATORY,” and even suggested that noncompliance could end up with a court martial.
And so the right wing media machine is in full gear with their yellow journalism and spinned headlines that purposely leave out important facts. My favourite is from Breitbart.com, “Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith.”
No one is going to court martial anyone for sharing their religion. Someone might be court martialed if they use “their position to promote their religious beliefs to their subordinates.” If they had read the actual rules, they would know that.
They probably do know that, but they choose to ignore it, because pretending to be a victim of persecution, when it has almost always been the other way around in the military and the wider American public, and religious agendas are more important than, you know, reporting facts and being good journalists.
President Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, who is advocating for the enforcement of this policy, said, “And what the Pentagon needs to understand is that it is sedition and treason. It should be punished.”
I agree, that is overboard. Troops should not be charged with treason for something like proselytizing, but they should still be punished to ensure that it does not continually happen, as it is unconstitutional and also unethical to use one’s position as an officer, whether actually or apparently, to force their religious beliefs onto their colleagues and subordinates.
So because of that statement and the perceived threat of a court martial for “sharing the Christian faith,” the FRC is pretending to be the saviour of the persecuted majority.
When the Family Research Council, who Fox News calls a “religious liberty group,” found out about this, their executive vice president, retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, went onto Fox and Friends and said, “This has the potential to destroy military recruiting across the services as Americans realize that their faith will be suppressed by joining the military.”
FRC President Tony Perkins, in a statement to Fox News, said, “Why would military leadership be meeting with one of the most rabid atheists in America to discuss religious freedom in the military. That’s like consulting with China on how to improve human rights.”
Says the people who are actively putting out pseudoscience linking pedophilia and bestiality to homosexuality in order to have the rights of the LGBT community stripped away.
They even have this nice little petition on their website.
Sounds so vague and fuzzy that anyone would support it, because who doesn’t want to protect the religious freedom of our fighting men and women?
Only, it’s not about that. Well, it is, but not in the way the FRC puts it.
It’s about protecting the freedom of and from religion that our troops need and deserve, especially the nonreligious ones that are constantly being harassed by their fellow soldiers. According to the Washington Post, “A chaplain in Afghanistan recently was the target of complaint for sermonizing to troops, including Afghan soldiers, that they had approximately 2,000 days to live and needed to ‘get right with Jesus’.”
No one needs to be told that they are going to Hell if they don’t accept Jesus while they are fighting a war. Hell, I don’t need that, and I’m not in literally the most stress-filled job in the country.
I don’t know why I watch Fox News as much as I do. I really need to stop, as I seriously believe that it is contributing to the degradation of my mental health.
This morning, Fox News host Steve Doocy was talking about how Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx, who is President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Transportation, declared today, May 2nd, to be a “Day of Reason,” on request of Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics in 2012, as well as a “Day of Prayer.”
Doocy put up a quote from the mayor’s proclamation, “The application of reason, more than any other means, has proven to offer hope for human survival on Earth.”
So who is the best person to talk about this? Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx? No. A representative of Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics? Of course, not! A right wing Christian organisation that is extremely anti-secular? Ding ding ding!
Doocy invited on the CEO of Concerned Women for America, Penny Nance, who, when asked if she could make sense of the decision of this godless mayor, who attends Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, to endorse both reason and prayer, just simply did not make any freaking sense.
He comes from North Carolina, which has the 7th highest church attendance, clearly he’s not running for re-election since he’s up for transportation secretary. You know, G. K. Chesterton said that the Doctrine of Original Sin is the only one which we have three-and-a-half thousand years of empirical evidence to back up. Clearly, we need faith as a component and it’s just silly for us to say otherwise.
The mayor never said that faith and religion were not components of American life. If you were paying attention, Penny, you would know that he also declared it a “Day of Prayer.” However, it’s understandable that you didn’t know that, as the headline at the bottom of the screen said “Reason Over Religion: Charlotte Mayor Calls for Day of Reason.” Good job, Fox.
This entire segment is just playing into the words of Jon Stewart.
[Christians have] taken this idea of no establishment as persecution, because they feel entitled, not to equal status, but to greater status.
Having both a Day of Reason and a (nationally recognised) Day of Prayer is persecution to them. Having atheist displays alongside Christian displays is persecution to them. Having a neutral government that treats all people equally is persecution to them.
Nonetheless, Nance went on to say (emphasis mine):
You know, the Age of Enlightenment and Reason gave way to moral relativism. And moral relativism is what led us all the way down the dark path to the Holocaust…Dark periods of history is what we arrive at when we leave God out of the equation.
I find that last sentence particularly funny/stupid, because the Dark Ages was the time when reason and scientific inquiry was put on the back burner to make room for God.
And no, it was not reason that led to the Holocaust. It was not moral relativism that led to the Holocaust. This is a running theme amongst Christians.
Just recently, I went to an event that one of the Christian groups at UNT was holding called “What if Atheists ARE Right?” It was by Beau Bishop of the Dallas chapter of Reasonable Faith, the apologist organisation that William Lane Craig runs.
His entire talk was about bashing atheists for their supposed love of moral relativism and blaming the Holocaust on moral relativism, obviously connecting atheists to the Nazis. He blamed moral relativism for the Holocaust and falsely claimed that the Nazis used the defense of moral relativism as to why they killed more than 10 million people, and Penny Nance is doing the same thing.
No, the Nazis did not use moral relativism. They used the “objective” values contained within the Bible. They were taking vengeance upon the Jews for killing their Messiah, which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, since Jesus was supposed to be a sacrifice for their sins. They were cleansing the world of what they thought was ungodly.
Here is a favourite quote of mine from Hitler that perfectly sums up his morally relative values that advocated godless atheism and morally relativistic genocide (emphasis mine):
Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith…we need believing people. – Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant
I hope that more cities start declaring May 2nd to be a National Day of Reason. I will definitely be working with the secular organisations in my area to ask the mayors in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to make it so next year. I recommend you do too. Find your local Coalition of Reason or American Atheists affiliate.
In my previous post, I wrote essentially a response to some conservative blogger who was saying Gerard Way of the band My Chemical Romance, my favourite band, might be a closet conservative, because of some imagery used in one of the band’s music videos. I forgot to add something that now I think would have been perfect to have in there.
How could I forget about when Glenn Beck, when he was still on Fox News, took My Chemical Romance’s “Sing,” because it was being covered on the show Glee, and called it “propaganda?”
Yes, a major “news” network took the time to bash a song because of these lyrics:
Cleaned up, corporation progress
Dying in the process
Children that can talk about it,
living on the railways
People moving sideways
Sell it till your last days
Buy yourself a motivation
Nothing but a dead scene
Product of white dream
Gerard actually responded to these allegations on the band’s website.
I think the word Glenn Beck was looking for was “subversion” not “propaganda”, because I don’t know what it would be considered propaganda for- truth? sentiment?
And I can’t tell what he’s angrier about- the fact that it’s how I feel about the persistent sterilization of our culture or the fact that it’s on network television for everyone to hear.
And railways? Is it 1863? Seen any children living on these lately instead of the internet?
I’m actually shocked that no actual fact-checking was done on the lyrics. I mean Fox is a major news channel, covering factual topics in an unbiased and intelligent- oh wait- to quote the man himself- “You don’t have to live by the standards that society has set.”
I couldn’t agree more.
PS- drawing is a depiction of an actual situation involving children, indeed “living on the railways” with one Jimmy “Backscratch Pete” Mulrooney, of Kansas City.
Yes, he called Fox “unbiased and intelligent.” I know.
So apparently, according to Douglas Ernst, the blogger, Gerard Way is a secret conservative. According to Glenn Beck, Gerard and the band as a whole are just more of those elitist liberals or something.
Both of these assertions, and the people asserting them, have about the same amount of credibility in my eyes.
President Obama is being heavily criticised for the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” scandal that came to light following the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry by gun traffickers who were being sold guns by the ATF. The operation began when the Tuscon, Arizona branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) planned on selling guns to Mexican gun traffickers. These guns would then be tracked back to the Mexican drug cartels as part of a sting operation in hopes of finally breaking the drug cartels that have been wreaking havoc on the Mexican-American border.
The president is being criticised for asserting his executive privilege to withhold certain documents concerning the operation. Congressional Republicans, the Republican National Committee, and the Romney campaign all jumped on President Obama for this action, saying that he is going back on his promise for having a transparent government and that him and Attorney General Eric Holder, who recommended the president use his executive privilege, are trying to coverup a flubbed operation that resulted in the murder of a federal agent. They either fail to remember or simply ignore the fact that President Bush invoked his executive privilege six times. This is President Obama’s first.
The Republican controlled House of Representatives voted along party lines to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress and linking him to the failed operation and its supposed coverup. This could land Holder in prison or at least with a hefty fine, but more than likely not.
The other criticism of trying to coverup the operation, Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote in a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is chairing the Congressional probe into the matter, that the Justice Department releasing 7600 documents concerning Operation Fast and Furious should have been ample evidence that no coverup is trying to be made. The Californian Representative seemed to ignore that bit of information, and the attorney general was still voted in contempt.
President Obama and his administration are claiming that Republicans and the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are doing nothing more than politically motivated attacks to make him look bad in an election year instead of doing what they promised when they won the House in the 2010 midterms, which was creating jobs and helping the economy, seeing as they have killed almost any bill put forth by the Democrats of the Democratic president that would do such a thing.
Politicians and pundits alike on the right appear to be unaware of the fact that Operation Fast and Furious began during the Bush Administration in 2006 when it was known as Operation Wide Receiver. When Fox News had something to say about it, they conveniently left out these important details, or would simply ignore them when they were shown right to their faces. Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly either do not care about the facts or will outright ignore them if they do not fit into their notions of President Obama being the Black Hitler and will do and saying almost anything in order to criticise him.
So why is it that President Obama is being blamed (again) for something that began during his predecessor’s administration?
Michelle Malkin is a conservative blogger and political commentator that often appears on Fox News and other media outlets to spout off conservative lies and propaganda, and she very recently published an op-ed article titled “Bigoted Anti-Bigots” for the National Review Online.
First off, the title. Now, she’s referring to the LGBT movement, calling it the “gay-marriage mob,” claiming that they are “guilty of the very ugly bigotry [they claim] to abhor.” It’s the common saying of, “It’s intolerant to be intolerant of the intolerant,” which is an unintelligible sentence, at best. It is not bigoted to be against the bigots who want to oppress you. If that were true, then blacks and women were being bigoted towards whites and men when they were fighting for their right to be treated equally. I am sure Martin Luther King Jr. and Susan B. Anthony were great big bigots in their times.
When saying that gays and liberals are being hypocritical bigots, Malkin is referring to the recent controversy over boxing champion Manny Pacquiao for “being true to his Catholic faith.” This is because in a recent interview with Examiner’s conservative contributor Granville Ampong, he supposedly mentioned Leviticus 20:13 when asked by Ampong about President Obama’s recent new stance on gay marriage. In his original post, Ampong made it highly suggestive that it was Pacquiao who brought up the Bible verse. It was presumed even more after an actual quote from the boxer where he said, “It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old.”
After the USA Today, the LA Weekly, and the Village Voice all reported (in that order) about the original interview, saying that Pacquiao quoted Leviticus 20:13 because of Ampong’s suggestive writing, Ampong wrote another article titled “Biased writers grossly twisted Pacquiao’s view on same-sex marriage,” where in it he blamed the writers from the USA Today and the other news sources mentioned for his terrible writing style, all without correcting his initial post.
Manny Pacquiao has since apologised for the confusion, and has said that while he is against same-sex marriage, he does not think that they should be put to death as commanded by God in Leviticus 20:13, even though he also said that God’s law should always come before man’s. So yes, Granville Ampong is a terrible journalist, Examiner needs to have more oversight of what their writers post, and Manny Pacquiao is still (only partially) a bigot for being anti-gay marriage.
Michelle Malkin, being everyone’s favourite conservative, took the side of Ampong in all this nonsense in order to blame the “politically correct bloodhounds” that are, of course, “backed by George Soros,” the right’s least favourite billionaire. I do not know what it is about conservatives, but nearly every time there is something happening in the media that they disagree with, they always try somehow to blame George Soros for it. Just because he’s rich, is not a conservative, and funds progressive causes does not make him the Anti-Christ. Calm the fuck down, people.
It is interesting, or more so mind-boggling, how Malkin is blaming the “left wing media,” even though the USA Today is not liberal or left-leaning at all, the LA Weekly is most certainly not liberal, and the Village Voice…okay, that one is. It seems that anything to the left of Fox News is, of course, part of the giant leftist conspiracy to turn your kids gay and America into a socialist state (not that there is anything wrong with that).
Near the end of her article, she says that the “bigoted anti-bigot brigade” is targeting poor, defenseless people like Rush Limbaugh, Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Catholic healthcare providers, among others, because they “refuse to conform to ‘progressive’ values.” Yeah, such a terrible thing progressive values are, like thinking that women should not have their healthcare denied to them because of someone else’s religion, that workers should have the right to unionise and not have their salaries slashed while giving tax breaks to millionaires, that gays should be treated equally for a change, and that bigots, actual bigots like Michelle Malkin, should be called for it.
My personal favourite part of the op-ed is when Malkin says that the “left wing media” is “shamelessly [demonizing] religion in the name of compassion.” So something that says gays should be put to death, along with many other people for completely arbitrary reasons, does not deserve to be demonised?
Update 19:56: A fan of my Facebook page commented on the link I posted of the original article by Michelle Malkin. They said something that I believe should be shared.
If one can actually consider intolerance of those opposed to the expansion of human rights to those that should already have them to be bigotry, particularly when those fighting against human rights have a habit of literally bullying, bashing, and beating those they oppose, then by Poseidon’s watery beard, I’ll wear THAT particular bigotry badge proudly.Of course, in my experience it is by far mostly the prejudiced, hateful, anti-human rights crowd that call their opposition bigots for opposing their bigotry, so forgive me it I can’t properly express the amount of fucks I don’t give regarding their opinion of people who do actually stand for things like equality.