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Happy holidays, ‘Christo’fascists!

 

Oh, does that hurt? Too bad!

Recently my mother had sent me a package with Christmas* gifts, and I wrote her an e-mail to thank her for it.

“Happy holidays!” I concluded my e-mail. I immediately added: “Or, as you say in Arizona, merry Christmas! 😉

(I am a proud Northern Californian; I believe that California probably overall is the best state in the nation, although not perhaps to the extent that Texans believe that theirs is the supreme state. [To me, the only remarkable thing about Texas is that it’s a state that we can say is even worse than is Arizona. Probably.])

I was being cheeky in my e-mail to Mom, but, because there is truth to the joke, I guess that it was at least somewhat provocative.

My mother responded: “Hope you have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS (I don’t care whose toes I step on – [it’s] our tradition and I like to say MERRY CHRISTMAS, but don’t get me started on this).”

I was joking (for the most part), but I don’t think that she was.

So Mom has inspired this blog piece; consider it her CHRISTMAS gift to you.

The use of the greeting “Happy holidays” does not mean that you don’t get to celebrate Christmas if you so wish to do so. There is no “war” on Christmas.

Many years ago, when I first encountered “Happy holidays,” I just assumed that it meant to have a merry Christmas and a happy new year, and that it just saved a lot of words. (I mean, really, in a sense, there are four holidays in there: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.)

It seems to me that “Happy holidays” still can mean that; after all, the majority of Americans celebrate Christmas Day and then New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day a week later.

“Happy holidays” also means, or perhaps has come to mean, that you’re not sure whether or not the person to whom you’re speaking recognizes/celebrates Christmas, and so you’re trying to be sensitive to his or her religious beliefs.

What, exactly, is wrong with being sensitive to the fact that someone whom you don’t know might not share your religious beliefs, including your holidays?

Indeed, there is no “war” on Christmas, but there is a war on anyone having religious beliefs and holidays that aren’t in line with the majority of Americans’ (about 70 percent of Americans identify as “Christian”).

Indeed, so hostile have “good” “Christians” “defending” Christmas become that very often “Merry Christmas!” is said not with love in the utterer’s heart, but is said with hostile defiance, perhaps even as a warning to its target: This is Christian territory!

Needless to say, this is not the spirit of peace and goodwill toward all humankind that Jesus Christ espoused, in black in white, in the gospels.

And how strong are “Christians” in their “faith” if it’s not good enough for them that “only” about 70 percent of Americans are on their team?

Christianity is supposed to be about love, but in most American “Christians” we see only fear, including the fear that if 100 percent of the nation’s population isn’t on board, marching in lockstep, then Christianity is “threatened.”

As someone who identifies more as an atheist than as anything else — I do gravitate toward Buddhism, which is more of a philosophy than a religion, as Buddha (presuming that a historical Buddha did indeed exist), strictly speaking, was not a deity and he rejected deism) — to me, more than anything else, “Happy holidays” is a reference to the winter solstice, probably especially here in the northern hemisphere.

As Wikipedia notes of the winter solstice, “Winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Winter solstice occurs for the northern hemisphere in December and for the southern hemisphere in June.”

Scholars almost universally agree that if there was a historical Jesus (my best guess is that there was, but I don’t know whether there was or not, and neither do you), he very most likely was not born on December 25 or even in the few days surrounding it.

As Livescience.com puts it: “Researchers believe the Roman Catholic Church settled on December 25 for many reasons, such as that date’s ties to the winter solstice and Saturnalia, a festival dedicated to the Roman deity Saturn. By choosing this day to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, the church could co-opt the popular pagan festival, as well as the winter celebrations of other pagan religions.”

Christmas was ripped off from the pagans, and in any event, even the pagans were observing (and still today observe) the astronomical phenomenon of the shortest day and the longest night of the year. (Astronomical phenomena are objective and universal. We have different cultures, including different religions, to suit individual and tribal tastes, but we don’t have different astronomical phenomena to suit individual and tribal tastes.)

The winter solstice, to me, is the holiday, so if you say to me, “Happy holidays,” to me it means the winter solstice and probably New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, too (having picked January 1 as the start of the new year is incorrect, too – or, at the least, quite arbitrary – but that’s another blog post).

The bottom line: Feel perfectly, wondrously free to say “Merry Christmas” to those whom you know celebrate Christmas if you wish to do so; knock your jolly old soul out.

But if you don’t know whether or not the person to whom you’re speaking celebrates/recognizes Christmas, then why in the holy fuck would you want to say “Merry Christmas” to him or to her?

And to say “Merry Christmas” in order to shove your own fucking religious beliefs down others’ throats, because you’re so fucking sure that your religion is The One and Only True Religion to the extent that you believe that everyone else also should subscribe to it just makes you a fucking asshole (and therefore, I suppose, a likely Donald Trump voter [I haven’t yet asked Mom if she supports The Donald, because I don’t think that I want to know the answer…]).

To shove “Merry Christmas” and your other religious beliefs down others’ throats makes you no different, in spirit, from the assholes of ISIS who believe that they should shove their religious beliefs down others’ throats. You’re just not killing people (yet).

Happy holidays.

P.S. I recognize that “Happy holidays” might be offensive to some atheists and perhaps even to some agnostics, since “holiday” means “holy day,” but again, to me the wintertime “holiday” is the winter solstice, an annual astronomical event (and that’s scientific, not “holy,” if by “holy” we mean the involvement of a deity), and when coupled with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, it becomes “the holidays.” Thus, “Happy holidays.”

*I accept that Christmas is a wintertime holiday celebrated by most Americans. That’s what “Christmas” means to me. (“Christmas” to me does not mean the magically virginal birth of our lord and savior Jesus Christ on December 25 or on any other date of the year.)

Even though I’m an atheist or at least atheisty, I use the term “Christmas” myself, such as in “Christmas gifts” (which I give every year) and “Christmas tree,” but I don’t say “Merry Christmas” to those who might not celebrate/recognize the holiday.

Because I try not to be an asshole.

(No, pushing back against the “Christo”fascists, as I have done here, is not to be an asshole myself. Intolerance of intolerance is a good thing, not a bad thing. Jesus fuck.)

And, while we’re talking about fascism, “Christian” or otherwise, Donald Trump is a dangerous fascist who, if he actually became president, probably would require a Second-Amendment remedy.

Again: Happy holidays!

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Desperate Mittens finally jumps on ‘war on religion’ bandwagon

In church

Associated Press photo

Mitt Romney obviously is running scared, with Prick Santorum running ahead of him as much as 10 percentage points in recent nationwide Repugnican Tea Party presidential preference polls.

Mittens hasn’t spoken much about religion thus far, I surmise, because he doesn’t want to draw attention to his Mormonism* and because he knows that many if not most of the so-called “swing voters,” who decide presidential elections these days, are turned off by hard-right “Christo”fascist rantings and ravings.

Romney for the most part has avoided going there, but with Santorum having gone there and surging as a consequence, what’s a poor multi-millionaire Mitt to do?

This:

Today Mittens proclaimed on the campaign trail in Michigan: “Unfortunately, possibly because of the people the president hangs around with, and their agenda, their secular agenda — they have fought against religion.”

Um, so President Obama is palling around with the wrong crowd? He can’t think for himself?

Here is the breakdown of religious belief in the United States of America (according to Wikipedia):

Protestant: 51 percent of Americans

Catholic: 25 percent of Americans

No religious affiliation: 15 percent

Non-Christian religions (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.): around 4 percent to 6 percent

My Internet research shows that there are about 6 million Mormons in the United States of America, which has a total population of about 313 million, which calculates to only about 1.9 percent of Americans being Mormon.

(The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life says that 51 percent of Americans are Protestant, 24 percent are Catholic, 16 percent are unaffiliated with any major religious group [4 percent identifying as atheist or agnostic], and 5 percent are Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim or Hindu. And the Pew Forum puts the number of Americans who are Mormon at only 1.7 percent.)

So we have Catholick Prick Santorum, whose religious beliefs are shared by no more than a quarter of the nation’s population, and Mitt Romney, whose religious beliefs are shared by no more than 2 percent of the nation’s population, wanting to shove their particular brands of religious belief down all of our throats.

Is that fair? Is that right? Is that moral? Is that democratic? Is that American? Is that even Christian? (Whom would Jesus religiously oppress?)

Fact is, in such a religiously pluralistic* nation as ours, the only fair and just and sane way to handle such religious diversity — which includes, of course, atheists and agnostics — indeed is to govern secularly.

To do otherwise is not to be a government for everyone, but to be a government for only some.

Frankly, whenever I hear Barack Obama bring up God, I cringe. I would prefer that if my president actually believed in a non-existent, Zeus-like deity, he or she wouldn’t talk about it publicly. Because when I hear my president bring up God or Jesus, I don’t feel like my president is my president.

(For the record, I gravitate toward Buddhism and other Eastern belief systems, and while I agree with the majority of Jesus Christ’s actual teachings [but I don’t buy that he was more than a human being, so no, he was not conceived asexually, and no, he did not rise from the dead, and nor did he perform the other assorted “miracles”], I am not into the deity/Super-Sized Santa Claus in the Sky thing, and my opinion of the Western patriarchal religious belief system [Christianity, Judaism and Islam] is that it is so toxic as to bring about World War III any day now.)

However, the times that Barack Obama does mention God, I more or less bite my tongue. I know that I’m in the minority, and that for political reasons, Obama is going to make an occasional mention of God whether he would do so naturally or not. He is nothing if not shrewdly but shamelessly politically calculating.

The “Christo”fascists have a pretty good stronghold on the nation, it seems to me. But Mitt Romney, who is losing to Prick Santorum — which absolutely never was supposed to happen — at long last has jumped upon the “Christians are being persecuted!” bandwagon.

Bullshit. When we are tossing Christians to the lions again I’ll believe that they’re being persecuted.

As I noted recently:

The “Christo”fascists in the United States of America have the freedom to live their lives as they wish. If they believe that contraception and/or abortion are evil, then they do not ever have to use contraception or ever get an abortion. Neither contraception nor abortion is forced upon them by the government. If they believe that same-sex marriage is evil, then they don’t have to marry a member of their own sex. The government doesn’t force them to marry members of their own sex, either.

The “Christo”fascists are free to believe whatever insanity they wish to believe, a right that they exercise to the fullest. The government does not force them to believe in evolution or global warming, and if they want to shield their offspring from facts and science and sanity, then they may school their little spawn at home. (That’s child abuse, in my book, but they have that right.)

What really rankles the “Christo”fascists is not that they cannot live their own lives as they see fit, despite their ludicrous claims of victimhood, their ridiculous propaganda about a supposed “war on religion” when, in fact, Americans are free to pray at home and in their places of worship of their non-existent, Zeus-like deity, and are free to express and to disseminate their ideas about this non-existent deity, and U.S. churches remain untaxed, may with impunity blatantly discriminate against individuals based upon their sex and race and sexual orientation and gender conformity (and, of course, based upon their religious beliefs), and, despite their untaxed status, still the churches blatantly insert themselves in the political process (like the Mormon cult’s and the Catholick church’s involvement in Proposition H8).

U.S. churches long have had special rights and privileges and immunties that we non-“Christo”fascists do not possess (try not paying your taxes, or blatantly discriminating against women or non-whites or those whose religious views differ from your own in your workplace, for example), yet they cry “victimhood.”

No, what really rankles the “Christo”fascist minority is that there are tens and tens of millions of us Americans who reject their Bible-based bullshit, and, because the “Christo”fascists’ backasswards worldview doesn’t survive the scrutiny of reality and logic and reason, they need as many converts as they can get in order to be comfortable in their bullshit, backasswards beliefs.

If I were president of the United States of America, I never would make public mention of God. Not only because there is no God — certainly not as Christianity, Judaism and Islam describe God (again, as a Zeus-like figure, male, all-powerful and perpetually angry and ready to smite you at any moment) — but because as president I would want to be all-inclusive, not exclusive.

The 15 percent to 16 percent of Americans who consider themselves atheist or agnostic or otherwise unaffiliated with the major religions is a huge (and growing) chunk of the population.

As president I wouldn’t want to alienate even the 4 percent of Americans who call themselves atheists or agnostics.

I mean, there are more than twice as many of them as there are Mormons, yet Mitt Romney wants to shove his teeny-tiny minority religion down the entire nation’s throat.

With a President Romney, we might as well move the nation’s capital to Salt Lake City. (Romney isn’t beholden to the cabal of stupid old white men in Salt Lake City? Well, they get 10 percent of his income of millions and millions of dollars! Sounds like they pull some strings to me!)

And with a President Santorum, we’d have to move the Oval Office to the Vatican, because it would be Pope Palpatine controlling Prick Santorum like he controlled Darth Vader.

Under the “leadership” of a President Romney or a President Santorum, we would see in the United States of America the actual religious persecution that they falsely claim that they suffer.

One of the few good things that I can say about Barack Obama is that for the very most part, he has governed secularly, and that’s the only way to govern the very diverse United States of America.

— 

*An October 2011 nationwide CNN/ORC poll found that 17 percent said they would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who is Mormon, and 36 percent of the respondents said that Mormonism is not a Christian religion.

**Lest you wish to argue that the 51 percent of Protestants make a majority, and thus we don’t have a plurality where religious groups in the United States are concerned, well, the many, many Protestant denominations hardly are monolithic. As the Pew Forum notes:

The Landscape Survey confirms that the United States is on the verge of becoming a minority Protestant country; the number of Americans who report that they are members of Protestant denominations now stands at barely 51 percent.

Moreover, the Protestant population is characterized by significant internal diversity and fragmentation, encompassing hundreds of different denominations loosely grouped around three fairly distinct religious traditions: evangelical Protestant churches (26.3 percent of the overall adult population), mainline Protestant churches (18.1 percent) and historically black Protestant churches (6.9 percent).

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They’re ALL cultists

Republican presidential candidate, former Governor Mitt Romney, speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirant Mitt Romney, fresh from having his Mormonism deemed a non-Christian “cult” by a backer of “real” “Christian” Rick Perry, assures “values voters” in Washington, D.C., this weekend that he hates the same people whom they hate.

It was a controversy/“controversy” this weekend that a Texas pastor and prominent supporter of “Christian” Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently referred to Mitt Romney’s Mormonism as a non-Christian “cult.”

“Poisonous language does not advance our cause,” Romney declared yesterday in Washington, D.C., at the annual “Values Voters Summit,” defending his Mormonism.

But Romney also assured the attendees of the Annual “Christo”fascists’ Ball that “he would oppose marriage rights for homosexuals and seek to overturn the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision allowing legal abortions,” reports Reuters.

Yes, indeed, “values voters”! Save that poisonous language for women, for non-heterosexuals and for the non-gender-conforming! They are the enemy!

The fact is that Mormonism indeed is a cult.

But so is Catholicism. So is Protestantism, the so-called-by-so-many “real” “Christianity.”

I define a “cult” as a group of people who enforce a cookie-cutter worldview that is not open to new information — and thus is not open to change and to growth (indeed, to evolution) — but that is a closed system. The members of the group (the cult) believe themselves to be superior to those who aren’t members; it is a “we”-vs.-“they” mentality, even if the cults sometimes pay lip service to tolerance or the like. Any cult members who don’t go along with the established cookie-cutter worldview and the cult’s mostly arbitrary rules are subject to being cast out of the cult.

Cults in the United States overwhelmingly are patriarchal and white supremacist (or otherwise racist), as well as misogynist and homophobic. Indeed, look at Mitt Romney assuring the “values voters” that he wants to oppress the very same groups of people (the “other”) whom they want to oppress.

This definition of “cult” of mine covers far more than the Mormons. It covers most who call themselves “Christians” of any stripe in the United States. And not to pick only on the “Christians”: conservative/orthodox Jews and Muslims, too, match my definition of a “cult.” In fact, all three of the Abrahamic religions are into oppressing women, non-heterosexuals and the non-gender-conforming. And all three to some extent oppose science, because science threatens their hocus-pocus superstitious bullshit. They have much more in common with each other than they acknowledge.

I respect Buddhism over what passes as “Christianity” because the Dalai Lama, to my knowledge, is the only world religious leader who has stated publicly that should scientific discovery contradict any of Buddhism’s tenets, then that Buddhist tenet has to go. When is the last time that Pope Palpatine or one of the stupid old white men who control the Mormon cult in Salt Lake City or one of the loony Pentecostal leaders ever publicly stated anything like that?

There is no God, no Santa-Claus-like father figure in the sky who pulls all of the strings and who will make the final judgment, so you’d better watch out, you’d better not cry and you’d better not pout. God, as the Abrahamic religions push God, is just a Zeus retread. In the year 2011 that so many “intelligent,” “modern” people believe in Zeus 2.0 is beyond pathetic.

But I’m more or less OK with — well, “resigned to” is more accurate — people believing in Zeus 2.0. People are stupid and they’re going to be stupid and they’re going to defend their right to be stupid to the death.

The problem that I have is that these lunatics who proclaim that they get their marching orders from Zeus 2.0 want to be president of the United States of America. They refuse to keep their stupidity to themselves, but feel the need to impose it upon the rest of us, whether we are OK with that or not.

I was OK with the Catholick and the Mormon cults just being cults — for me it was live and let live — until they decided to pool their theocratic resources into 2008’s Proposition 8, an attempt to restrict my equal human and civil rights here in California.

At that point, the Catholick and the Mormon cults declared war on me and my kind. We were minding our own fucking business, just trying to enjoy ourselves some life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and they inserted their bullshit, backasswards, hateful, bigoted beliefs into our lives. They have wished to limit our freedom. That means war.

Freedom from theocracy — whether it’s a “Christo”fascist theocracy or an “Islamofascist” theocracy or any other kind of theocracy — is worth dying for.

No president of the United States who professes a belief in Zeus 2.0 is worth a shit.

Yes, that includes Barack Obama.

How much Obama actually believes in Zeus 2.0 I am not sure. It would have to occur to any intelligent human being that there is at least a good chance that all of the Zeus 2.0 bullshit is just bullshit, is just centuries-old superstition that is passed down from one generation to another like a genetic defect.

I suspect that Obama at most is agnostic, but that he pays lip service to Zeus 2.0 because he’s an opportunistic assbite who will say whatever he deems he needs to say in order to get elected.

In 1996, for instance, when he was a candidate for the Illinois state Senate, Obama proclaimed that he supports same-sex marriage. You can click here to see the document (a questionnaire) that he signed that year that proclaims his support for same-sex marriage. Now, however, Obama claims that his view on same-sex marriage is “still evolving.”

Which is more likely — that he supported same-sex marriage in 1996 but now truly is rethinking that support, or that he will say whatever he thinks he needs to say in order to get elected or re-elected to the office that he is seeking? (Not to pick only on Obama — apparently Mitt Romney also was much more supportive of abortion rights and gay rights when it was more politically suitable for him to be so.)

A person who says only what he or she thinks that he or she needs to say in order to get elected is not worthy of a leadership position. The truth is not negotiable (and neither is the truth open to a fucking vote), and a true leader cannot also be a manipulative liar.

But even worse than the morally bankrupt Obama, admittedly, are the “Christo”fascists who are trying to out-hate each other in their quest for the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination, who are bound together certainly not by love but by the groups of people whom they hate, such as self-respecting women who oppose patriarchy; atheists, Muslims and others who don’t identify themselves as “Christians”; non-heterosexuals and the non-gender-conforming; the brown-skinned “illegals” and other non-whites; those who oppose the crony capitalism and perpetual warfare that has pushed the American empire to the brink of collapse, those who oppose the class warfare that the rich and the super-rich declared upon the rest of us long ago; and those in other nations whose cultures, customs, languages, religions and appearances are different than the average “tea party” traitor’s.

Under the do-nothing Barack Obama, the United States of America has been experiencing a slow collapse.

Under a President Romney or President Perry, the final collapse would come even sooner.

That, it seems to me, is our choice in November 2012: a quicker death or a more drawn-out death.

You know, I think that I prefer the coup de grâce.

P.S. The Associated Press reports today that 19 people have been killed in riots in Cairo between Christians and Muslims. This is pretty much all that the Abrahamic religions — the three Gangs for God — have given the world: death and destruction, war, hatred and bloodshed — all over Zeus 2.0, who/which doesn’t exist in the first place.

P.P.S. This news article gives Romney’s fuller quote as “We should remember that decency and civility are values too…. Poisonous language doesn’t advance our cause. It’s never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind.” Wow. So rhetoric that only serves to oppress women, gay men, lesbians and other non-heterosexuals is decent and civil and softens hearts and changes minds?

Really?

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