Tag Archives: freedom of religion

In O’Donnell, the voters of Delaware would get what they deserve

Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine ...

Associated Press photo

Sarah Palin-Quayle protegee Christine “Man Pants” O’Donnell, pictured yesterday in Lincoln, Delaware, shouldn’t have to deal with her admission of having “dabbled into witchcraft.” There are plenty of other, better reasons for the voters of Delaware to send her packing.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no sympathy for U.S. senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell.

People get into politics for two main reasons: for self-aggrandizement and more power (for themselves and for their cronies, usually) or to try to make a difference, try to improve things for everyone. O’Donnell clearly falls into the first camp, as do most (as in more than half of) politicians.

It was in the 1990s that on Bill Maher’s show “Politically Incorrect” that O’Donnell declared that in high school she “dabbled into witchcraft” but “never joined a coven.” (She helpfully added: “One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn’t know it. I mean, there’s a little blood there and stuff like that.”)

Clearly only the best and the brightest ever run for the U.S. Senate.

But burning O’Donnell at the stake for her admission of having “dabbled into witchcraft” feels wrong. First of all, it’s 2010 — two thousand fucking ten — and we’re talking about witchcraft being a hindrance to political office?

Even if O’Donnell were into witchcraft now, instead of being (or playing the role of, anyway) a “Christo”fascist, to me that’s religious belief and expression that is protected by the First Amendment. Only until and unless someone harms someone else and/or violates someone else’s rights and/or freedoms can we infringe upon his or her First-Amendment right to freedom of belief and religion.

Yes, it’s ironic that O’Donnell’s witchcraft admission, which aired on national television, might cost her “Christo”fascist votes. (Most of the “Christo”facists will resolve their cognitive dissonance by viewing her as “saved” though, I surmise.) And I might even be tempted to posit that maybe O’Donnell participated in witch hunts in a past life and that this is her karmic comeuppance.

But fuck all of that witchcraft stuff.

There are plenty of other reasons for the voters of Delaware to ditch O’Donnell.

First and foremost, she appears to have committed financial fraud even before she’s taken office. Reports The Associated Press:

Wilmington, Del. — A government watchdog group says Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell used campaign funds to pay her rent and other personal expenses.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a complaint against O’Donnell with the Federal Elections Commission and is asking federal prosecutors to investigate her.

The complaint is based largely on a sworn statement by O’Donnell’s former campaign finance consultant, David Keegan. He says O’Donnell used campaign funds to pay her rent in both March and April 2009, then listed the spending as “reimbursement expenses.”

The complaint also accuses O’Donnell of using campaign funds to pay for gas, meals and a bowling outing.

O’Donnell is a “tea party” favorite who upset longtime U.S. Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware’s GOP Senate primary.

I mean, you have to know that when someone is corrupt even while still in the chute, it can only get worse once he or she is out of the chute. After the BushCheneyCorp brazenly, blatantly stole office in late 2000, how could it have come as a shock that they then would launch a bogus war, using the worst terrorist attack upon American soil as their pretext? I mean, first presidential election fraud and then even more treason in the form of a bogus war? Who possibly could have known?

Her apparent financial fraud is enough to keep Christine O’Donnell far, far away from the U.S. Senate, but there’s more. Reports Yahoo! News:

The witchcraft flap is just the latest of O’Donnell’s comments from the 1990s to surface and give fodder to those who say she’s too politically unseasoned to win November’s open-seat race against Democrat Chris Coons.

O’Donnell told Bill O’Reilly that scientists have created mice that possess human brains; she said on “Politically Incorrect” that she would not lie to Nazis if she was hiding Jews in her house; and she reportedly said that women should not be permitted entry to military service institutions.

The left has also criticized her denunciation of masturbation.

What, no one of the right wing masturbates? (Or I suppose that they do, but they feel horribly guilty afterward and they lie about it.)

Actually, the masturbation prohibition brouhaha to me is more serious than a funny little sexual joke. To me it goes to O’Donnell’s apparent willingness to force her own crackpot religious beliefs upon others while still claiming to be a slave to “liberty” and “freedom,” as she and her “tea-partying” ilk do. (It’s freedom and liberty for them, you see. Fuck the rest of us.)

If I could say just one thing to her, I suppose that it would be: Stay out of my man pants, Christine!

In fairness to O’Donnell, her comment about human brains and mice brains might have been misquoted or she might have misspoken. She might actually have commented, or meant to have said, that some human beings possess the brains of mice. That is entirely believable. It would explain the existence of the “tea party.”

I most certainly would lie to any Nazis if I had Anne Frank holed up in my house, although hopefully I’d have left the Nazi-occupied country before it even came to the point that I had to deal with any of the Nazis.

I don’t know why anyone — anyone — would join the U.S. military these days when the U.S. military hasn’t been about actual defense since World War II, but has only acted as taxpayer-funded thugs for the corporatocrats and plutocrats, and has only kept the leech of the military-industrial complex perpetually fat with the lifeblood of the tax-paying people, but I don’t believe in discriminating against anyone who is stupid enough to actually join the U.S. military who meets reasonable requirements, such as a minimum age and minimum physical fitness. (Hell, maybe the U.S. military, for all of the damage that it does to us, at least helps to clean our gene pool…)

Anyway, O’Donnell already has demonstrated, amply, that she isn’t fit to serve as dog catcher, which even the head of Delaware’s Repugnican Party stated. (The same news article recounts O’Donnell’s blatant lie that she won two of Delaware’s three counties against Joe Biden in 2008 when, in fact, she didn’t win one county. [That can’t be a misstatement. That can only be a blatant fucking lie.])  

If the voters of Delaware actually elect Christine O’Donnell, they’ll get what they deserve, just as the majority of Americans who just allowed BushCheneyCorp to steal the White House in late 2000 got what they deserved, including the current economic meltdown, as it was foreseeable. (Unfortunately, the rest of us Americans have had to suffer, too.)

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Obama’s religion doesn’t matter

Almost one in five Americans incorrectly believe that President Barack Obama is Muslim, The Associated Press reports, noting that more than 40 percent of those polled don’t know what Obama’s religious identification is.

What the AP doesn’t ask is why the fuck this even matters.

All that we have the right to expect of a president of the United States — or of any elected official — is that he or she respects the First Amendment and the separation of church and state that is necessary in such a heterogenous nation as ours. If he or she does so, it doesn’t matter whether he or she is a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a pagan, an atheist, an agnostic or even a Satanist.

That we should even care what Obama’s personal beliefs are (or aren’t) — as long as he isn’t violating the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state mandated by the First Amendment (which he isn’t) — is indicative of the fact that many if not most Americans expect the president of the U.S. to be, at least nominally, a Christian. Which is un-American.

That said, I have to confess that Repugnican Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, in my book, aside from his wingnuttery, makes him quite unpresidential.

The cabal of stupid white men in Salt Lake City should not have unfettered access to the White House via Romney, and under a President Romney (shudder), I am confident that they would.

But my concern here isn’t just that Romney is a Mormon — my concern here is that he would be unable to keep his religious beliefs and his religious institution out of the governance of the nation.

Thus far, Barack Obama has done that, and therefore, I don’t give a shit what he believes or doesn’t believe.

And neither should you.

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DINO Reid joins anti-Muslim crusade

Top US senator opposes mosque near Ground Zero

AFP photo

As a religious minority — a Mormon — you’d think that U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate, would know something about religious discrimination. But hey, it’s an election year, and dog-piling upon Muslims is all the rage right now — and seems to be that long-sought “bipartisanship.”

“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. [Politician X] respects that, but thinks that the mosque [that is proposed to be established near the former World Trade Center] should be built someplace else.”

You’d think that of course Politician X would be a Repugnican, but nope — in this case, Politician X is Democrat in name only U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, whose spokesweasel today declared: “The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.”

Someone please, please explain to me how in one breath one can claim to respect freedom of religion but in the very next breath proclaim that a religious group should not establish a place of worship.

I understand that Harry Reid is trying to keep his U.S. Senate seat against wingnut dingbat Sharron “Second Amendment Remedies” Angle, who as a “Christo”fascist of course opposes the establishment of the mosque in lockstep with the rest of her tea-baggin’ ilk, but he should have kept his fucking mouth shut.

To shit and piss upon a minority group is a despicable way to try to win election or re-election. It’s what the fucking Repugnicans do, for fuck’s sake.

And on the same day that Reid announces, for political gain, that he opposes the establishment of a Muslim center near the former World Trade Center, a scandal breaks in which it is revealed that a former Israeli soldier posted humiliating images of Palestinian prisoners on her Facebook page. It’s a bit of Abu Ghraib deja vu for me.

Where do these young people, like the female Israeli soldier and the American personnel of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq learn their anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment?

From their “leaders.”

Harry Reid has just contributed to anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment that might have real-world consequences, such as acts of discrimination and perhaps even abuse (or worse) against Arabs and/or Muslims — treatment that makes some members of this fairly universally mistreated group commit acts of revenge that we Americans call “terrorism” (because it’s never called “terrorism” when an American or an Israeli does it to an Arab or a Muslim) and then scratch our heads and ponder, “But why, why do they hate us so much?”

Words have consequences, Harry. You’re supposed to be a fucking national leader. You fucking suck ass.

Harry Reid is a fucking Mormon. I fucking hate the Mormon cult. While no Muslim to my knowledge ever has infringed upon my rights, my right to marry my boyfriend is now tied up in the federal courts because of the Mormon cult’s multi-million-dollar promotion of anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition H8.

But does Harry Reid want to be discriminated against because of his fucked-up religion? No, I’m sure he fucking doesn’t. I’m sure that he wants the full protection under law of the Mormon cult, which, speaking of law, should have had its tax-exempt status revoked already for its illegal, immoral and unethical political activity.

Why, then, as a member of a lunatic fringe that itself has been the victim of religious persecution in the past, does Reid feel that it’s perfectly OK for him to shit and piss upon Muslims?

Again, Reid could have and should have kept his mouth shut on the issue of the establishment of the Muslim center in Manhattan, which is quite far removed from his home state of Nevada, and which, under the First Amendment, isn’t even for the people of Manhattan to decide; religious freedom is not subject to a popular fucking vote. I agree wholeheartedly with the Huffington Post blogger who declared, “I can’t believe we are even discussing this.”

Oh, but we are. It’s election season, and therefore it’s wide open season on the relatively defenseless minority groups. Even babies. Babies.

Again, I expect this kind of evil from the Repugnican Tea Party, but Harry Reid has crossed the line.

I can’t see that it much matters who wins in Nevada in November: Reid or Angle.

They’re both haters, both members of the duopolistic parties that increasingly are looking more and more alike in their mad dash to the rock bottom.*

*The Associated Press reports:

A spokesman for Republican Sharron Angle, Reid’s opponent, said Muslims have the right to worship anywhere, but Obama’s support for construction of the mosque at ground zero “ignored the wishes of the American people, this time at the expense of victims of 9/11 and their families.”

Please tell me how Reid’s public position on the subject is substantially any different from Angle’s.

Again, freedom of religion is a constitutional guarantee not a matter to be put up for a fucking vote.

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9/11 is back — just in time for 11/2/10!

Mosque near ground zero becoming political football

AFP photo

“Intellectually the president may be right” on the freedom-of-religion issue regarding the establishment of a Muslim complex near the former site of the World Trade Center (which would replace the building on Park Place in Manhattan shown above), one Repugnican Tea Party strategist concedes, but adds: “But this is an emotional issue … and it’s going to be a big, big issue for Democrats across this country” for the upcoming mid-term elections. Because emotion always should trump the rights guaranteed to all by the U.S. Constitution.

President Barack Obama actually seems to have resisted, for once, the urge to sell out those of us of the “professional left.” On Friday he stated, correctly, that to block the opening of the planned Muslim center near the former World Trade Center would be a violation of the freedom of religion, guaranteed to all by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

This is the freedom that the “Christo”fascists want for themselves, like free speech — but, also like it is with free speech, they want freedom of religion only for themselves.

As I have noted before, I believe that Islam, Judaism and Christianity — at least as they are practiced by the bloodthirsty zealots who claim to follow these patriarchal, backasswards religions — all are bullshit religions, but if we’re going to let the members of one bullshit, psychopathic religion establish a place of worship, fairness (as well as the freedom of religion) dictates that we allow all of them to do so.

But Repugnican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, that bastion of equal human and civil rights, has declared that the establishment of the Muslim center near the former WTC site is not an issue of freedom of religion. Reuters reports:

“This is not about freedom of religion because we all respect the right of anyone to worship according to the dictates of their conscience … but I do think it’s unwise to build a mosque at the site where 3,000 Americans lost their lives as the result of a terrorist attack,” Texas Republican John Cornyn said on the “Fox News Sunday” program.*

Cornyn’s “logic” apparently is that “freedom of religion” is “the right of anyone to worship according to the dictates of their conscience” — but that the majority religion (in this case, what passes for Christianity) may dictate to a minority religion (in this case, Islam) where it may and may not establish centers of worship.

It seems to me that the establishment of places of worship is central to freedom of religion, but Cornyn tries to weasel out of this somehow.

Cornyn, because he cannot win on the matter of the Muslims’ constitutional right to establish a place of worship, then appeals to the tyranny of the majority, to the mob mentality: “To me it demonstrates that Washington, the White House, the administration, the president himself seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America,” Cornyn said.

So Cornyn’s “argument” becomes that if the majority of Americans — the majority of whom call themselves “Christians” — don’t want Muslims to establish a place of worship at a certain site, then the Muslims should not be allowed to do so.**

The Muslims’ constitutional rights, therefore, in effect, are to be put up for a vote.

Just like my equal human and civil rights — my constitutional rights — were put up for a vote when the Mormon-cult-backed anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition H8 narrowly passed here in California in November 2008 (with 52 percent of the vote).

A federal judge earlier this month ruled that Prop H8 violates the rights guaranteed to California’s citizens by the U.S. Constitution — and he ruled that same-sex marriages must be allowed again in the state of California as of 5 p.m. this Wednesday.

The right wing’s insane response to this is to claim that the haters who voted for Prop H8 are the victims.

The Sacramento Bee actually published a guest editorial on the matter that actually began:

The true victims of prejudice in the decision of federal Judge Vaughn Walker to overturn Proposition 8 are the 7 million Californians who voted for the measure.

So I suppose that the slave owners were the true victims when the slaves were freed. Or, if that’s too far out there for you, we at least can argue that the “rights” of those who believed that mixed-race marriage is wrong were absolutely trampled upon by the tyrannical U.S. Supreme Court when the court ruled in 1967 that no state may outlaw mixed-race marriage.

The “argument” of the right wing here very apparently is that to be a hateful bigot who wishes to curtail the equal human and civil rights of others itself is an inviolable constitutional right.

Uh, I don’t see that right enumerated anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.

As insane as the members of the right wing want to be, calling themselves the victims when they are not allowed to victimize others, those of us Americans who are sane and who truly believe in freedom and liberty and in the U.S. Constitution cannot let stand this new wave of right-wing attacks against the constitutional rights of our fellows — be they brown-skinned immigrants (or brown-skinned citizens mistaken for immigrants), Muslims, or non-heterosexuals. Or even, for fuck’s sake, babies.

The checkered-at-best history of the United States of America demonstrates that during economic downturns, the majority of (or at least a huge chunk of) frustrated (mostly white) Americans, instead of going after the plutocrats and the corporatocrats who are the actual cause of their financial pain and suffering, go after relatively weak minority groups that have little to nothing to do with the nation’s economic downturn — but who, for the most part, can’t fight back.

This dysfunctional, insane dynamic will continue until enough of us real Americans stand up and stop it.

It’s time to stand up.

First they come for the non-heterosexuals who wish to marry, then for the brown-skinned immigrants who want to make a better life for themselves, then for the Muslims who want to establish a place of worship.

Then, they come for you.

*I also believe that it is unwise for the Muslim center to be established, but for a very different reason than do Cornyn, Sarah Palin-Quayle and their ilk. As I noted last month:

I agree with Palin-Quayle that the Muslim complex should not be opened, but for entirely different reasons.

Palin-Quayle wants to milk the whole 9/11 thing and appeal to her Muslim-hating, “Christo”fascist base, but I think that the Muslim complex is a bad idea because the safety of everyone who ever enters the building would be in jeopardy at all times.

I mean, think about it: a Muslim complex opens just two blocks away from where the WTC once stood, and all of the Cooters and Skeeters and Zekes of the backasswards parts of the nation are going to get ideas in their tea-baggin’ heads about gettin’ revenge on them Mooslems for 9/11. If the Muslim complex opens, I envision shootings and/or bombings and/or other violent attacks upon it.

However, as bad of an idea as I believe the Muslim center is (for safety reasons), I never would posit that the center should not be allowed to open merely because its existence would — gasp! — offend the tyrannical majority.

You believe in freedom or you don’t. I believe in freedom. The wingnuts do not — or rather, they want freedom only for themselves.

**Indeed, apparently a majority of Americans, blinded by their identification with their brand of “Christianity” and their ignorance of constitutional rights, oppose the establishment of the Muslim center. Notes Reuters:

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll showed a majority of Americans across the political spectrum opposed the project being built near the site of the attacks.

The survey, released on Wednesday, showed nearly 70 percent of Americans opposed it, including 54 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of independents.

Of course, we don’t know how many of those Democrats oppose the establishment of the Muslim center also for safety reasons, but it’s a pretty sure bet that the majority of the Repugnicans and the “independents” (I use the quotation marks because the majority of the “independents” and “swing voters” always lean to the right) are just Muslim-haters.

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