Category Archives: religion

Random gay thought

I’d wager that a big reason the religious right is so adamant that allowing gay marriage will bring about the destruction of society (such as Kirk Cameron claims) is that if gay marriage becomes legal everywhere and civilization doesn’t collapse, it will undermine their authority to the point of tearing it down entirely.

So really, it’s not that they necessarily believe on a rational basis that these things will happen so much as they insist that it has to be that way, because otherwise their faith will be shaken. Such is the difference between science and religious doctrine.

Which is, again, why I have never cared if someone thinks gay marriage is wrong on a personal level. That’s your right. Hell I don’t even care if, as Patton Oswalt notes, your reason is just that you think gays are gross. But it’s when you think it has to be kept illegal for the “good of society” that I now have big problems with you.

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Santorum vows to nullify gay marriages if elected

I’d like to point out that this is, in a nutshell, why I despise Rick Santorum.

See, not only is he talking about religious tenets being made law, but he’s also advocating using the federal government to override what multiple states have decided. He doesn’t believe in getting the government out of anyone’s life. He believes in invading private lives to a far greater extent than any Democrat will advocate.

Santorum “apologizes” over his comments re: JFK’s speech

I put that in quotes, because it comes with an outright lie wrapped in with it.

“I’m not a theocrat,” he replied. “I’m not someone who has any evidence anywhere that I’ve ever imposed my values. I have values; I articulate those — as I encourage everybody else to do and respect everybody else’s opinion and difference of opinion.” Tolerance, he added, is what America is all about. Meanwhile, he argued, President Barack Obama is the one who is “imposing his view on people of faith.”

See, what Obama is saying is that your religious beliefs should not be imposed upon others. Let me revisit a quote of his:

Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

And that’s it in a nutshell. The United States is not a non-religious country, it’s not an atheist country nor do I really expect or desire it to ever be so. What I do hope is for it to remain secular, and that simply means that you can have all the religion you want in your life, but don’t force it upon me. If your argument for this or that legislation cannot be justified beyond your holy book, then you have to concede that it’s not something that ought to be put in the books.

I could spend days combing through Santorum’s statements about abortion, gay marriage, contraception, public prayer and the like, but the point that we all know is that he is a man who wants to legislate from faith, not use his faith as inspiration to draw universal values. Obama is a man of faith, but one who understands that not everyone shares it. Santorum is a man of faith who wants to force it upon everyone else.

Also worth noting that he pulled that Republican trope of apologizing for what he said without taking back the sentiment expressed in it. Sort of saying, “I’m sorry I said that out loud.” What’s nice is that with the delegates going strongly Romney, I might be able to start complaining about him rather than Ricky, and I’d be far less bothered with that.

QotD

An oldie but a goodie from Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin:

People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don’t put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.

That’s what it all boils down to.

According to Rick Santorum, wanting kids to go to college is a bad thing

I’m not sure if this is more indicative of the rabid anti-Obama nonsense, or the rabid anti-intellectual nonsense that Teabaggers spout these days, but either way it’s fucking ridiculous.

“President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob,” Santorum said as the crowd howled with laughter and applause. “There are good, decent men and women who work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor.”

Santorum said he knows the real reason Obama wants more Americans on college campuses.

“That’s why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image,” Santorum said to more applause. “I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.”

Emphasis mine. I could spend this post railing about how college is a good idea (although the financial aspect is an unadulterated scam), but I’m gonna focus more on that little bit.

You see, conservatives interpret college as liberal indoctrination. Santorum has repeatedly used this talking point, and even completely made up a statistic that “62 percent of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it.” The implication being, of course, that the reason this happens isn’t a correlation between higher education and lack of belief in the supernatural, but rather that evil college professors somehow trick otherwise good Christians into turning their backs on God.

I could point out the irony in that statement given that I doubt Santorum gave his own children any choice regarding Christ, but we’ll move on.

Instead, let me use a little anecdote of sorts. I am, theoretically, the shining example of liberal education brainwashing. I went to the University of Pittsburgh, where I graduated with degrees in political science and English writing (and I have a political blog, shocker!). According to Santorum, my days must have been inundated with liberal “indoctrination” and godless heathens trying to make sure I worshiped Michael Moore instead of Jesus Christ.

The fact is, in my years of indoctrination, only one of my professors ever let his affiliations be known, and that was only via making jokes about Bush Jr. The rest were more likely to play devil’s advocate in order to get discussion going, and most of the time if you wrote a paper that had any apparent political bias to it you would lose points (I got hit pretty hard for this once). In a class I took which was a literary analysis of the Bible, the professor, who had done missionary work, went out of his way to emphasize that the divinity of the book was not to come up at all, and that any discussion concerning God’s existence would be silenced. He wanted his class to be educational for believers and non-believers alike. In my entire experience with dozens of professors, I can safely say that none of them attempted to “indoctrinate” the students, nor did they even entertain my liberal leanings.

Keep in mind this is what happened in the hotbed of political indoctrination. I’ve got a feeling that very, very few engineering and chemistry professors stop their lectures mid-formula to blather about atheism.

Even giving Ricky the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t pull that 62% statistic out of his frothy butthole, the only reason for that could be that when children are left away from their parents (who undoubtedly had indoctrinated them into the faith), they get to see and think and learn on their own, and that leads to questioning, and that leads to skepticism, and that leads to unbelief.

Of course, that even ignores the vast swath of religious groups on most campuses. I sat in on a few services for a journalism project, and believe me these people are not getting silenced, discouraged, or even ridiculed for their beliefs. I was given more pamphlets about saving my soul than I could possibly imagine. In the classroom, we were never asked our affiliations and it was rarely even relevant (writing a strictly informative essay on Thomas Hobbes has little to do with what you think about gun control).

In the end, Rick Santorum is playing into what might be the most peculiar campaign effort I’ve ever seen: saying he doesn’t want to encourage children to go to college. It’s rare for a politician to unabashedly take a stance against education. But then again, this is about as close to a straight evangelical candidate as we’ve had in some time, and he clearly would not want children to be educated if he plans on keeping them in the faith.

Have some more American Taliban

I suppose I should stop writing about Ricky, but he gives me so much to work with

When asked if he believed Obama is a “sincere liberal Christian,” the former Pennsylvania senator said he didn’t believe that sort of ideology exists, and that Obama’s church, United Church of Christ in Chicago, had “abandoned Christendom” and used a non-literal interpretation of the Bible.

“I don’t think there is such a thing,” he said of Obama as a liberal Christian. “To take what is plainly written and say that ‘I don’t agree with that, therefore I don’t have to pay attention to it,’ means you’re not what you say you are. You’re a liberal something, but you’re not a Christian.”

Admittedly, he has a point. What kind of Christian would suggest that hoarding wealth is a bad thing, that paying money to the government is necessary, promote dealing with enemies with pacifism, and not judging others? Jesus was all about blaming the poor for their situations, attacking enemies with violence, and hating others for their transgressions. The Bible never, for example, suggested praying to have one’s sins forgiven, as one forgives those who sin against them. That’d be liberal bullshit.

When it comes right down to it

Even if I agreed with Rick Santorum on the majority of his political stances, the fact that he seems to approach it from a theocratic standpoint would make me unable to vote for him. Any person who believes their principles come from an infallible deity is a person who is incapable of compromise or reason, and that’s never good, no matter the specific ideals.