They Sincerely Believe They’re Always Right

Posted in Politics, Religion, Science with tags , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2014 by RJ Evans

cross-GOPIf someone sincerely believes they’re always right, it’s really easy for them to forget just how wrong they are. At least when it comes to a christian. A good friend of mine sent me a link to an article titled “Conservatives Believe Contraception Is Abortion Only When It’s Politically Convenient”. He suggested I pay special attention to the end of the first paragraph:

“…as long as the belief in the falsehood is sincerely held.”

I chewed on that for several days. As I ground my molars on the sentence, SONY decided to pull their movie “The Interview” after being threatened by hackers with ties to North Korea, and Stephen Colbert bid farewell to his blockbuster show “The Colbert Report”. As I read article after article covering these two events, I came across two articles, in particular, that added a distinctly bitter flavor to the end of the first paragraph that my friend had encouraged me to write about. I’m now spitting it out.

“Death of a President” – Conservative Jong’n

kimjungunUniformSONY pulled “The Interview” from its scheduled x-mas day premier. There’s plenty of blame to go around of course. SONY shares the irresponsibility with movie theater chains and others who are cowering in fear of binary bandits. Of course, this is an issue of freedom of speech in America, and guaranteed by our Constitution. So, it’s not at all unexpected that just about everyone with a voice is dumping a heap of criticism all over the players who ran off the field, like sniveling five-year olds, when the opposing team said “BOO!” However, one particular group of critics attracted my attention.

In an opinion piece, on CNN.com, by Dean Obeidallah – an article that seems to have been conveniently overlooked by CNN’s own plastic political pundits of television glitter – the blatant hypocrisy of conservatives is neatly laid out with regard to their criticism of SONY. In no uncertain terms, the conservative outrage over SONY pulling “The Interview” is nothing short of astounding considering their own fascist rants over the 2006 movie “Death of a President”, and a scene in the movie that depicts George W Bush being killed by a sniper bullet. Not surprisingly, this part of the film revealed the Kim Jong Un fascist mentality in members of the GOP and conservative media pundits. Rep. Peter King (R) of New York, said “Any theater that would show this, any TV station that would show this, is acting irresponsibly. It would be a disgrace for it to be shown anywhere.”  Yes. They’re hypocrites. They sincerely believe they’re always right. Even if it means being totally, blatantly hypocritical and wrong. The ends justify the means. They sincerely believe that their way is the only way, and that there’s absolutely no way that they will ever be wrong as long as they’re sincere. In their warped world view it’s perfectly acceptable to criticize everyone else… but not them because they’re truly sincere.

More Jesus – Sincerely

“…as long as the belief in the falsehood is sincerely held.”

Sincerity of belief is fast becoming a standard of proof when no evidence can be found. In the second article I came across while chewing on this blog piece, I discovered that the quantity of religious strife in the world today apparently isn’t enough for the religious. In fact, the religious want to parlay the end of the “Colbert Report” and Stephen Colbert’s catholic faith into a “Late Night” with jesus. Herb Scribner of Deseret News National Edition asked:

“But will he (Colbert) discuss issues important to believers on his late-night news show? Signs point to yes, especially since the news can be tied to religion (as was the case in 2014, according to Religion News Service). But only time will tell. And let’s not forget that Colbert the character became immortal during the final episode that aired Thursday night.”

The article at Religion News Service gives a long list of religiously themed stories that made the news in 2014. The list is long and quite thorough. To the secular world, it’s a list of what’s wrong with the country and the world, and a reminder of just how dangerous religion is becoming. To sincere believers the stories are the winning lottery numbers in POWERBALL, a Christmas gift from the bastard child himself, wrapped up nicely in a “cross” bow, the pointy arrow aimed squarely at anyone who disagrees with them. They want MORE jesus to counter their manufactured war on christmas, and christianity. It’s never enough. They’re crazy for more jesus.

Mary was a Gall Wasp – I Sincerely Believe That!

How crazy are they? Well, consider this. According to an article on NewsOK.com 79% of Americans believe in the virgin birth of jesus. That’s really crazy considering that christianity is patriarchal and swinging dicks are required for procreation. Remedial sex education classes anyone? Magic hymen? Magic penis? Magic semen? Magic baby? I’m pretty sure Mary was a gall wasp. I sincerely believe that. But, let’s give the sexually ignorant and repressed some credit. At the very least, they sincerely believe in the virgin birth. Even if it’s a falsehood. And god damn it, this is America after all, and stupid is part of our national motto (“In God We Trust”). If someone sincerely believes something, then who are we to EVER call into question their belief? They’re just being sincere and that means they’re always right.

Yes, the religious have opened a new chapter in their war against Separation of Church and State. It’s a war of their sincerity against facts, evidence, and in favor of their sincerity to being insincere (hypocritical) to their own sincere words, when it is necessary to benefit their true heartfelt sincerity. How truly sincere of them to be so damn sincere about being insincere in their sincerity! And I really, really, sincerely believe that.

 

 

December 19: A Christmas Carol (1843)

Posted in Politics, Religion, Science on December 19, 2014 by RJ Evans

xmascarolcoverFrom contributor Ronald Bruce Meyer

It was also on this date, December 19, 1843, that British author Charles Dickens’ immortal work, A Christmas Carol, was published in London. Unlike his novels, A Christmas Carol was not first serialized: in fact, Dickens wrote it quickly to get out of debt from a recent American tour and a poorly selling prior novel, Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-44).

Dickens himself believed in God and had a sentimental regard for Christianity, but thought its puritan strain was socially harmful. Social-moral reform was Dickens’ chief message in A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is shamed into changing his narrow, grasping, capitalist ways — in a dream and through the agency of ghosts — by being shown for the first time their human cost.

What enraged the clerics of Dickens’ day was not capitalist excess, but that Scrooge is reformed without the traditional Wise Men, stars, babes in mangers, and other accoutrements of the Christian nativity scenes preached from pulpits — that is, that Dickens took Christ out of Christmas.

And as a social reformer, Dickens strongly criticized the joyless, dour Sunday laws of his time. In 1836, he issued a pamphlet entitled Sunday under Three Heads: As it is; As Sabbath Bills would make it; As it might be,* opposing expansion of legal limitations on Sunday recreation. To Dickens, the Sabbath bills were an attempt by the upper classes to control the lives of the lower classes, but vested in religious piety.

Not only did he argue that Sunday was the only day that the poor and workers could enjoy leisure time, time the upper and middle classes enjoyed all week. Dickens also dramatized the debate in A Christmas Carol, with Scrooge arguing for the working class!

I wonder you, of all the beings in the many worlds about us, should desire to cramp these people’s opportunities of innocent enjoyment. … You would deprive them of their means of dining every seventh day, often the only day on which they can be said to dine at all,” said Scrooge. “Wouldn’t you?” … “You seek to close these places on the Seventh Day, … Forgive me if I am wrong. It has been done in your name, or at least in that of your family,” said Scrooge.

“There are some upon this earth of yours,” returned the Spirit, “who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.”**

A Christmas Carol effectively reinvented Christmas as a secular holiday. Indeed, Dickens invented the greeting “Merry Christmas” as we understand it today. The message of A Christmas Carol resonates with readers still… 170 years later.

* The full text of Sunday Under Three Heads can be found at this link. ** The full text of A Christmas Carol can be found at this link (among many others).

Christianity Is Not Democracy

Posted in Politics, Religion on December 13, 2014 by RJ Evans

theocracy“What is happening in America is revolutionary. A group of religious utopians, with the sympathy and support of tens of millions of Americans, are slowly dismantling democratic institutions to establish a religious tyranny, the springboard to an American fascism”

- Chris Hedges, American Fascists -

 

Theocratic vs Democratic – Know the Difference

“In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum” are two diametrically opposing ideals in America. The first gives power to a supreme being, a deity of infinite power, a figurehead, a king, a dictator. The second gives power to the unification of people, a plurality working as one for all. Argue all you want about christianity’s role in American history. But, there’s one undeniable fact about Christianity (or any religion for that matter) that cannot be swept away by rhetoric. Christianity is not democratic. It is theocratic.

Democracy (from dictionary.com)

Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

 Theocracy (from dictionary.com)

 A form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, the God’s or deity’s laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.

It never ceases to amaze me how ridiculously ignorant… No… Ridiculously STUPID Americans are about the manifestly colossal ideological chasm between christianity and democracy. Americans are quick to tout democracy as the foundation of freedom, while giving god and jesus credit for it! And yet, a quick visit to a dictionary would clearly spell out the vast differences between their religious ideological fallacies and what democracy really is. The christian god does not represent the people. The christian savior, jesus, does not represent the people. Neither of them are elected agents under a free electoral system. They are foundational myths for a theocratic form of government. They are supreme civil ruler/s whose laws are interpreted by ecclesiastical authorities, bronze-age laws that were not legislated through the modern democratic process, and adjudicated to be constitutionally sound.

Theocracy by Proxy

Have you ever noticed that god and jesus never show up on a ballot? Unfortunately though, they are elected by proxy through living, breathing, flesh and blood candidates. When christians vote “by the book” for a candidate who is thought to be pious and righteous enough to represent the supreme civil ruler, god and jesus are inappropriately elected in the democratic process. This sham uses the free electoral system to usurp its purpose for theocratic ends. The christian version of an elected agent is really just an ecclesiastical authority in sheep’s clothing, ready to push forward a theocratic agenda to take freedom away from the people, and force compliance with their god’s law.

Christians – Be Honest for Once

For once I’d like christians to admit that they are lying to themselves and everyone else. They don’t know what democracy is. They don’t know what freedom and liberty are. They serve a king, a dictator, a tyrant, a pathologically anti-social myth… It’s simply another in a long list of deities that represents itself and has no interest in freedom and liberty. Certainly they will argue, as they always have, that freedom and liberty are “god given” and that humans are given “free will”. But, I can spend hours pointing them to scripture after scripture that declares otherwise.

Christians… Be honest for once. The only benefit a democracy gives you is a means to end it. “Let freedom ring!” is not what you want to hear. “Every knee shall bow!” is what you demand to see. If you think I’m full of it, I challenge you to find the word “democracy” anywhere in the bible.

 

 

Il Faut Parier (You Choose)

Posted in Politics, Religion with tags , , , , on December 8, 2014 by RJ Evans

Jesus-JusticeFor many years Ten Commandments monuments on public land, purchased with tax dollars or with private funds, have been a major source of controversy. Most of the arguments against the monument claim that it is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Most of the arguments in favor of the monument revolve around the notion that the United States legal system was founded upon the ten principles the Commandments prescribe. Much has been said on this issue from both sides of the debate. However, I think there are a few points that haven’t been addressed. In fact, I suspect that they have never even been considered. Please allow me to explain.

The Ten Commandments

As prescribed by the bible, (a christian tome with many parts borrowed from judaism) the Ten Commandments are considered by many christians to be the foundational ethical principles for our legal system. Therefore, the placement of Ten Commandments monuments on the steps of, or within, courthouses, state-houses, and on tax supported public land, is considered to be legal and acceptable by the faithful. Opponents, however, argue that such placement of this monument violates the Establishment Clause and Separation of Church and State, and regardless of funding, gives the impression that the State is whoring the “establishment” of a specific religion. What both sides seem to be neglecting are the Commandments themselves. Eight of the commandments have nothing to do with any foundational principle of western, democratic justice.  Let’s have a look.

“I am the Lord thy God”

“You shall have no other gods before me”

“You shall not have any false idols”

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain”

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy”

“Honor thy father and thy mother”

“Thou shalt not commit adultery”

“Thou shalt not covet”

The first five of the eight are obvious declarations of bias toward the christian god, a clear violation of the Establishment Clause. Three of the eight are clear violations of personal conscience. They’re religious crimes invented to control the christian flock.

 

The Ramifications of Justice based on the Ten Commandments

The insistence of many christians that the U.S. system of justice is based on the Ten Commandments should be more than simply disturbing. It should be terrifying. If the justice system is truly beholden to these christian ethical principles, then the courts have a built-in bias favoring christians over minority religions and non-believers. Think this is insane? Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia confirmed this bias when he spoke at Colorado Christian University this year:

“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over non-religion.”

“We do Him [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is in the best of American traditions, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I think we have to fight that tendency of the secularists to impose it on all of us through the Constitution.”

“Our [the Supreme Court’s] latest take on the subject, which is quite different from previous takes, is that the state must be neutral, not only between religions, but between religion and nonreligion. That’s just a lie. Where do you get the notion that this is all unconstitutional? You can only believe that if you believe in a morphing Constitution.”

A sitting Supreme Court Justice has declared that the system should be bias toward christianity. If that doesn’t send chills down the back of your neck, then consider other horrors of such an absolute system. Jury of your peers? If you’re on trial and not an adherent of the christian faith, then who will your “peers” be? Most likely christian, in a nation that boasts of an 80-85% christian population. If you don’t believe in the Christian god, or don’t believe at all in any deity, and that is brought out at trial, what effect do you think this might have on the decision? If you’re a non-believer, or minority religion, and you get pulled over or stopped on the street by an officer of the law, an officer who happens to be a christian with a strong belief that the Ten Commandments are the ethical foundation of the justice system, and he discovers you don’t believe as he does or not at all… Will you get a fair shake? There are many more examples of the potential ramifications of a justice system based on the Ten Commandments. All you have to do is look. But, what should be obvious by now is that these christian biases already exist in our system of justice. As long as the Ten Commandments remain a feature of the judicial landscape, literally and/or figuratively, then our individual freedoms are in jeopardy. Justice is not blind with the christian god as the judge, jury, and executioner. Justice is then myopic and bigoted.

 

Hypocrisy of Christian Justice

Interestingly, our U.S. justice system is already heavily bias toward the christian dogma. We’ve all heard of “Blue Laws”. Well, they are the result of christianity’s infiltration into our judicial system. These laws were designed to control certain activities that the local christian community found irreverent or unacceptable (for whatever reason) on Sunday. While some of these laws have been repealed, there are many more that are still on the books, and still enforced. There’s a great deal of irony to these laws. Many are blatantly ignored by the christian faithful. Not supposed to sell or buy hard liquor on Sunday? It’s alright. There’s plenty at home in the liquor cabinet! Keep the Sabbath? Don’t worry about it! There’s a lawn to mow, shopping to do, and the casino is having double or nothing special!

The great irony behind the claims that the Ten Commandments are the foundational ethical principles of our justice system is that the eight I listed above are summarily ignored. Not only by the justice system, but by the christians who pound their fists on their table of godly righteousness and proclaim the Commandments to be the end-all be-all of justice. And, for every violation of those eight (which could run into the millions in one generation) no one suffers the consequences. If you’ve actually read the bible you’ll know that death is the prescribed sentence for violations. I don’t see anyone being put to death. But, the very fact that very few are abiding by the Commandments speaks volumes on the hypocritical nature of christian belief. It also smacks of a self-righteous, self-serving, self-centered, neurosis within the christian world view. “Do as I say, not as I do… for I’m forgiven… But definitely not you.” And, as I have stated repeatedly, over and over and over again… Hypocrisy always reveals the lies. If our judicial system is truly based on the Ten Commandments, it is a corruption. Unfortunately, it’s a corruption that requires judicial review, and the hen-house is being guarded by the fox.

 

USA – Unilaterally Stupid America

Posted in Politics, Religion on November 25, 2014 by RJ Evans

dunce“USA! USA! We’re number one! We’re number one!”

You’ve heard the chants before. They’ve been carefully rehearsed and performed by Americans for generations. And no matter how many times you hear them, as Americans, you buy into them, believe them, trust in them, and have faith in them. You don’t question the holy hymnal of American exceptionalism. It would be unpatriotic, blasphemous, maybe even a form of treason. No. As far as you’re concerned, that’s just the way it is. Right or Left, religious or non-religious, America is exceptional and beyond reproach for anything done in the names of freedom and democracy. It is America’s manifest destiny.

I’m an American polemicist. I enjoy exposing the underbelly of America’s myths. That causes a great deal of controversy from time to time. Whether it’s the claims of the Religious Right’s “America is a Christian Nation!” or “Freedom and Liberty for All… As long as they’re white, god fearing, hard-working, gun-loving, patriots!”… Even the Left’s “That’s not politically correct!” or “You need to be protected from yourself!” and the “What would Jesus do?”apologetics… I’m here to smash jingoism and social homogenous hegemony, because all of it is born from the myth of American exceptionalism. So, if you’re sensitivities are such that any exposure to America’s underbelly of reality might cause you extreme distress… Might I suggest returning to your sandbox and reinserting your head into the hole it was previously buried.

NEWS FLASH: America is not exceptional.

Far, far from it. America is truly unilaterally stupid, and Americans are the ignorance and foment behind it. “…conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” These are noble words. And who can forget “…government of the people, by the people, for the people”?  I’ll tell you who forgets. YOU. Americans. And in large numbers. Mid-term election turnout for this year was 36.4%. The lowest in 70 years!  Yep. And while 63.6 percent of voters decided not to vote, here are a few issues that continued to rot in the underbelly of American exceptionalism:

Unemployment Scam:“25 million Americans were either unemployed, underemployed, or had given up looking for a job in April”. (2014)

Glaciers are disappearing from Glacier National Park: “…mountains on the Canadian border boasted some 150 ice sheets, many of them scores of feet thick, plastered across summits and tucked into rocky fissures high above parabolic valleys. Today, perhaps 25 survive. In 30 years, there may be none.”

One in fifty children is homeless in the U.S.: “The consequences to our society will play out for decades. As we bail out the rest of our nation, it is also time to come to their aid.”

The Middle Class continues to disappear: “…middle class Americans are rapidly losing ground to the one-percenters who averaged $5 million in wealth gains over just three years. It also noted that the global 1% has increased their wealth from $100 trillion to $127 trillion in just three years.”

More Elderly. Fewer Doctors: “By 2030, the last of the Baby Boomer generation will have turned 65 years old, putting the population of “senior boomers” in the United States at approximately 71 million.”And “…the number of new trainees in the field of geriatrics is going down.” And “Without a fundamental change in public policy, financial reimbursement, and training this is unlikely to change anytime soon. So, how can we care for an aging population while our pool of geriatricians is shrinking?”

But wait! There’s more! Racism, bigotry, gender inequality, poverty, corporations considered people, the exportation of American jobs, the military industrial corporate complex, perpetual religious war with Islam, the militarization of police… The list goes on and on. And the myth that America is exceptional trumps all of these unexceptional facts. Americans are in love with a delusion of grandeur perpetuated by over 200 years of carefully crafted nationalism and an egotism that bleeds profusely from every fiber of the Stars and Stripes.

Voluntary Oblivion, Selective Swank Outrage, and ADHD

American’s are truly oblivious to the world around them. They’ve embraced the notion that ignorance is bliss, unless some particular subject matter touches a collective conscience trip wire. Then Americans will quickly rally, a force to be reckoned with… For about five minutes. It is the virtual political and social landscape of the Internet that recklessly lays down that trip wire, a cause of the moment, a selective swank outrage to “fight” for. But ADHD always sets in and soon voluntary oblivion returns, usually as the result of mainstream media’s coma inducing daily rhetorical tripe. Actually challenging any wrongdoing, travesty, criminality, injustice… Well, that is just too much work, requires too much time and energy, and might lead to taking some responsibility.

36.4%. That’s the percentage of eligible voters who actually voted this past mid-term. That number bears repeating because it is strong evidence in support of voluntary oblivion, selective swank outrage, and ADHD. Americans have donned their dunce caps in the shadow of that number. Stupid is as stupid does. But, let’s not forget that a certain percentage of the 36.4%  who voted, actually barreled, pointy end-of-cap first, into the voting booth without a single brain cell firing. They, most likely, ceremoniously checked the “straight party affiliation vote” box at the top of their ballots without knowing, or giving one thought to, the candidate or issue at hand. Straight Republican or Democrat. To hell with who, what, when, where, how, or why.  Herd mentality, with the only risk being that of breaking the barely used pencil lead.

Where’s the Outrage?

That’s a very good question. It’s there. It’s a trickle of discontent from the pores of the thin scrotum, hidden just beneath the tiny testicles of America. Unfortunately it only becomes visible when it drips down America’s leg. Too much delusion can lead to the seepage. Outrage in America is nothing more than reactionary, a spoiled child’s tantrum. It’s the result of a nervous tic inside the American exceptionalism psyche. Unfortunately, it shows up too late and reeks of the stench of extremism.  Instead of a united chorus of immediacy, importance, and fortitude dedicated to solid solutions, the outrage is a cacophony of panic, self-indulgence, and disorganized chaos adjudicated by ideological and/or social hyperbole. Interestingly, it also is very brief, myopic, and completely void of sanity and reason. As I write this there is this type of outrage in Ferguson, Missouri. The city is burning. Not the entire city mind you, just parts of it here and there. And the people who are burning it are outraged. They are destroying their community. They are ransacking their own home. They are proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Americans are stupid, that we are a nation of extremes, where reason and self-preservation fall victim to social, political, and religious suicide. In America, it’s not about winning a war against injustices. It’s about winning a single, insignificant, bloody battle, just to feel better… at the expense of living better as a nation.

A New Holiday?

America is stupid. It’s not really hard to see. So, in the spirit of stupid, let’s make stupid the centerpiece of American lack of ambition. America needs a new national holiday. Not another holiday, mind you. We can just make it a part of one that’s already on the calendar. I propose we add “Unilaterally Stupid America Day”, or” U – SAD” to the Christmas event. Christmas is a divisive holiday anyway, when you think about it. Everyone’s arguing over whether or not people should say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”. It’s a time of year when people love to fight over product sales and services, complain about the crowds, traffic, and store return policies. It’s the perfect time of year to be openly, unabashedly stupid and feel proud of the fact. So, let’s own stupid for once. Be proud America! Unilaterally Stupid America! USA! USA! We’re number one! We’re number one… At being stupid.

Dear Santa…

Posted in Politics, Religion on November 20, 2014 by RJ Evans

imagesDear Santa,

I was wondering if you know what Jesus might want for Christmas? I’m only 5 years old, but I know that it’s Jesus’ birthday and I’m pretty sure he’s gonna want gifts from his friends. I’ve never met him, so I figured I write to you because you probably know him and all. So, could you tell me what Jesus wants? My name is Jimmy and I live in Atlanta, Georgia. But, you already know that cause you’re Santa. Anyways, I hope you can help me with this. I’m only 5. Well, almost 6. Thanks.

Jimmy C.

 

Dear Jimmy,

Thanks for writing to me you little shit. As if I don’t already have enough bullshit letters to answer. Look, Jesus is no more real than I am. And, to tell you the truth, most people give way too much credit to that fucking retarded mythical douchebag. My advice to you is to buck up, grow up and forget all this religious hoo ha. Spend a shit load of your parent’s money, buy a bunch of plastic junk and get on with your life of consumer based self-indulgence and leave me the fuck alone. BTW… I don’t live at the north pole. I don’t give a shit about you, or anyone else who keeps writing me every year. And the only fucking reindeer in my neighborhood are molded plastic, light contaminating displays, that ruin a perfectly good night’s sleep because fucking jackasses keep driving by ooing and ahhing and taking fucking pictures with their smartphones!!!!! Now leave me the fuck alone!!!! Write to your fucking pastor. You remember him don’t you? The guy who wants to play with your dingaling?

 

Sincerely,

Santa Claus

Myth-maker, Heartbreaker, and all around Jackass (much like Jesus)

Bible Loopholes – Ya Gotta Love ‘Em!

Posted in Politics, Religion, Science on November 16, 2014 by RJ Evans

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