Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘evangelicalism

Supreme Court Rules “National Unborn Persons with Disabilities Act” Constitutional in a 5-4 Decision

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Today the Supreme Court ruled against the Obama Administration and declared that the Unborn Persons with Disabilities Act, passed by both houses of Congress over President Obama’s veto, is now the law of the land. The controversial law declares that an unfertilized human egg cell is simply a person with a disability, and is guaranteed the same rights and protections as any other person under the constitution. America’s pro-life groups and religious leaders praised the decision.

The lame duck president, less than a month from the end of his second term, gave a press conference where he announced the administration’s hands were now tied, and that he was instructing all relevant federal agencies to immediately begin implementing the various provisions of the law. All forms of birth control and abortion are now illegal under federal law, and even providing information about birth control or family planning is now retroactively a federal crime. Planned Parenthood and other similar now banned groups have 72 hours to both disband, and turn all their records over to the newly created “Protection of the Rights of the Unborn Agency.”

World leaders were mixed in their response to the decision. Most were very guarded in their remarks, no doubt in part because the incoming Gingrich/Palin Administration has threatened to use “all available options” against any country they deem a “hostile nation.” In contrast, the Pope, and the leaders of the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Talibanistan (formerly Afghanistan,) were effusive in their praise of the decision.

The most controversial aspect of the act, the womb monitoring provision, will be implemented on a state by state basis. This is the provision where the state will monitor the conditions in all fertile wombs to make sure no egg is endangered by birth control, drug use, or other egg life endangering activity. And to make sure that all pregnancies are reported to authorities in a timely fashion so that further protections for the unborn person can be implemented. Numerous states have already announced that womb monitors will be surgically implanted in all females of child bearing age. California’s governor Baldwin was one of the few to opt for the less intrusive monthly blood tests and random home health and welfare spot checks, however the act’s sponsors have already announced they will amend the act to make  surgically installed womb monitors mandatory under federal law for all women over age ten.

Some small groups vowed to fight implementation of the act, foremost among them being the banned terrorist group Occupy Wall Street, but with thousands of the country’s leftist activist leaders already in Guantanamo II on Diego Garcia, little actual opposition is expected. Violence has been reported at numerous abortion clinics and planned parenthood centres around the country as crowds of pro-lifers stormed them to prevent the destruction of any records they might be holding that could be used to identify pregnant women, as well as records that might implicate people for illegally providing birth control or abortion services. Local authorities have reportedly done little to prevent these acts, and in some states reportedly had joined the pro-life crowds in their actions.

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Could never happen, right? I’m not sure, the GOP has thrown caution to the wind and is proposing laws all over the country that are very much along these lines. Redefining rape victims as “accusers.” Forcing women to have a medical device shoved into their vaginas for a completely unnecessary medical procedure as a condition for getting an abortion. An all male Congressional hearing to discuss access to female contraception. Efforts to destroy Planned Parenthood, among other cuts to funding for services for poor women and children. Attacks on the Girl Scouts!   This has been going on for years, but recently it’s ratcheted up to  whole new level of offensive and dangerous.

On the plus side, it’s reached such ridiculous extremes that people are starting to notice. The intrusive ultrasound bill was withdrawn because the outcry against it was so loud. These people, and we’re talking Evangelicals, won’t stop though. By catering to the Evangelicals to get votes, the Republicans have created a monster, a huge political force determined to roll back a century of progress and get women back into the homes raising children where they belong. I don’t know how this is going to end up, but I don’t want to live in The Handmaid’s Tale world, so I am going to speak out against this trend. If Evangelicals want to live in such a world, they are free to do so, but they have no business trying to force it on the rest of us. And if the mere sight of say a gay couple holding hands on the streets offends them, there is a solution: Avert your gaze.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Frankly I’m not quite sure whose side Obama is really on,  but for the purposes of this post I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. So coming soon, fun posts about abortion, birth control, and the whole Evangelical war on women.)

Written by unitedcats

February 23, 2012 at 9:05 am

Whatever Happened to Deism?

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One often hears these days the claim that the USA was founded as a Christian nation. And it was, the founding fathers would not have objected to being called Christians. Case closed according to contemporary Evangelicals and certain politicians. Um, er, no, not quite. The founding fathers were Deists. This means they believed in God, or the “Great Designer” as they styled him. They believed God had created the Universe and set it in motion, with us as the ultimate result. Good enough so far, sounds like Creation Science or Intelligent Design, nu?

And there the similarities end. By the late 1700s, scientists had determined that the Earth was at the very least millions of years old, and there was no evidence of a global flood. There was no denying it by anyone who could use their brain for something other than keeping their heads from caving in, the evidence was persuasive that the Genesis Story in the Bible could not literally have been true. And understand that this discovery was not made by atheist scientists, it was made by devoutly Christian scientists who fully expected that the emerging scientific understanding of the world would confirm the events of Genesis and the old testament.

Did the great thinkers of the day conclude that science was wrong? No, they concluded that the evidence showed that God had set the Universe in motion, and hadn’t intervened since. A Universe vastly more magnificent than the one imagined in Genesis by the way. The gentle reader is encouraged to try and get their head around that. Imagine growing up and being taught that God created Earth 7,000 years ago. And having every reason to believe it, it was a comfortable and secure belief about Earth and our place in it. And then proof comes along that the Earth is millions of years old, and wildly more complex than the events in Genesis. It must have been mind blowing.

And thus Deism was born. The founding fathers believed in God. They believed God created and set the Universe in motion, and hadn’t intervened since. And they believed that reason and science would allow humanity to understand God’s creation in all its glory, and should be embraced. Without the supernatural trappings, Jefferson even created a Bible where he edited out the supernatural stuff. And lastly, they believed that preachers and organized religions who disputed science and touted the supernatural  were corrupt charlatans who should be excluded in every way from secular government and education. Modern day Evangelicals tend to overlook the last part.

So what the hell happened? The founding fathers had adopted a form of Christianity that embraced science and reason, and fully expected that combined with secular government the US would lead the world into a golden age of reason. Instead, tens of millions of Americans still firmly believe that the events of the old testament are literally true, while at the same time rejecting the scientific understanding of the Universe in its entirety. It’s like a bad science fiction novel. Except it’s real of course.

With 9/11 Truthers, there is evidence that could persuade me. A 6,000 year old Earth or a global flood, no, two plus centuries of examination by people far smarter than 99% of the readers on this page including me, have shown that it just aint so. This isn’t really debatable. OK, it’s not debatable at all.  Deistic Christianity, where God and science complemented each other and worked together to glorify both God and humanity, lost out to the preachers they feared and loathed? Preachers who this very day mischaracterize the founding fathers to promote their version of organized state sponsored science denying Christianity? How did we come to this?

I have some theories, but they’re pretty ugly. I’m hoping my gentle readers have some insight?

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. I got it from this page, it’s God as the Prime Mover. Yes, I know, I’m painting with broad strokes above. Certain contemporary Evangelists are lying with broad strokes, so I’m fighting fire with fire so to speak.)

Written by unitedcats

February 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Through Thick and Thin: This is not a Difficult Concept

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Image brought to Doug’s Darkworld inspired by the Oklahoma Senate, which just passed a bill claiming that a fertilized egg is a human being. We live in an interesting age, but when one tries to enforce a bronze age morality on a  21st century nation, the going really gets weird. Bottom line: It’s OK for people to have sex for reasons other than procreation. Really, try it some time, you’ll be surprised. As soon as we get that settled, the sooner we can go about sensible ways of making sure that every child is a wanted child, but sadly the evangelicals are never going to give up on sex. It’s how cults control people. It would be like a government giving up taxation, aint gonna happen.

Whitney Houston died. Whitney who? This  story got vastly more press than it deserved, but that’s the corporate fawning media at work, real news get short shrift, dead celebrities get top billing. Yes, the mainstream media is now little different that  the celebrity magazines by the checkout counter at Safeway. The state of New Jersey is even going to fly its flags at half mast for Whitney, so yes, it can always get weirder. Some aren’t exactly thrilled by this, who can blame them?

The UN has condemned the Syrian government and asked them to step down. Yes, an organization touted as being a way for states to avoid conflict with each other is now simply the enforcer of western hegemony, the US and its allies get to decide what a legitimate government is. The usual burblings about it being about human rights, like the bloody sores that are Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya were. Only tyranny and discord can be imposed on a country from outside, freedom can only be had when a people chose to be free … which of course is what the west is so freaking terrified about in the Middle East. They aren’t afraid of terrorism, that’s to distract the rubes. The real fear is powerful sovereign governments running their countries in their own best interests. Can’t have that, it makes it almost impossible to exploit them for their resources.

Speaking of fake scary again, Iran made its heralded nuclear announcement. Which got zero news coverage because they announced that they had installed their first domestically produced fuel rod in a reactor, and that they had made a breakthrough in medical radioisotopes. All under constant western supervision of course, since Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is carefully monitored as per its obligations under the NPT. Iran being a peaceful responsible player isn’t part of the crazy mullahs meme, so I doubt anyone even saw this in the news. No, just the stories about purported amateur Iranian plots to kill Israeli diplomats, stories so fishy one has to hold their nose while reading them.

Greece. What a mess. My current understanding is that the crux of the whole Euro thing, is that everyone borrowed beyond their means on the assumption that the world and national economies would continue to grow forever and outpace the debt. Yes, basically every nation in the west acted like a crack head with a  credit card, and now the bills are coming due. All in collusion with the bankers of course. If people really understood that,  capitols would burn. So instead a fall guy has been found, Greece. If the bankers can just get the population of one county to agree to be serfs to pay off the bankers debt, maybe others will follow. I don’t think it’s gonna work, people may be sheep, but they are going to notice if serfdom is brought back.

One would hope so at least. Have a great weekend everyone.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s all over the Internet, I have no idea who to attribute it to. Redefining reality to promote social control, that’s religion in a nutshell.)

“Satan Does His Finest Work in the Name of the Lord”

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Since I’ve made myself so popular blogging about 9/11 Truthers and Ayn Rand, I thought I’d throw caution to the wind and go for broke. Well, its more complicated than that. I definitely have decided not to shy away from controversial topics any more though, the worst that can realistically happen is I will get hate mail. And that usually makes great blog fodder, so not a problem. It is also curious to me that even when I strike a relatively middle of the road stance on one of these controversial topics, I still get flak from some quarters. I can only imagine what kin of comments people that castigate Ayn Rand and 9/11 Truthers get.

Anyhow, I’ve become more open in my atheism lately. I’m still an agnostic in that I acknowledge that it is impossible to disprove the existence of an invisible supernatural all powerful being. And in fact I have no problem with Deism, the idea that God created the Universe via the Big Bang, but has not intervened since. And will not intervene, this universe and free will was his gift to us. And I don’t have a problem with religion, most of my friends are religious to one extent or another, heck, it wouldn’t be too far off to describe me as an Episcopalian  Atheist. I do have a problem with one aspect of religion (and this should be no surprise to anyone who knows what Deism is,) and that would be organized religion.

Not all organized religion. Like organized crime and organized government, sometimes it works. No, right now, my loathing is directed at one particular organized religion. And that would be, for want of a better term, missionary evangelism. Now granted, I already was taking an extremely dim view of this faith due to their rejection of science, but something tipped me over the edge recently. This article: Turning Children Into Evangelists in Public Schools.  More specifically, this paragraph:

“Then at a Transform World Connections conference in September 2009, a gathering of high-level mission strategists, Bush announced a new unifying vision for missionaries around the globe. He called it the “4/14 Window.” The largest and most strategic group of people in the world, he said, are children between the ages of four and fourteen. Kids are the key to the “Great Commission,” or the theological tenet, popular in the evangelical world, that there is a mandate to convert all of humanity to evangelical Christianity.”

Let me see if I understand this correctly.  An organized group of evangelical missionaries has targeted children for conversion to their cult.  I’m not sure what to be shocked at. The fact that people would do this and think it was OK, or that this sort of fascist nonsense gets more or less a free pass. Children are vulnerable. Children can’t defend themselves against sophisticated ideological recruitment campaigns. Children are children, not potential recruits for a church. If Scientologists, Satanists, or Muslims were  going into America’s schools to deliberately recruit children into their faith, Americans would go nuts.

Words can’t describe how disgusting this is to me. That a faith would think it’s appropriate to deliberately target children shows how completely immoral these particular evangelicals are. It’s disgusting enough that they are trying to go around the world and convert people, but they don’t even have the common decency to respect that parents are the ones who should introduce their children to religion? And these people wrap themselves in  the mantle of family values? Where, exactly, did Jesus exhort his followers to try and convert children? The mere fact that children are vastly easier to convert than adults, and that evangelicals would literally target them because of that,  shows just how intellectually and morally bankrupt missionary evangelical Christianity is.

It was bad enough that these people are out to destroy science and turn public education into religious indoctrination, and insert their morals into public law, now they’re after America’s children? Well, they were already at war with America’s women, I guess this was the next logical step. I don’t care what people believe as long as they don’t scare the horses. This has the horses scared as hell. And me angry as hell. They are using America’s freedoms to destroy America from the inside out, and I do mean destroy. It’s the 21st century, not the  7th.

Expect future blogs on creation “science,” cult thinking, evangelical missionaries, anti-evolutionism, and related issues. I was reasonably diplomatic in my posts about 9/11 Truthers and Ayn Rand, since I have respect for many people who support same. And while I might argue that either of them isn’t the most positive influence on society, I don’t think either is a threat to the America our founding fathers dreamed of. Missionary evangelicals, people who want to remake America from childhood up into their medieval vision of a Christian nation,  may be the death of us all. They are our Taliban.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. No idea who to attribute it to, it’s all over Facebook. That’s John Stewart of The Daily Show.)

Written by unitedcats

February 16, 2012 at 9:46 am