In the Name of God

Some find criticism of Obama misleading. “Wouldn’t it be nice if the GOP cared as much about jobs as they do about stuff like whether Prez said God in a speech?” tweeted Arianna Huffington.

In the name of God, or…
Are  hypocrites misusing and abusing God’s name?

Obama’s God-less Thanksgiving Speech Draws Ire.

In God's name
Abusing God's name

“Somebody ought to remind Obama that when Americans sit down around a meal today and give thanks, they give thanks to God,” said The Las Vegas Review Journal’s columnist Sherman Frederick.

Some find criticism of Obama misleading.  “Wouldn’t it be nice if the GOP cared as much about jobs as they do about stuff like whether Prez said God in a speech?” tweeted Arianna Huffington.

ABC News pointed out that three of the GOP presidential candidates – former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum – also omitted God in the Thanksgiving statements they issued.

“Not that anyone needs reminding, but this Thanksgiving the Right Wing hate machine has provided yet another example of the fact that there is NOTHING this President can do for which they will not find a reason to attack him.
He gets Osama bin Laden after George Bush totally ignored him for seven years and they actually claimed (a) that he was still alive, (b) that he was killed long ago; but Obama waited to release the information to “distract” from the “birther nutjobs”, and most absurdly (c) that George Bush deserved the credit.
He and the first lady honor our veterans and the brave men and women who serve this nation, and the rednecks boo.
He gets Qaddafi with the assistance of our allies and without the loss of a single American life and they accuse him of violating the Constitution.  It’s a good thing no one takes the Right Wing seriously any more.”

http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/obama-hate-machine-hits-an-absurd-low-over-thanksgiving-speech/question-2304767/

I hate hypocrites!
“Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.”
Charles Spurgeon

“The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy.  The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.”
William Hazlit

“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”

– Andre Gide

Ready to kill.
"Touch this sign and I will kill you"

CNN’s Gary Tuchman reported Monday on a fundamentalist Christian couple who killed their 7-year-old adopted daughter while practicing a violent form of discipline.
They reportedly beat their nine children regularly because they thought God wanted them to.  Both parents were jailed after pleading guilty to the crime and the surviving children are now in foster homes.
http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/08/fundamentalist-christians-spanked-daughter-to-death-in-the-name-of-god/

Hypocrites and liars
Adulterers and corrupt politicians
All kind of criminals
Priests and mullahs
Schizophrenics of all kinds

What do all of them have in common?  God!

They speak with God.  They have God’s blessing to do what they do:  to cheat, to lie, to kill, to screw thy neighbor.  They are “God-loving” hypocrites who are quick to accuse others of  crimes  they themselves commit.
“In God we trust”.  They commit adultery and then ask God for forgiveness; they commit crimes in God’s name and accuse others of not mentioning God in public speeches.  They molest children and claim special privileges to speak to God.  They commit mass murder in the name of God.

Hypocrite.
The adulterer and a liar

Hypocrites in Congress reaffirm “In God we trust” while denying health care to war veterans and 9/11 responders.

“In God we trust” while invading Iraq, causing death and destruction, and destroying our economy.

Hypocrites accusing Obama of not mentioning God while supporting adulterers and liars like Newt and Cain.
Bragging about being God-loving and deeply religious as they do nothing to help millions of children living in poverty.
Hypocrites that deny funds to Planned Parenthood and choice for women while ignoring children born into poverty and hopelessness

You disgust me!
You have no right to use God’s name to justify your lies,  your crimes and your hypocrisy.
God gave us free will.
So don’t use God as an excuse for your actions.
You, and only you, are responsible; you are  hypocrites…and you deserve your Karma.

Damn Religion

“Mr. Speaker, your voting record is at variance from one of the Church’s most ancient moral teachings…….that those in power are morally obliged to preference the needs of the poor. Your record in support of legislation to address the desperate needs of the poor is among the worst in Congress.”

Being an “author” for a blog has its pluses and minuses. Ranting and raving is fun. Occasionally an audience pays some attention to my incoherent utterances. The downside – it takes work. It can be a struggle to think of original, clever and pertinent entries. It is especially bothersome and upsetting when the essence of ones upcoming blog entry evaporates due to forces beyond ones control.

A few days ago, this secular humanist (per Newt Gingrich, the penultimate threat to the American way of life) was about to launch into a tirade against our nation’s religious establishment. My targets could have been: religion’s denial of scientific knowledge; its intolerance of gays and lesbians; the assault and oft-violent campaign to curtail a woman’s right over her own body; the intolerance of non-believers; or simply its attack on separation of church and state. But, my choice was none of these.

I decided to unleash my unabated fury on religion for its deafening silence and lack of protest as the Republican Party embarks on a mission to concentrate the wealth of this country in the hands of the privileged few at the expense of the poor, the weak, and the vanishing middle class.

This old liberal remembers priest, ministers, rabbis, and nuns facing, snarling dogs, water cannon, and racist sheriffs in the quest to secure civil rights the disenfranchised. Images of men and women in religious garb being arrested as they protested our government’s role in Viet Nam are easily revisited in my mind’s eye. The clubs and tear gas versus clerical collars made for great photojournalist images, and touched and changed the heart of this nation. Where is that moral indignation now?

Protest against segregation
I am a man

Rick Warren, the invocator at President Obama’s inauguration remains silent; the son of Billy Graham endorses the Trumpster, as the G.O.P. unanimously endorses the Ryan Budget which will remove the safety net for the most fragile segments of our population.

I had my subject; I had my material and then to my utter astonishment… my complaint against religion, my vengeful rage is undermined when, unexpectedly, a group of Catholic academics delivers a letter to Speaker of the House Boehner in reference to his upcoming commencement address at the Catholic University of America. The missive simply blasts Boehner and his party:

“Mr. Speaker, your voting record is at variance from one of the Church’s most ancient moral teachings…….that those in power are morally obliged to preference the needs of the poor. Your record in support of legislation to address the desperate needs of the poor is among the worst in Congress.”

I am both delighted and depressed: My blog regarding the deafening silence of the religious establishment is obliterated, but these professors are eloquent and have “God” on their side… so I end my blog and invite readers to visit:

http://http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/breaking-news-catholic-academics-challenge-boehner

Hate and Ignorance…Again

Then, one day, I woke up and saw things differently. I saw the relationship between hate speech and violence. I began to see all hate speech as incitement to murder. And, since at least some of it was directed at my own ethnic group, I began to see it as incitement to murder my children. Seen in that light, intolerance ceased to be worthy of tolerance.

Book burning
Koran burning

Today is the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is an appropriate day to think about political violence, like the violence that followed the burning of a Koran in Florida. I started a spirited discussion by posting my opinion on FaceBook that Terry Jones, the Florida book burner, was responsible for the murders in Afghanistan and ought to be charged with a crime. Few people agreed.

I used to be a First Amendment absolutist, like Hugo Black. I was offended by the attempts at universities to enact “hate speech codes.” I reasoned, as many do, that the most obnoxious speech is exactly that in most need of First Amendment protection.

Then, one day, I woke up and saw things differently. I saw the relationship between hate speech and violence. I began to see all hate speech as incitement to murder. And, since at least some of it was directed at my own ethnic group, I began to see it as incitement to murder my children. Seen in that light, intolerance ceased to be worthy of tolerance.

The memorial for Dr. King in Madison today attracted a large crowd, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has spent much of the past month in
Wisconsin helping to get out the vote for tomorrow’s election. He brought with him two of the sanitation workers whose strike was the reason that Dr. King was in Memphis that horrible day. Madison has become the focus of the struggle for workers’ rights as human rights these past few months and the connection between our travail and that of the workers for whom Dr. King sacrificed his life is palpable.

Violence breeds violence
Violence

So, when a selfish, headstrong man disregards the strong objections of those who know the obvious consequences and publicly burns the Koran, and the loss of life that was not only predictable, but predicted, occurs, my immediate reaction is, “why hasn’t this man been arrested yet?” He may not be the murderer, but he is certainly a party to the crime.

How can this be, my predictably liberal friends ask? Doesn’t he have the same First Amendment rights as those idiots who burn the flag? The difference is the forseeability of deadly violence. The deaths that followed this act were a known consequence of the act. Our commander in Afghanistan warned Terry Jones personally that this violence would be the likely result. Since we are at war in Afghanistan, perhaps the appropriate crime is treason.

It is only words, one might suggest. Let’s think about this.. The words spoken at Wannsee were only words. The words spoken in Mafia boardrooms are only words. The words spoken by Charles Manson were only words. Ah, you say, but those people actually told someone to do something. So, already, we have carved out one category of words that are not protected: those that directly tell someone to do something bad.

Then, what about words that indirectly tell someone to do something bad? Yelling fire in a crowded theater falls into this category, as does incitement of race hatred. Which of these are legal and which forbidden?

Carried a step further, what about actions that are the equivalent of words, like burning a flag, or (apparently) contributing to a campaign? Is burning a Koran a form of political or religious speech? If so, is it protected? Always, or does it lose its protection under certain circumstances?

One of the posts on my FB comment quoted a US Supreme Court case in which the operative concept was whether the dangerous speech created a “clear and present danger” of inciting violence. This approach is no longer in favor, but it does provide a construct for consideration of how the problem might be resolved.

I don’t know that a clear set of principles can be distilled to resolve when speech is protected and when it is not. It is clear that there is some speech which everyone agrees is not protected (“kill him”) and some which everyone agrees is protected. It is the most obnoxious stuff in between that is the problem, like burning a Koran or a consecrated Torah scroll. I know one can’t just say, as with pornography, “I know it when I see it.” But, I don’t have a real alternative.

I just know that Terry Jones is guilty of helping to kill a bunch of innocent people.