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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Congratulations, America…

Posted by Andy Welfle on November 5, 2008

<soapbox>

We’re taking a step in the right correct direction. Now, with a left-leaning house, a left-leaning Senate, and a left-leaning President, maybe those who are different from the midde-class, white, heterosexual Christians will get a chance to shine, or even live their life the way they want to.

We still have a long way to go. As of 10:30 AM on November 5th, CNN is predicting that California’s Proposition 8 will be passed (It’s 52% to 48% with 95% precints reporting), effectively taking away the already exisiting rights of same-sex couples to get married. As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, Californians have already had the chance to see same-sex marriages, and this didn’t affect the general population adversely in any way, but they’re still going to yank it out from underneath them. The same goes for Arizona’s Proposition 102 and Florida’s Amendment 2, denying same-sex couples any legal recognition of their relationships. Likewise, shame on you, Arkansas, for denying gay couples the right to adopt a child.

So celebrate our new president, celebrate the fact that Indiana seems to have gone blue, but then throw away the champagne bottles and realize that we have a lot of work to do to ensure that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

</soapbox>

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Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Is the Maranatha Chapel of Harlan, IN violating the tax code because they are certainly liars

Posted by Skeptigator on October 28, 2008

via acdpblog

A sign of the time perhaps? Apparently the Maranatha Chapel in Harlan, Indiana is carrying the following message on their church sign.

“Do You Want a Muslim For Your President?”

Whoever (or is that whomever) could they be talking about? In all seriousness, many religious, non-profit and tax-exempt organizations have a lot of political activities. And we can argue whether or not they should have *any* but seriously if you take a liberal view of churches (like me) and see them as performing certain civil functions (like being polling places) I honestly don’t really have a problem with political organizing in and of itself within certain limits. But when such tax-exempt organizations cross a clear line. A very clear and bright line, mind you, there should be some repercussions.  Possibly IRS repercussions. This church is actively lying about one of the candidates in this election. They can probably slither out of this by saying they are not actively endorsing any one candidate but come on who are they kidding. So am I to conclude that Christians are liars or only the folks at Maranatha Chapel. Perhaps only the person (likely under the direction of the pastor) who put the sign up. Just for fun, let’s say that Obama is an actual muslim and he’s running for President. This sign still crosses the line, period, because the intent is clear. But to put a cherry on top of this crap sundae, it’s a lie to begin with. I have not seen this sign in person. I originally heard about this from here. A website I don’t visit regularly since partisan politics often pisses me off. I plan on driving by Tuesday evening to get a picture myself after my workout, hopefully it’s not taken down by then. UPDATE: Here’s the link to the local news media: http://www.wane.com/Global/story.asp?S=9253612&nav=menu32_2

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Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

I need to declare a media moratorium…

Posted by Andy Welfle on October 24, 2008

…Because if I don’t, I sometimes accidentally see lackwits like this woman:

After I watched it, I really, really hoped it was some kind of parody. This idiot woman was so santimonious, so stupid, so unwilling to take any sort of personal responsibility for her actions, that she would judge her husband for voting for someone whose politics would benefit his livelihood — and hers, too.

This is the kind of person I was talking about earlier. She gave this little shudder when she talked about how Obama’s mother was an atheist, equating it in her small mind to Satanism or pedophilia. I bet she has a closet full of Chick Tracts.

I’ve been becoming increasingly stressed out, and I think that it is because I’ve been following this election and watching the media more than ever before. And when I do that, I’m exposed to this kind of thinking. It makes me lose hope for any chance this country will adopt any sort of enlightened thinking, and I realize that my cause and the cause of this organization can never succeed unless we can find a way to counter irrational thinking like this. And how can rational thinking trump the irrational?

Sorry about the rant. Can anyone here talk me down, á la Rachel Maddow? Sound off in the comments.

Posted in Humor, Politics, Video | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Unfortunately I get a chance to title my post, Pastor Disaster*

Posted by Skeptigator on May 30, 2008

You know how you tell your kids, “Don’t do that or it will hurt” and then they do it… and it hurts. Please read as much I-told-you-so as possible.

If you haven’t heard, another pastor has taken the pulpit at Obama’s church and mocked Senator Clinton by pretending to cry and bemoan the fact that “there’s a black man stealing [her] show” because she feels entitled as a white woman to be President. I assume God told Pfleger what Hillary Clinton thinks and now wonder why God would tell him something like that. Isn’t there some kind of doctor-patient privilege that God broke here.

Don’t believe me, well… Bam! Check it out.

Here’s one of the better quotes from the Washington Times link,

But by delivering his remarks, Father Pfleger seems to have officially submitted his entry to the What Else Can We At Trinity Do to Further Assure that the United States Does Not Have Its First African-American President Any Time Soon? video competition. And this application has “Finalist” marked all over it.

I know this post may come across as the big, bad atheist gloating over his superior Rightness but you’ll just have to trust me that this is not my intention. My intention, with a little bit of humor, is to continue to bring to light those actions and consequences that come when Politics and Religion get in each other’s business. I just blogged about this, McCain rejects Hagee endorsement, and here we are talking about it again.

I’ve been asked why I attack other people’s Personal Faith. Please note that this comes about due to one of two reasons, I let someone know I’m an atheist and then I get that question, which implies that my very existence is an attack. The second scenario takes place when I actually question someone’s religious statements or disagree with them in some way. The second scenario is more legitimate and I’m sure I’m actually guilty of outright attacks but I really do try to limit any “attacking” that I do to when someone makes a religious statement that intrudes into secular government, public policy, personal freedoms and/or they are flat-out lies.

So by bringing this Pfleger guy into the conversation am I attacking someone’s Faith? I actually like to think in some small way I am actually defending people’s Personal Faith by calling out these hacks who use the pulpit for political purposes. I suppose I have to ask the question, “Is it your Personal Faith and/or Relationship with God that mocks Hillary Clinton?” Because last time I checked those aren’t statements of Faith, that is mockery, arrogance, divisiveness and, in general, assbaggery.

In 1994, the Gingrich-led Republican Revolution took control of both houses of the Congress. That effort led to the Contract with America. You can disagree with the politics but the process was sound. Unfortunately many of those incoming freshmen took the opportunity to extend that Contract beyond it’s original intent. 15 years have passed and now both parties have gone so far down the rabbit hole in pandering to the Religious Right that they have forgotten the Original Contract with America that our Founding Fathers made. That original contract said if you keep your religion out of the People’s government, the People’s government will keep out of your religion. Your Personal Faith is part of your natural rights and that our government has no business regulating such matters.

Events like these remind us of the penalties as People, Candidates and Nations that we must pay when we willfully break that Original Contract. Our government and your faith are both damaged by these events.

* Apologies to whomever came up with the term Pastor Disaster and a tip o’ the hat to agnohumanist for bringing it to my attention.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

McCain rejects Hagee endorsement

Posted by Skeptigator on May 23, 2008

So let me see if I can get this straight,

McCain & Hagee;

Catholic Church = The Whore of Babylon, McCain has no problem with that.

God-created Holocaust = Bring my people home, McCain has a problem with that

Obama & Wright;

Racially-divisive rhetoric = Black preacher’s message; Obama ok with it since he “didn’t hear it himself”.

AIDS = U.S. government conspiracy to kill blacks; Obama “sees that one” and denounces him.

Clinton & no ties to any discernible religious figure;

*crickets* (or some tenuous and odd connections to The Family)

Politics and Religion

My question is this, Isn’t the mere association with religious figures a risky behavior? Doesn’t the volatile nature of merely being associated or endorsed by a particular religious figure illustrate how divisive religion and politics can be?

Does the U.S. benefit, or more generally does religious freedom benefit, from the mixing of politics and religion in this way? How much damage is done to a candidate like Obama when he has to spend time discussing his pastors social/political/religious views? Here’s an interesting question, when Rev. Wright takes the pulpit and says (from the Rolling Stone article),

“Fact number one: We’ve got more black men in prison than there are in college,” he intones. “Fact number two: Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!” There is thumping applause; Wright has a cadence and power that make Obama sound like John Kerry. Now the reverend begins to preach. “We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional KILLERS. . . . We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. . . . We conducted radiation experiments on our own people. . . . We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means!” The crowd whoops and amens as Wright builds to his climax: “And. And. And! GAWD! Has GOT! To be SICK! OF THIS SHIT!”

Which part of this sermon is political and which part is religious??? Is it a problem that you can’t tell?

To further illustrate the problems inherent (not specific to this instance but actually inherent) in the mixing of politics and religion is the influence that religious belief has on political decisions. Imagine for a moment that you are a dispensationalist, someone who believes that the return of the Jews to Israel is a precursor for the return of Christ. Imagine that as someone who is obsessed with “end-times” prophecy and actually bringing about Armaggedon you have the ear of the President of the United States of America. (video here, transcript here). For those who don’t know you were just imagining John Hagee.

In case you are wondering why McCain would disavow Hagee (and didn’t read the link above) he said the following,

He goes on: “Theodore Hertzel is the father of Zionism. He was a Jew who at the turn of the 19th century said, this land is our land, God wants us to live there. So he went to the Jews of Europe and said ‘I want you to come and join me in the land of Israel.’ So few went that Hertzel went into depression. Those who came founded Israel; those who did not went through the hell of the holocaust.

“Then god sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. And the Bible says — Jeremiah writing — ‘They shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the holes of the rocks,’ meaning there’s no place to hide. And that might be offensive to some people but don’t let your heart be offended. I didn’t write it, Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.

Perhaps the most disturbing part (you know, besides the obvious offensiveness of it) is that Hagee believes that his omnibenevolent God actively sought the murder of 6 million Jews that He (God) knows will go to hell because they rejected Christ. To those Christians out there, Is that your God? Is this the man you want whispering in the President’s ear?

Bottom Line

Many people have made the statement on TV, to me personally and to some extent I say the same thing. Should the candidates religious belief even matter? Why not evaluate them on their records and what they say? I wish I could and here’s the important part, I cannot only evaluate them in a religiously neutral manner because they won’t let me. That’s right. The candidates themselves have made their religious views a major point of their platform. If it is that important to them in their bids for the presidency you can be assured that it will influence their decisions in the White House.

I am obviously biased (aren’t we all) but I believe that the Founding Fathers of this country hit upon an amazing concept. That the greatest way to protect the Freedom OF Religion was to guarantee that our government was Free FROM Religion.

Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »