The Party of God

This is one of these things which is righteous and interesting, but not for the reasons I think people bandy it around for. The Republican convention had a Seikh open with a prayer.

Think about that for a moment – that is a huge gesture. The prayer wasn’t Christianized either, it was probably how a seikh would pray. (I suspect most seikhs meditate, but whatever). The detraction is “Oh ok that’s a nice gesture, because that temple just got shot up”. No it’s much bigger than that, it’s the problems the Democrats have had for the longest time. The Republicans have the three Gs cornered (Gold, God, Guns). When you ask what the Democrats have in terms of religion – well, they don’t. Dolan is offering the closing prayer but frankly he should have told both parties to go fuck themselves with the moderate stance on abortion. Biden is anti-abortion, but being VP it doesn’t really matter. Romney is a rule-of-law person (he has to be since he lives and dies by tax code) so he’s a RvW guy. Both of these positions are offensive to the Catholic church. The Mormons go slightly easier on the topic and say:

In 1973, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement regarding abortion, which is still applicable today:

The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or good health of the mother is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by rape and produces serious emotional trauma in the mother. Even then it should be done only after counseling with the local presiding priesthood authority and after receiving divine confirmation through prayer.

That’s a fairly centrist position as far as the religious go. But it’s also an important point: Romney is a Mormon.

What the Republicans are doing, very clandestinely, is becoming not the party of Christ, but the party of the spiritual. Some of them might even be religious. Sure there’s going to be fringe objections to this – the Republicans have to deal with the collapse and re-integration of the Tea Party the same way the Democrats have to deal with their fringe Green elements – but they split off before and they can split off again. From the sound of the Ron Paul supporters at the RNC, I suspect it’ll happen. That being said, we’re actually watching an interesting paradigm shift. Will the elections after this one be held on spiritual grounds rather than economics?

Update – Now With Video:

Gays, Women, and the GOP – Rant Roundup

More and more I’ve been seeing posts about “The GOPs War on Women”. Which is sort of funny because gays have less rights than women at the moment and if you’re a gay woman, god help you. Generally it goes something like “Limbaugh said something, look at it!” and it’s a video of Rush or someone saying something inflammatory. I usually just post back the Bill Maher video.

But, something more recently dawned on me. People don’t get it. People, if they bother to respond at all to the Maher video, usually defend it with “oh but it’s humor”. On the face of it, Rush too hosts a program which is just humor, or just commentary. The issue goes a little bit deeper than this, it’s not that the GOP or the Republicans or the Democrats have a war on women, it’s that you wouldn’t say these things in the workplace. (I actually had someone yell at me for posting the Maher video to their page in response because they did watch it at work, with the volume up, completely ignoring the warning in the first 5 seconds). This isn’t particularly about a “war on women”, from any particular side, this is about the permissiveness and moral decrepitude of the average voter. I wouldn’t make a racist joke at work anymore than I would make a joke about a woman at work. If you wouldn’t make the joke at work, why is it then OK to make these jokes about women from either political party? Call misogyny as misogyny and realize these are two sides of the same coin. This means both parties engage in this sort of things.

On the issue of gay rights it actually is even more subtle. The Republicans are the traditional boogeymen of gay rights, but has a Democrat President actually made gay marriage legal? So much anger and noise is invested in making a boogeyman for people to direct their rage towards that no-one has noticed the Democrats have done absolutely nothing for the gay rights issue. The best we’ve come up with is moving it to a states rights issue. This is a band-aide at best because we’ve otherwise codified the idea of marriage at the federal level (tax code). Really the only politician who has carried the Gay Marriage idea to the logical conclusion as it stands today is Ron Paul. If we got rid of the tax code, it really would be a states rights issue. This is the point of the entire rant though – neither party has worked to actually affirm or deny gay rights at the federal level.

On the idea of religious freedom for those of us who roll our own theology, this is another great place to point out the Democrats doing nothing for us. The Democrats have taken the separation of church and state to the point where any showing of religion is treated poorly. By the same token, the Republicans have embraced religion, but it’s usually ascribed as “Christianity”. Funny thing is though, three decades ago it was Catholicism. Now it’s “Mainsteam Christianity”. Now they’re talking about running a Mormon, and the only people who seem to have noticed he’s a Mormon are the Democrats. In terms of progressive religion, the Republicans are more open about discussing theology than the Democrats. You would think the party who was offended by the G word (God) would have already helped out with the other G word (gays) but when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is, it hasn’t happened. Instead they’re happy to accuse other people of being religiously motivated, but then they can’t execute when they’re supposedly “free” from such hangups.

The biggest problem here – a government which doesn’t want to acknowledge the divine – is that laws become inherently secular. What secular states have we seen in the past? The south before the civil war. World War 2 Germany. Can we cite any examples of states which allow for religion without being religious? Sweden comes to mind. It’s possible to find a middle ground here, but it’s also possible to be too far right or left. To be too far right subscribes to religious dogma and things would probably look like the Middle East, and to be too liberal results in comments from politicians comparing women to animals. Of course they’re animals – if you work from a worldview that there’s nothing particularly special about humans then we’re just particularly bald apes. The middle ground is to acknowledge that people are religious without espousing a religion. We can’t do that if we vote for the party that doesn’t talk about religion at all. (Actually this is the paintbrush of the Democrat Smear Machine. Don’t talk about religion so that anyone who even listens to Dishwalla’s “Counting Blue Cars” can be questioned).

On that theme of acknowledging things for what they are, we must also seek to understand things completely. A frightening number of people simply didn’t read the recent Georgia abortion law proposal about transvaginal ultrasounds. Instead, they reacted to a soundbite or the hilariously bad Huffington Post op ed on an op ed. “This person said women are animals!” isn’t thinking about the path this person took to get there, it’s simply an animal reaction to a comment without realizing that the apex of subscribing to evolution and denying the divine is that people are ultimately just very clever animals. This is where we know where people are married with kids, or pregnant. The unmarried, reactionist people operating on an animal level say “I wouldn’t want that in me!” But this is really the point. This medical tool didn’t spring gestalt from the pages of the proposed bill, whirring and throbbing veins intact. This medical tool (a transvaginal ultrasound device) has a legitimate purpose in pregnancy and it’s used by doctors all the time for pregnancy situations which might require surgery. What is abortion if not surgery? Do you really want the doctor grabbing around in there blind?

This previous paragraph is mostly for naught. If anyone had actually read the proposal, they would have seen the text included an opt out for this particular part of the procedure provided there was not a medical necessity to use the device for the protection of the mother during the course of the procedure. You can read HB 954 here. Also included was the objection that anesthesia drove the cost of the abortion up out of reach of “low income unprivileged women”. Lets think about that for a moment – why anesthesia? Because doctors who perform fetal surgery during and after the 2nd trimester know the fetus feels pain and that it will abort if it’s not anesthetized. So think about that, we’re performing abortions on fetuses, who we know from the medical establishment feel pain. Just because you can’t hear or see the pain doesn’t make it any more right than it wouldn’t be murder if I taped your mouth shut and dumped gasoline all over you. Why didn’t anyone bring this up? Because to acknowledge that the fetus feels pain and should be anesthetized because it’s the decent thing to do also acknowledges that the fetus is a person who has rights and we should be decent to our fellow people. But you can’t say that. We would rather call it a child in surgery and a fetus in an abortion setting so we can save a few dollars.

How do we fix this?

The average American voter won’t read the bills. Why anyone would participate in the political process without actually reading the results of the process is beyond me. How do we assess the performance of the governance of the state without reading the laws and proposals? To fix this situation, people need to actually start reading house bills and proposals rather than reading Fox News and Huffington Post. It’s fine to use them as a jumping off point, but half the things posted to Huffpo, for instance, wouldn’t pass muster on Wikipedia. If your source is an “anonymous doctor” and the blog “deletes stupid comments”, not only are you not getting a balanced discussion, but you’re not getting an article anyone would take seriously. Why would you base your political opinions on that?

Read the house bills. Read the proposals. Finally, remember that politicians should be judged both on what they are doing but also on what they’re not doing.

The War On Oblivion

The Occidental Quarterly has an excellent article they call The War On Oblivion. We should remember as a culture that we’ve traded “father knows best” for Homer Simpson. In a lot of ways it’s true – as men there’s certainly examples of abuses by our hands at the expense of society.

As a new dad the lightbulb went on awhile ago when my father jokingly said “Well you’re doing good to save the race”. Take it how you will (the Knarrs are paragons of entendre) but it’s true. If you’re looking to save decency, then decency has to begin at home. You can’t possibly say to another man that this is sacred and profane without yourself reserving such things.

As I get older I get more and more fed up with pop culture. Gone is Leave it to Beaver and Bill Cosbys Pound Cake, we as dads and people of decent society put on the Simpsons and Dora The Explorer. Objections to Bill Cosby invoking the Nation of Islam include the fact that he never did solve crime in the streets – all they did was redirect it into the Black Panthers – but the point is they did something. They were obviously decent enough parents to make it work, be it Chistianity, Atheistm, Agnosticism, Islam, whatever. But back to our present, morally bankrupt culture, fatherhood used to be something to look forward to and a personal test. Now it’s dad goes to work, fucks off at his job all day, and provides no moral support for his family. I realize I’m making an argument against feminism here, but I don’t see why dad has to be a goon while mom holds up the family. On a more positive note, I feel Dora the Explorer has the right idea. Dad coaches baseball, mom tends to the home (and apparently works in an office). If you’re saying “That sounds like a traditional, really boring whitebread family”, you’re correct. Dora was originally white. Which brings me to part two of my rant, Hispanics never had a family problem and frankly supporting your inlaws was a good thing. If they wanted to make a political statement with it, they wouldn’t have a negro who was a monkey and an overtly jewish fox, complete with yamulka. But they chose to racialise the program, which is completely and totally strange, so now we’re left with Dora The Explorer And Racial Stereotype Friends. Again, Bill Cosby is rolling around in his grave – except he’s not dead yet.

I have no idea what her backpack is, it migth be an eskimo.

But back to the article, I think it puts forward a really interesting point:

The problem is simply that the means [to promote marriage and family] have been removed. I don’t think it will take any pressure or convincing to get men to have children, and to love their children and wives. In fact, pressuring them will inevitably backfire, because our culture apparently has a sadistic tendency to apply only coercive, punitive measures when it comes to men. This only creates more female entitlement, which, as previously mentioned, is one of the biggest problems we have today. Hatred of its men is probably the most critical flaw in Anglo civilization, and if that can’t be changed will probably be its downfall.

And that really sums it up. Next time you’re watching TV, count how many “American Dads” are on there as the strong role model for the family. Then count how many shows don’t show a father figure, or for that matter have one who isn’t worth his salt morally or ethically. Then think about Bill Cosby, and have a poundcake.

EDIT: I would like to add that I very much prefer Handy Manny for my bilingual TV shows. Not only is he a positive male role model, but the program also has moral messages against hubris, promoting respect and family. Aside of the porn, I see nothing to object to in Handy Manny.

Guns, Religion, and Xenophobia in Philadelphia

Typical Philadelphia bullshit this week: The city is abuzz over a serial killer and a cop killer. Mayor Michael Nigger Nutter, in typical useless piece of shit fashion, is calling for more gun control and asking why Harrisburg has obstructed his gun laws.

The Philadelphia Daily News has had a circus with it, mostly all anti-gun with a strange smattering of half truths and popular opinion. To their credit, they hat tip the paper with a single letter in opposition to the theme of the paper, but the rag from Tuesday (May 6th, 2008) was particularly bad with contradictory stories and mostly all anonymous sources yelling “facts” which varied article to article.

The politics in PA mostly come down to state versus “city of the first class”. Usually this is interpreted to mean Philadelphia (and localities are specifically mentioned in the constitution), but Philly, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh all qualify for this designation all being proper class 1 cities according to the population requirements. While the state constitution allows for preemption (more specific laws) in places, it contains the text “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned” (section 21). It’s pretty well outlined that Penn’s Woods are supposed to be armed to the teeth.

An incensed reader proposed a thought experiment:

About 90 percent of the people shot in the city last year were African-American. While figures are unavailable, it is assumed that close to 100 percent of the perpetrators of these shooting were African-American.

Almost all the firearms used in these shootings were obtained, possessed, and carried illegally by those who perpetrated the shootings. If, as constantly claimed, we MUST DO SOMETHING to stop this violence, then why not ban African-American residents of the city from owning handguns?

The answer is that this is patently unfair and discriminatory. To judge an entire group as a problem and punish all members of that group, irrespective of their individual answers, is unconscionable.

Yet, it’s deemed perfectly acceptable to discriminate against one particular group — gun owners.

Lets just tell the truth. The moment Mayor Nutter get the right to pass gun laws for Philly, it will become a practical impossibility to own a handgun or any other weapon the city deems “inappropriate”.

I’ve done nothing wrong, but my rights are being removed step-by-step because others — entirely outside the law — are using guns feloniously. How is this any less outrageous a suggestion than that black people shouldn’t be allowed to have guns?

Discuss.