04 October 2007

The Rest of the Asshats

Blah. Work threw off my bloggin' groove. Here are the rest of the asshats from last Thursday, plus a couple extra that have cropped up in the meantime.

First, Jena 6 prosecutor DA Reed Walters, who during a press conference said that the only reason the peaceful protests of the previous week didn't turn violent was because of the "direct intervention of Jesus." The demonization of the out-group is sickening. It's an age-old tactic... If your enemy does something good, take the credit; if you do something bad, blame it on your enemy.

Next, Senator Sam Brownback, who (according to *shudder* One News Now) has introduced legislation that would force women considering abortion to get an ultrasound. Brownback is trying to sell it as a way of providing information to the woman so she can make an informed decision... but there's no information value to this. We aren't talking about ultrasound to determine fetus health, or any medical condition. Furthermore, the bill doesn't require that the woman look at the ultrasound--only that one be taken. And since there's nothing stopping women now from getting ultrasounds taken if they so choose, that means there's no practical difference in "information available" to the woman. It's purely about scare tactics, a legal way of accumulating blackmail photos. "If you get that abortion, we'll show yer fam'ly the pitchure and tell 'em you killed a baaaay-bee!"

Next in line: John McCain says America is a Christian nation and doesn't want a president who believes in "the Islam." So, so wrong. I'll say this, though: a lot of the people ragging on McCain are invoking the "no religious test" clause in the Constitution. It's a great clause and all, but it's not really relevant. McCain isn't saying a non-Christian couldn't theoretically be allowed to take office; he's just of the opinion that such a candidate wouldn't be good for the job. His position of only voting for Christians is his perogative; it isn't un-Constitutional, it's just fucked up. I can't believe I almost liked McCain once upon a time... in the past year or two, he has done nothing but pander to the fundie nutjobs of the Religious Right.

Our final asshats (for now), WaPo's On Faith series asked about Christopher Hitchens last week:
Best-selling atheist Christopher Hitchens wrote: 'Religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children.' Why is he right or wrong?
The question itelf was fairly tame. But it opened the floodgates for accusations of "fundamentalist atheism" (or "secular fundamentalism," or other variations). The question du jour for On Faith has since changed (to discuss John McCain, in fact), but you can see an example of the former here. Apparently it bears repeating: passion is not the same thing as fundamentalism or militancy. Just... no.

*deep breath*

All done for now. That's quite enough of that.

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