Category Archives: religion

America Needs Six Political Parties

America needs six political parties.

What I mean is, if our political system were fundamentally changed in some way so that parties other than the Democrats and Republicans would have a chance, we would probably end up with six major parties.

(The only way this scenario would even work is if we switched to a European style system where a party would get a percentage of Congressional seats based on percentages of votes cast for the party…or something like that. Don’t quote me on the details!!!)

The Democrats and Republicans would still hold the moderate positions they hold now. Each party might pretend to hold more radical ideas, and their enemies regularly accuse them of such, but when it comes down to it, they stick to the safe positions. They won’t make any big changes to the system, they’ll just make noise about it.

Conveniently for both groups, the lack of any real change can be blamed on the other party. The Republicans won’t really outlaw abortion completely, and when they don’t, they can blame it on the meddling liberal Democrats. Democrats don’t have to really propose or vote in any actual social services, because they can always say that the Republicans won’t let them.

This really pisses off the voters on both sides. They start calling their representatives “sellouts” and bitching about how we need third parties.

Well, I agree, kinda. But we need more than one more party.

So, why six parties? I just think that’s how many major groups of political thought we’re looking at. In reality we’d end up with a bunch of little parties too but these would be the major players.

Well, look at the Republicans. If you take all the reasonable moderates out of the right wing, you’re left with two different “conservative” groups, which I will call the Libertarians and the Theocrats.

The Libertarians are a familiar group already, believing specifically in getting government to leave people alone as much as possible. They would not only be in favor of lowering taxes and deficits, like Republicans, but they would also champion such causes as legalizing victimless crimes, which is a big draw these days.

The Theocrats is the party that all the overly religious would flock to. Maybe they would believe in lowering taxes and all that boring fiscal stuff initially; but their focus is bringing America back to God. They want to make America a Christian nation.

That doesn’t imply the government leaving you alone at all; on the contrary, if the Theocrats had their way, they’d be all up in your face every time they could get away with it. They’d test your pee for drugs and give you the evil eye if you wore something that looked a little gay. If it was up to them, alcohol would still be illegal and all the women would stay home and have babies and all the infidels would mysteriously disappear. They’d pass a durned law every time they turned around.

(Try Googling “Cromwell” and “English Reformation” and “Puritans” if you’d like to research how this went down for the English in the 1600’s.)

Ironically, if the Theocrats really believed in outlawing abortion, and put their money where their mouth is, they’d have to institute a very generous welfare system and raise taxes to maintain it. (This is why Republicans don’t really want to outlaw abortion, because then you’ve got to take care of a bunch of kids, and that’s expensive.) And if they want to regulate everyone’s social life, that’d take spies, which would take money, which would mean raising taxes.

Or they could criminalize sex. I wouldn’t put it past them. They love to turn people into criminals; that’s what religion is about, after all! But prisons take money, too. Heck, it’s the 20th century American Puritans that got our prisons so full already from the misguided Drug War. There’s your “Christian Nation” for ya!

Now let’s look at the leftist side. I believe the left wing would split up in a similar way to the right wing. Let’s call their two extra parties the Socialists and the Greens. (Yes, I know those already exist.)

The Socialists would be in favor of social programs to better the country. They would be in favor of welfare (or some kind of decent safety net), nationalized health care, higher wages, support for unions, and all those nice things that Democrats used to pretend to care about. They might raise taxes but they’d hopefully be using them to better the country and provide services for Americans.

The Greens would be a different story. They’d have their focus on the environment, not necessarily people, and although it’s a good idea to clean up the environment, sometimes environmentalists have some pretty fucked up ideas. They’re the left’s version of the Theocrats.

I got an insight into this when I spoke to a woman in the Green party who said if it was up to her, people would have to pay a fine for wasting electricity and leaving the lights on when no one is using them. A shudder went down my back. She didn’t even consider whether people could afford those fines, or how much it would enrage people to be snooped on that much. I don’t want some government drone peering over my electric bill to tell me I’m using too much power, or telling me what kind of car to drive, or any of that.

I’ve seen a couple of examples lately of laws here in Hawaii enacted to help the environment that are just stupid.

The first was the mandate to put ethanol in the gasoline. Normally most of us wouldn’t care what’s in the gasoline as long as our cars keep running, but there’s some evidence that ethanol shortens the life of the engines that it’s used in. Boat owners here in Hawaii are extra mad, claiming that the ethanol is ruining their engines; and I know my husband’s chainsaw died extra fast after having ethanol laced gas in it. If you have to replace cars faster because the engine is messed up from ethanol, you force people to buy more cars, and how much energy does it take to make a new car?

The other law that sticks in my craw is the proposed shopping bag ban. I don’t know about you, but I use my plastic shopping bags as trash bags. If there’s no shopping bags, I have to not only buy a reusable bag for my groceries, but I also have to buy trash bags instead of recycling a bag from the store.

Ok, sorry about rambling there, but you get the idea. It’s my blog and I can go off topic if I want to.

Aside from the Democrats and Republicans, both left and right has a potential for one slightly more radical party that’s still sane and one really out there party that would cause more government intervention and make our lives hell.

So when someone says, “We need a third party!” Say, “No, we need four more parties, at least!”

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The Fort Hood shooter was a religious nut.

 

The gunman in the Fort Hood shooting was a religious nut.

I don’t give a crap if it’s politically incorrect or not. This guy was out there.

MAJOR Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who killed 13 at America’s Fort Hood military base, once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their necks.

How could the Army miss this? He’s giving public lectures saying this shit and they let him stay in the Army?

I could see being kinda tolerant of someone who’s a Muslim in the armed forces if they’re at least loyal to their country and their commanders. I mean, I don’t like religious weirdos of any stripe but if they’re keeping it to themselves, I see no need to mess with them.

But it really sounds like this guy was pretty obvious, saying that he considered himself a Muslim first and an American second. Now, to be fair, I can picture some Army guys saying they’re Christians first and Americans second, but Christianity hasn’t (yet) come out in favor of going postal on your fellow soldiers.

He also told his colleagues that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell and should be set on fire.

Ya know, I bet if I went into an airport and got in line and said some of those same things in a loud voice, I wouldn’t make it onto a plane. Yet this guy was in the Army. And a psychiatrist, too.

(Why do I suddenly hear “Shrink, I wanna kill,” in my head?)

Well, there’s one more point in favor of sacking the whole meme of Islam. To the dustbin of history, and not a moment too soon. Sorry, but any meme that says I ought to be set on fire can–well–go to hell!

 

The imams of Oklahoma restrict abortion access

 

New Oklahoma abortion law will publish patient information.

 

As of November 1, doctors in Oklahoma will be compelled to post the details of every abortion they perform online. Part of this information contains the patient’s age, marital status, and race; her financial condition; her education; and the total number of her previous pregnancies.

 

Two Oklahoma women are challenging the law in court. Go sisters!

 

Even putting aside the absolute outrageousness of forcing a doctor to publish this patient information at all, the amount of information being published about the patient could be used to identify her in a small community.

 

So, will the good Christians of Oklahoma start engaging in “honor killings”? We’ve already seen abortion providers being shot–it only takes a small rationalization to start calling the women getting abortions “murderers”.

 

You know this isn’t really about publishing the information so people can have the information, although that’s pretty bad right there. The idea is to make it so hard and so dangerous to get an abortion in Oklahoma that no one will do it. They’ll make it to where it’s “legal” but almost unobtainable.

 

Oklahoma is a hard place to be female. Oklahoma actually has a law on the books that says that a “man is the head of the household”. They tried to repeal the law in the ’80s–and they couldn’t repeal it because the Christians wanted it kept there, and they had the votes.

 

I grew up in Oklahoma. It’s a scary place to be different from the norm. And religion is firmly entrenched there. There’s different denominations of Christianity but most people profess to be a Christian of one kind or another. Baptists predominate but there’s plenty of Pentecostals and Churches of Christ and various other forms of Protestants–not so many Catholics but they’re there. 

 

People in Oklahoma are pretty friendly until or unless they find out you’re different from them in some way. Then you’re going to hell. When they’re not telling the unbelievers that they’re going to hell, the different churches tell each other that they’re going to hell. 

 

I guess you have to be there to know what it’s like to grow up there. Imagine that nearly every single person you come across at church or school or in your neighborhood all believe the same basic myth. God created the world and there’s a heaven and a hell, etc. To profess to think something else is to invite ridicule and argument and perhaps even ostracism. 

 

Some churches are worse. You can tell the women in the Pentecostal churches ‘cuz they weren’t allowed to cut their hair or wear makeup or pants. Ever.

 

I knew this girl whose parents were Pentecostals and when she tried to date a Catholic boy, they sent her away to Alabama to live under virtual house arrest with another Pentecostal family. As if she had stolen a car or something.

 

I was also taught in church that black people weren’t supposed to marry white people. No Bible reference, they just insisted it was a sin.

 

You can get life for a pot plant there. Think about that. Life. For one plant. Life.

 

Not everyone is into that religion stuff, I guess, but when I wasn’t hanging around religious people, everyone I met was constantly griping about how bad they wanted to get out of Oklahoma.

 

If the Christian dominionists ever take over a significant section of the United States, I would bet it would be in Oklahoma. I’m sure they’d love it if they could pass enough horrible laws to drive out every freethinking non-Christian from the state. 

 

Hopefully they won’t but I sure as heck wouldn’t live there again as long as they have so much influence. Just like I wouldn’t want to live in Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan, or anywhere else that religion has too much influence.

 

The plight of women in Afghanistan and the plight of women in Oklahoma are similar–the one thing that keeps the women of Oklahoma from being treated as badly as the women of Afghanistan is the fact that Oklahoma is in the United States, and we still have freedom of religion here. The preachers in America have power but they don’t yet have official power. For now.  

 

I think these draconian anti-abortion laws demonstrate that if our government really was run according to “Christian values” or the “laws of God” or whatever the euphemism is, we would have a lot more laws, not less, and the government would be much more involved in our private lives.

 

(On a side note, maybe we should let them have Oklahoma. It’s hot as hell in the summer, prone to tornadoes and the occasional huge winter storm, and mostly pretty flat and featureless. And the Ogalala aquifer is running out of water, but since a lot of them don’t believe in global warming anyway, they won’t realize that they’re sitting on a doomed area until it’s too late.)

 

I wish we could run something like an underground railroad, in both Oklahoma and Afghanistan, and help all the women who want to leave to get out. Just drain those places of their women. Picture some Taliban/Christian jerk coming home from a long day of oppression in the name of bullshit to discover an empty house.

 

Eh, you no like your women no more? You want to treat ’em all bad? We fix it, we take ’em away for ya…

 

The one big problem with that idea is that we’d have to take those women somewhere else–presumably in a rational state in America. But we don’t support women in those states either; support for women in our “reformed” welfare system is a lot like Oklahoma’s abortion laws–legal but nearly unobtainable. 

Faiths turned hate cults

 

Sep27–

 

Whatever they might have been in the beginning, both Christianity and Islam have turned into hate cults.

 

When you read a little of their histories, both faiths started out with good intentions and a sense of brotherhood with their fellow man. Both were improvements on what came before them. They were progressive religions for their time, when they started.

 

Centuries go by and they get all established and they have regular buildings and money and hierarchies and established holy books and holidays and all the extra rules and traditions and superstitions and crap that seems to attach to a religion after time, like barnacles clinging to the bottom of a boat.

 

(Do y’all know if there is any religion this hasn’t happened to? Just wondering, haven’t studied them all.)

 

Now anytime you hear of either Islam or Christianity doing anything, it’s some action based on hate. Islam’s got its suicide bombers and roadside bombers and Christianity’s got its doctor killers and wannabe domestic terrorists. 

 

I used to be a Christian. I was one of those annoying Christians who would come up to you and ask if you knew Jesus. Yeah, one of those. (I apologize. I’m better now.) So I’ve heard a few sermons in my time.

 

It’s amazing how much of an “Amen” them preachers would get once they start talking about how all the homosexuals are going to hell. Gets the crowd all fired up. That “blessed be the peacemakers” crap just doesn’t do it for them.

 

And it’s not just the gays that they bash on. Uppity women get it too, or at least they used to in the church I went to when I was a kid. (Of course, I was raised in Oklahoma and I’m pushing 50. They might have softened up some since then.) Boy did they ever drill that “wives submit to your husbands” verse into our heads. I never want to hear that damn Bible verse again. And they made sure to tell us that it was a sin (with no book/chapter/verse reference, of course) for white people to marry black people. (“Why?” “It just is.”)

 

But you gotta understand that there’s variation in different Christian churches. They’ve all got their different little quirks and beliefs and just because one weirdshit church somewhere believes some Biblically unsupported belief about marriage, or race, or the devil, or how the end of the world is supposed to happen, doesn’t mean that all Christians are into that. 

 

I suspect Islam may be similar. I haven’t spent any time in any mosques. Feel free to comment and enlighten me but don’t send me any links to any Islamic websites ‘cuz I might need to get on a plane someday! ;-)

 

I know I should probably be all politically correct when I’m talking about Islam but every time I hear about anything they do, they’re bombing something or oppressing their women or destroying some ancient art in the name of Allah or some other horrible thing. I can’t help it. It makes me take a hard right turn. I hate those fucking ragheads. Maybe it’s a terrible attitude. But there it is. 

 

Even before 9/11, I used to read this feminist paper and every time I would get it, I mean every time, there would be some new atrocity that the Taliban was doing in Afghanistan. The women couldn’t go out without a male escort. They couldn’t work. They couldn’t show a damn ankle. They couldn’t wear loud shoes. Then the Taliban wouldn’t let people listen to recorded music, or fly kites…it just went on and on. It made me so damn mad I just wanted to pick up an AK-47 myself and go over there and waste their asses. 

 

I remember a picture of a woman in America dressed up in a burka with a sign protesting the $43 million dollars we gave the Taliban that year. That was before 9/11, so no one cared. Then the twin towers got dropped and suddenly Bush acted lilke they were bombing Afghanistan ‘cuz they were suddenly so concerned about Afghanistan’s women. As if.

 

Ok, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be going off on a hate rant, especially when I’m talking about religions turning into hate cults. But since I have put that little part in there, I think when I post this I’ll put in some tags like “ragheads” or something like that, and I’ll see if it makes more people read this article. Building popularity off of hate seems to be working for these religions, why not my blog? But I kinda hope it doesn’t work. If that was the only way I could get people to read this blog, then I probably oughta just quit.

 

But religions, being human made systems that outlive their makers, may not enjoy such self-consciousness and therefore won’t necessarily recognize their mistakes or correct them. 

 

You know, if there was such a thing as Satan, I would be inclined to believe that he had personally infiltrated those religions just to ruin them. I mean, think about it–if you were the Prince of Darkness and you wanted to erase Jesus’s message from the memory of humanity, you could promote the worship of Jesus (and his mom, and his friends and whoever else) as a diversion and layer the religion in ritual and bullshit until no one even remembers what the heck Jesus ever said. 

 

You can see this same thing happening today in the press–for instance, on Martin Luther King Jr. day, notice how they practically worship Dr. King but they don’t repeat more than a few token lines of anything he said. “I have a dream” is nice and poetic and today sounds non-threatening. You won’t be hearing any of his quotes about poor people or the Vietnam war. You won’t be hearing any advice about how to run a boycott or a peaceful demonstration. But he’s got his own day! 

 

“I have a dream…that someday all the government workers will get a day off in January…”

 

Sooo…if Satan had taken over Christianity, and perhaps Islam as well, wouldn’t it make sense to completely abandon those religions and start over? Just saying…maybe you should ask yourself if your church smells like brimstone.

 

Or you could go all apostate like me. I recommend it.