Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The bigotry vote

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Look out. Just when you thought apathy in the wake of arrogance had finally gotten the better of it, the religious right is looking to make a comeback just in time for the midterms. The NYT:

Openly anxious about grass-roots disaffection from the Republican Party, conservative Christian organizers are reaching for ways to turn out voters this November, including arguing that recognizing same-sex marriage could also limit religious freedom.

James Dobson may find "disillusionment out there with Republicans," Paul Weyrich may claim that "the enthusiasm is not there," and Tony Perkins may lament that "success brings complacency," but these theocrats are pragmatists as well as moralists. Better the Republicans than the Democrats, after all. (So goes the pragmatism.) At least the former, "the lesser of two evils," will keep up the fight against abortion and same-sex marriage.

But how to turn out the apathetic and complacent? Well, hit the gay button. Arouse the bigotry. It may lie dormant politically, but it can be awakened with the right spin.

And that spin, the one with the stink of desperation? Same-sex marriage threatens "religious liberty," as Perkins puts its.

How, you ask? Better not to try to make sense of the spin, for it makes no sense at all. These are moralists who oppose religious liberty except then their own absolutism is threatened. Besides, just try to define so-called "religious liberty"? What does it mean? That practitioners of religion -- believers, people of faith, whatever you want to call them -- are free to worship as they see fit? Okay. But what if, hypothetically speaking, the ban on same-sex marriage threatens my religious liberty? What if I cannot be free, religiously speaking, so long as same-sex marriage is disallowed?

Take that logic further, reductio ad absurdum. If "religious liberty" is the standard, can anything be disallowed? If one religion claims that something violates its liberty, then that something must be disallowed. But then if another religion claims that a ban on that same something violates its liberty, then that something must be allowed. See? It makes no sense. The only solution is not to mix religion and politics, that is, to allow religions and their practitioners to worship freely in the private sphere while the public sphere avoids such entanglements altogether. The religious right seems to fail to understand that the "religious liberty" spin is the thin end of a wedge that will open a door it doesn't want opened. Regardless, that door has already been opened. Modern liberalism, the liberalism of the United States, already welcomes religious pluralism, the liberty of multiple religions in the private sphere. The religious right, illiberal and un-American, only wants and recognizes liberty for itself. The religious right is self-interested bigotry.

But bigotry still has its adherents. Many of them. Enough to turn a close election. A high turnout of the bigoted, or of those inspired by bigotry to vote according to the bigots, could be just what the Republicans ordered come November. Democrats need to recognize this threat and act accordingly.

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  • I'm posting from aus and with what you got goin on I'm glad of that. Tell me if I'm wrong but you seem to be part of the minority
    over there. (being sane)
    Could you tell me roughly what % of your christian comunity are (radical,fundamentalist's who want to impose their radical ideals and beliefs on the whole country)
    All sounds a bit Taliban-ish?
    Seems they have too much power, seems they have bush in their
    pockets. Church and state should never entwine. That to me spells
    Fundamentalist government(not good)
    A good christian heart would not force their ideals on others,they are more likely to serve the people in any way they can offering assistance to those in need.
    Some may appreciate their efforts and want to be more like them.-Ridicule and condemnation isn't the way to go- they'll never change hearts and minds that way.
    Maybe they know that what they ask is ridiculous, so try to impose their will. Any way you should be safe, you have your constitution to protect your rights, unless Bush tears it up that is.
    He's like a puppet on a string. I think if there were a god he would want people to find Humanity.
    True humanity can only be achieved by concidering others/caring about others as much as,if not more than yourself.
    Then and only then could we call ourselves a -Civilisation-

    By Blogger Unknown, at 3:56 AM  

  • Over 3,500 terminations per day, 1.3 MILLION per year in the United States alone.
    50 or 60 MILLION per year World Wide.

    I am a pro-lifer who has no religious convictions at all . I didn't need the fear of god or anything else to come to my decision, just a good sence of what is right and wrong.
    You see we were all once a fetus. Is it beyond the realm of possibilities that when your mother first learned she was carrying you, she may have considered her options? What if she had decided to terminate? Would that have been OK?
    You would not exist, if you have children they would not exist, and your (husband or wife) would be married to someone else. You would have been deprived of all your experiences and memories. In this day and age with terminations being so readily available and so many being carried out, if you make it to full term
    you can consider yourself lucky. Lucky you had a mother that made the choice of life for you. Don't you think they all deserve the same basic human right, LIFE?
    I'm all for contraception, prevention is certainly better than termination.
    Did you know you can get an implant that is safe, 99.9% effective, and lasts for three years? Just think girls not even a show for three years, wouldn't that be great? I think too many people rely too heavily on the last option (abortion), I think if abortions weren't so readily available people would manage their reproductive system far better resulting in a fraction of the number of unwanted pregnancies.
    World wide there are over 50 MILLION aborted pregnancies each year. In America 3,500 terminations carried out every day, that's over 1.3 million every year, 50% of all cases claimed that birth control had been used, 48% admitted they took no precaution, and 2% had a medical reason. That's a stagering 98% that may have been prevented had an effective birth control been used. Don't get me wrong, I suspect the percentages in Australia would be much the same.
    Just a lot of unnessessary killing.

    At the point of conception is when life began for you. This was the start of your existance. Your own personal big bang. Three weeks after conception heart started to beat. First brain waves recorded at six weeks after conception. Seen sucking thumb at seven weeks after conception.

    I am convinced that in the not too distant future, people will look back at many of the practices of today with disbelief and horror.


    By Blogger Unknown, at 4:00 AM  

  • "At the point of conception is when life began for you. This was the start of your existance. Your own personal big bang. Three weeks after conception heart started to beat. First brain waves recorded at six weeks after conception. Seen sucking thumb at seven weeks after conception."

    A fertilized egg has no personality, no mind, no humanity any more than does a worm. Heartbeat and brain waves do not make humanity - all animals share these and if heartbeat meant humanity, a heart transplant would require removing humanity from the recipient and replacing it with someone else's humanity. It's absurd.

    Life does not begin at conception - both gametes are alive. Life began billions of years ago and has been continuous. Humanity arose gradually in evolution and the process recapitulates in the development of an individual.

    You say you have no religious conviction, but the concept of an instant creation of human status is a religious concept that is necessitated by the contradictions of belief in a soul.

    There is no scientific basis for souls and there is no scientific basis for your assertion. It's time you recognized opinion as opinion.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:45 AM  

  • Oh yes, and the perception of Americans as fundamentalist loonies is probably no more accurate than the perception of Aussies as Crocodile, hunting, beer swilling and biggoted primitives with vegamite breath.

    What we have is a minority in league with a rich and powerful group who use scientific method to subvert democracy.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:49 AM  

  • Few Democrats wish to go full blown anti-war: "anti-semitism" "anti-judeochristianity".

    Democrats fail to court their huge bigot vote, and their main strategy is to constantly call republicans bigots, instead of focusing on anti-war; it's a strategy that has failed time and time again, though Democrats are sure to come up on top this time because Republicans just so disgusting (not just for their bigotry, but their failed economic policy, their heretical and unconstitutional "judeochristian" beliefs, and their slavish support for Israel) The "anti-semitic" bigot vote will just narrowly push these rabbinical warpigs out of office and the Democrats will have nothing to with it. The democrats will then betray the "bigots" who voted for them and heed the call of ever-tollerant father-Israel and continue the war.

    And it's obviously human on conception, it has 46 chromosomes, that said, taking a early human life is not necessarily wrong. Humans earn their souls through being born healthy in the image of god. Honor thy father and thy mother, and this time thy mother don'tst wanteth you.

    Alot of pro-choicers invariablly support not being selfish and keeping the child in the case it has down syndrome or another abnormality. "it's not retarted, you Ableist nazi"! Idiots.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:43 PM  

  • The religious right is more dangerous to our freedom than the Taliban, IMHO.

    By Blogger um nothing hehe, at 2:36 PM  

  • Actually, you may be right, BMJ. The Taliban is a faraway threat. It's connections to al Qaeda may still be there, but they're not nearly as firm. The great irony is that America's response to the war on terror has done more to damage liberty at home than anything the terrorists themselves have done. This is not to dismiss 9/11, or to suggest that future attacks won't occur, but look what the moralists have done, and still hope to do. I find that a profoundly un-American attack on America.

    Rocktastic: What "huge bigot vote" are you referring to? Just who are these Democratic "bigots"?

    As for a response to Aus Blog -- and I thank you for your comments even if I disagree -- I defer to Capt. Fogg.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 3:15 PM  

  • "I must admit shock over this concept of human vs. non-human in the pro-choice arena.
    Any conception, even one moment old, of homo-sapiens, is species specific. There are no arguments to consider beyond the reality of species. Once conceived, they're human and deserve preservation. Adequate prevention is the only alternative and should be required by law to those who refuse to parent.

    We owe this truth to each other as human beings. Religious and secular arguments have no place in judgement, but, the rule of law should prevail."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:19 PM  

  • Why the LESSER of two evils? Vote Cthulhu!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:29 PM  

  • People who are anti-war regardless if that means being an anti-judeochristian or anti-semitic.

    That's a democratic bigot.

    Instead of talking straignt on the issues, Democrats only point out that republicans are haters, not that they're pro-war and pro-war profits, but that they're haters; Not that republican economic policies have destroyed America, but that they're haters. That voting democrat is saving yourself from being a hater; but not from the War on Terra, not from shitty economic policy.

    And if the Democrats keep this up, they will barely win, might even lose in many districts. I HATE this war, and I HATE the people that led us to it; genocidal hatred.

    I will not say "but don't get me wrong; I'm not an anti-judeochristian anti-semite". I'm not going to apologize for being anti-war.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:03 PM  

  • I used to say - If there were no God ,there would be a need to invent him.

    Now there seems to be a need to un-invent him......

    By Blogger Unknown, at 9:52 PM  

  • Oh and Hi Bill, love to chat sometime.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 9:54 PM  

  • I have a question...can anyone here tell me if truth is relative or absolute?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:41 PM  

  • Is there a need to invent God, Aus Blog, or is He simply dead? One wonders if there is any longer a need for a such a god as God now that man has deified himself.

    Anonymous: Truth is absolutely relative. Or relative absolute. I forget which.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 12:18 AM  

  • Michael: Thank you for responding to my question. I'm at a loss of understanding by your response. Saying that truth is absolutely relative or relatively absolute is like saying that grass can be green and pink...That doesn't make sense. Perhaps you could elaborate?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:38 PM  

  • Be careful , sometimes the most obvious lie is the truth told unconvincingly.....

    By Blogger Unknown, at 7:48 PM  

  • Anonymous, I think Michael was joking. As a godless liberal nihilist, it's his job to make of mockery of things like truth, the family, and Wal-Mart.

    By Blogger ., at 8:02 PM  

  • aus blog: Could you please answer my original question then?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:21 PM  

  • Honestly, Anonymous, I don't know if truth is relative or absolute. I'm not quite the "godless liberal nihilist" that Heraclitus claims I am. Call me a skeptic. Which is to say, I'm skeptical of all claims to the absolute truth, including nihilism.

    I would say that there is truth that is absolute according to our perception of it. But, in this sense, can we trust our senses? Perhaps. Perhaps not. In a more metaphysical sense, I suppose there may be absolute truth, but I suspect that we may only ever come to know glimpses of it.

    But what do I know? Perhaps even what we perceive to be true is but a shadow of the truth. Perhaps not even that.

    Having studied Plato, I would say that what is important to me is the pursuit of truth rather than the assertion of a claim to truth that probably isn't true at all. Everything seems relative, but I am not content to settle for relativism. I look beyond it for something absolute. It is too easy to be either an absolutist or a relativist. The difficulty, it seems to me, lies in navigating what lies in between.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 12:23 AM  

  • Want to know how to find humanity-?

    True humanity can only be achieved, by concidering others/ caring about others, as much as, if not more than yourself.

    Until we do we are no more than an uncivilisation, with all the uncivilised things that we do...

    By Blogger Unknown, at 10:01 PM  

  • World estimations of the number of terminations carried out each year is somewhere between 20 and 88 million.

    3,500 per day / 1.3 million per year in America alone.

    50% of that 1.3 million claimed failed birth control was to blame.

    A further 48% had failed to use any birth control at all.

    And 2% had medical reasons.

    That means a stagering 98% may have been avoided had an effective birth control been used.


    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:27 PM  

  • If you think the point of conception is NOT when life begins, and all you have is a clump of cells and not a living human being.
    Then at least concider this -

    Soon after you were conceived you were no more than a clump of cells.
    This clump of cells was you at your earliest stage, you had plenty of growing to do but this clump of cells was you none the less. Think about it.
    Aren't you glad you were left unhindered to develope further.
    Safe inside your mother's womb until you were born.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 10:47 PM  

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