It seems that I don't really need to go looking for things to write about. Other blogs that I go to provide a near inexhaustible source of solar corona level Burnin' Stoopit comments for me to work with.
This latest one is actually a series of comments made by a Mr. Anthony McCarthy over at Southern Beale's blog (and my rebuttals--some of them a bit sharpish).
"The secular government is quite a different thing and, I’d contend, the problem of it pandering to the greed of the powerful is derived, in part, from the suppression of the moral force that used to be provided by people who took what Jesus taught seriously."
Moi: The U.S. government does not now have, nor has it ever had a charter to be other than "secular". Your comment is either disingenuous or you have never read the U.S, Constitution.
McCarthy: "Here, in our recent successful marriage equality fight the large number of churches and clergy who supported equality were crucial in convincing people to vote for equality."
Since we don't know where, "here" is, there's really no way to check your claim. If it was in any red state then it's highly likely they were voting in opposition to their church's stance.
"I’ve seen the increasing secularization of society matched by an increasingly right wing, materialist, self-centered country."
Moi: You need new glasses. The movement of the Overton Window, ever further to the right, has been driven by neo-cons and fundamentalist religiowhackos of one stripe or another--working in concert.Your comment neglects the demonstrable fact that the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Scandanavia are all "secular": countries (despite the fact that several of them have official religions) and rightward is not the direction of their slow drift into hell.
Several countries come to mind when I think of "religious" gummints. Off the top of my head; Russia, Afghanistan and Uganda come to mind. Russia is being run by Putin who's getting very cozy with the Orthodox Church's hierarchy (he threw them a nice bone with the "Pussy Riot" trial and conviction). Afghanistan, it's lie West Virginia on steroids--and just a bit fundy. Uganda, from the madness of Idi Amin Dada to this:
Ugandans are being helped along, in their efforts to make being GAY a capital crime, by none other that Scott Lively, a former ReiKKKsminister of the Calfornia KKKlaven of the AmeriKKKanner Family Association AND current president of Abiding Truth Ministries, a lovely Neo-KKKristianist organization in California.
So, I think you need to spend a little more time studying and a little less time parroting NSK. (the Newnited States of KKKristianity) talking points.
I know that Southern Beale is a polite and refined person; I am neither where the subject of telling the truth is concerned. What you and your fellows posit as "GOD's will" is actually "GOD swill".
I don't generally go to the blogs of the commentors on other people's threads but in this case I wanted to check and see what Mr. McCarthy was putting up at his own place.
Well the first post I see has him equating the religious right with the materialist "left" (his scare quotes) . You may go there (http://zthoughtcriminal.blogspot.com/) and read it for yourself.
Now, I don't know Mr. Mcarthy, so I don't know if the referenced post is typical of his work, but it is a load of crap.
Equating the likes of the KKKristian ReiKKK (who are ministers without portfolio--but, boy, do they have BIGASS collection baskets--of the GOP these days) with the goofs on the fringe of the fringe of the left in the USA is either woefully naive or deliberately disingenuous. There is no equivalence in numbers or in their aims and goals. The uninformed/misinformed fringe lefties are, in general, NOT authortarian top-down gummint types. They are far more likely to be anarchists, eschewing government (foolishly) and chasing the pink unicorn rainbow of racial, ethnic and religious/non-religious equality. The vast majority of public "christian" figures in the U.S. are hawkers, shills and snake oil salesmen. They rally their sheeple against the democrats in the election booth and against the "other" from the pulpit. They don't dislike teh GAY or uppity women--they fucking HATE THEM because "those people" represent a threat to their hegemonic dreams.
As a result of continued correspondence over at Southern Beales' blog on this issue, I penned a response.
I have no problem, none whatsoever, with people having faith in whatever deity they wish to believe in.
I have an enormous problem with ANYONE who thinks that religion has been the thing that has been most uplifting element of human society. That is, quite simply, preposterous. I also consider this statement:
“The belief that you have to give up things you don’t want to, that you have to do things you don’t want to and you have a binding moral obligation to recognize the needs and rights of people you would either not like or be indifferent to requires a force that can’t be found in sufficient quantities to change behaviors outside of religion.”
to be an insult , implying that I or anyone else who is “secular” lacks an adequate level of morality to be a decent human being.
As you point out, in the south, it was the black churches who were those that acted on the issue of civil rights (my bad, I thought that was very self evident). It would be disingenuous to assert that those churches acted purely from a desire to be "good christians". The pastors of those churches and the willing members of their flocks were, and rightly so, motivated as much by their desire for equal treatment under the law and in society at large as they were by any "christian" impulse. Their commitment to the cause was, in many instances, informed and bolstered by their christian beliefs. It was also a fact that the churches in presenting a generally united front in the battle for civil rights were practicing a form of machine politics. When Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 he was doing so, largely, for personal reasons, including establishing his legacy as a stateman. There was also, of course, the undeniable fact that there was a large bloc of black voters who had been a “swing” constituency for some years; bringing them to the side of the democrats was also a factor in his using his skills as a former majority leader to help pass both the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.
Throughout the period from the 1830’s until at least 1965 many southern churches' religious leaders used their pulpits to agitate AGAINST equality for non-white U.S. citizens. Wallace, Maddox, Helms, Thurmond and hundreds of other prominent segregationists—all professed Christians—fought against the notion that black Americans were equal to whites.
At present, those same black christian churches are among the most resistant to the notion that teh GAY have an expectation of and deserve equal civil and legal rights with the rest of U.S. residents. I find that stance--and it is based, by them, on their “Christian” faith--hypocritical and deeply offensive.
I am friends with and related to many self-professed Christians. I view their actions and hear them speak and find them to be no better or worse than any of my atheist or agnostic friends. Otoh, I find the churches to which a number of them belong—the RCC, Baptist, Mormon and a number of fundamental evangelical congregations to be anything but honest, compassionate and inclusive.
If Mr. McCarthy wants to think that HE cannot function as a decent human being in society without being prompted/compelled to do so by his Christian faith, that would be his problem. I don’t need GOD or any supernatural agency in my life to make me do what’s right or to know the difference between right and wrong.
I don’t hate Christians. I despise organized religion, of every variety.
And, I have no time for KKKristianist apologia, regardless its source.