Posts Tagged God
Detroit, the Billionaire’s Playground
By MARK BINELLI
Published: February 7, 2013
WITH the fourth anniversary of the Obama administration’s auto bailout approaching, the Detroit comeback narrative has settled into accepted history. Just last week, Chrysler, once the wobbliest of the Big Three, announced a ninefold increase in profits since 2011. In its Sunday Super Bowl ad, the company exuded such confidence, it no longer felt the need to defensively celebrate Rust Belt grittiness with the help of Eminem or Clint Eastwood, going instead with a syrupy paean to the Farm Belt called “God Made a Farmer.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if God also made second-tier assembly line workers starting at 14 bucks an hour, but no matter. Detroit was back! Unless, of course, by “Detroit” you meant the actual city rather than the auto industry, in which case, well, the picture becomes a bit more complicated. Battered for decades by the same problems — a steady loss of people and jobs, a soaring murder rate, a wholesale erosion of its tax base — the city now faces the prospect of running out of cash as soon as the end of the month, which would mean the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history.
Three recent proposals on ways to patch holes in Detroit’s budget illustrate just how desperate things have become.
The first, and by far the most serious, came from Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan, who offered to lease Belle Isle, a city-owned island park, around 985 acres, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1883. Under the plan, in the works since last summer, the island would have become a state park with an entry fee, thus covering the annual $6 million in maintenance and operations costs — funds sorely needed for the beloved landmark, which in recent years has fallen into disrepair. When the Detroit City Council president, Charles Pugh, insisted that “Belle Isle is not about to sink into the Detroit River if we don’t approve the lease,” he was incorrect. And I mean literally: the city has not had the money to perform, in the words of The Detroit Free Press, the maintenance needed to keep the park “from sinking into the Detroit River.”
Still, the council, under pressure from a vocal minority suspicious of “outsiders” looting Detroit’s few remaining assets, postponed a long-planned vote on the Belle Isle proposal, prompting Governor Snyder to rescind his offer. Soon after, Mayor Dave Bing, who had supported the governor’s plan, announced that he would be forced to close 51 other parks in order to keep Belle Isle, as it were, afloat. That means, according to another Free Press article, that “Detroit, a city with 700,000 residents, will have only 57 of its 300-plus parks open starting this spring.”
Belle Isle was recently at the center of a different moneymaking scheme. A group of wealthy libertarians suggested that private investors buy the island from the city for the nice, round, Dr. Evil-ish sum of $1 billion and transform it into an independent, self-governing territory. With the price for citizenship set at $300,000, the Commonwealth of Belle Isle would exist as a sort of free-market paradise; within 30 years, the group’s Web site predicted, the island would be known as the “ ‘Midwest Tiger,’ rivaling Singapore as an economic miracle.” One can order from that Web site a novella about this future Belle Isle, which describes the commonwealth’s low taxes, minimal government, even its own currency (called — seriously — “the Rand”).
The book — a preview of its opening chapter has the hero landing on the rooftop helipad of the commonwealth’s 57-story Four Seasons hotel — makes the entire scheme very easy to mock as Objectivist fan fiction. But it’s not entirely a joke: private foundations and deep-pocketed members of the local business elite exercise an outsize influence in a city as broke as Detroit, providing financing for everything from a much-needed light-rail line to the ambitious Detroit Future City plan, which would entirely remap the city.
People like Dan Gilbert, the owner of Quicken Loans and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Mike Ilitch, a founder of Little Caesars pizza, have been snatching up shuttered skyscrapers and prewar office buildings — since December Mr. Gilbert has bought at least five buildings and, reputedly, an entire downtown city block — as if they’re Monopoly properties.
The third revenue-generating idea, in fact, came via Mr. Gilbert’s Twitter feed. Why not, he mused, build a “world-class Epcot-like car attraction” in downtown Detroit? He bristled at indecorous comparisons to AutoWorld, Flint’s failed 1980s attempt at just such an automobile theme park, made infamous in the documentary “Roger & Me.”
Detroiters who are worried about ceding local power to Michigan’s Republican governor shouldn’t forget the ways in which power has already been ceded to an unelected oligarchy, whose members might, no matter how ostensibly well intentioned, possess questionable ideas about urban renewal.
All three of these tragicomic attempts to stanch the bleeding highlight the obvious: Detroit needs money. While the salvation of the auto companies remains a signature achievement of President Obama’s first term, his inability to deal with the entrenched problems of cities like Detroit remains an enormous failure. When New York teetered on the brink of bankruptcy in the 1970s, it was famously told, in the headline of The Daily News, to “Drop Dead.” But then President Gerald R. Ford extended the city $2.3 billion in federal loans. That’s 1975 billions! An impossible sum to imagine in our current age of austerity.
Here’s hoping the libertarian billionaires turn out to be benign sovereigns.
- Mayor to speak about Belle Isle Friday (wxyz.com)
- Is Belle Isle on Council agenda today? (wxyz.com)
- Detroit Real Estate Tycoon Wants To Turn Island Into A Utopia For Rich People (chicagoist.com)
- Stubborn Detroit leaders dim Belle Isle’s brilliance (toledoblade.com)
- Detroit Councilman Threatened Over Belle Isle Proposal (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- Belle Isle Lease Debate Gets Wild, Raucous (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- The Blame Game: Detroit edition – Who’s really at fault for the loss of the state lease of Belle Isle? The mayor, the council, or the citizens? (michiganjournal.org)
- Developer Offers Plan to Buy Belle Isle for $1 Billion, Secede from Michigan (cryptogon.com)
- 50 Detroit Parks, Plus Pools To Close Amid Budget Struggle (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- Mayor to address impact on Detroit after failed Belle Isle deal (clickondetroit.com)
As America Mourned a Shooting Tragedy, Cynical Christian Right Leaders Tried to Cash in by Blaming Atheism | Alternet
As America Mourned a Shooting Tragedy, Cynical Christian Right Leaders Tried to Cash in by Blaming Atheism
What kind of Christianity is that?
December 27, 2012
All that was needed to make the national tragedy of the killing of 20 children and 6 adults into an anti-God kick in Jesus’ teeth fest was for the usual suspects who hate Jesus to step up to defame His Name again. Of course I’m talking about the “Christian” leaders who can be counted on to drag the name of Christ through the mud at every profitable fundraising importunity. Christian leaders say that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was the result of our national falling away from fundamentalist Protestant gullibility.
The idiots — religious village idiots that is — are at it again. I thought Dobson was dead but I guess not. He’s just retired. He’s still alive enough to act like the zombie-for-Jesus’-younger-dumber-brother he is.(I went on his show 3 times back in the day when I too was part of the religious idiots club.) Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association hate host talk-show host, and Franklin-sell-my-soul-to-the-Mormos-because -I-hate-Obama-so-much-Graham (of course), the president and CEO of the tax-exempt Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was not to be outdone.
Dobson commented while speaking to listeners of his Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk program: “I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist… And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the scripture and on God almighty and I think he has allowed [this Newtown massacre] judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on.”
Bryan Fischer of the American family Association said the victims at Sandy Hook had lost God’s protection because prayer has been prohibited from schools. “The question is going to come up, where was God?,” Fischer said. “I thought God cared about the little children. God protects the little children. Where was God when all this went down. Here’s the bottom line, God is not going to go where he is not wanted… Now we have spent since 1962 — we’re 50 years into this now–we have spent 50 years telling God to get lost, telling God we do not want you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you in our schools, we do not want to pray to your before football games, we don’t want to pray to you at graduations, we don’t want anybody talking about you in a graduation speech… In 1962 we kicked prayer out of the schools. In 1963 we kicked God’s word out of ours schools. In 1980 we kicked the Ten Commandments out of our schools. We’ve kicked God out of our public school system. And I think God would say to us, ‘Hey, I’ll be glad to protect your children, but you’ve got to invite me back into your world first. I’m not going to go where I’m not wanted. I am a gentlemen.”
Franklin Graham wrote a “response” to the Newtown Massacre and did not mention the word gun.
Graham said more or less blamed the mdia and president Obama in a round about way: “’The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.’ He continued: “In fact, the Bible gives clear testimony to just how evil the human race became. ‘The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord ‘was grieved in His heart’ (Gen. 6:5-6).”Where do we go from here? We might start by looking at what we watch and listen to.” Graham — who has called President Obama a Muslim and not Christian at times — then took a cheap shot saying: “For example, South Korean rapper sensation Psy, who has gained worldwide acclaim by singing that Americans should be killed ‘slowly and painfully,’ including, ‘daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers’ was featured last weekend at ‘Christmas in Washington,’ a charity concert attended by President Obama. Parents and children are feeding on entertainment that portrays violence whether through lewd television programs, violent movies, offensive music, vulgar video games and anything- goes Internet gaming sites.”
Then Old Paths Baptist Church Pastor Sam Morris (of Tennessee) said: “Why do you still send your kids to the governmental schools?” the pastor asked the congregation. “What’s behind this shooting that we saw on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Connecticut and the other one’s like it? What’s going on. Well, number one, deception… I got news for you, when you kicked God out of schools, you’re going to be judged for that. He added: “They think homeschoolers are a bunch of crazies, man. But I’m going to tell you something, I’ve never seen a police officer or a medal detector at a home school. Never. Amen. Now, there’s plenty of guns at my home school. Amen. I guarantee you we’re not going to have a mass shooting at any of the schools that are represented in this building today. I guarantee you, if there is a shooting, it won’t last very long. Amen. I guarantee you there’s at least six or seven guns in this place right now. Amen.“So, here you are, you’re an animal and you’re a god! So, what are we going to teach you about in school? Well, we can teach you about sex, we can teach you how to rebel to you parents, we can teach you how to be a homo!”
Who hates Jesus? It isn’t the so-called new atheists like Richard Dawkins. It’s the Christian leaders bent on taking Christianity down with them into their private hell of stupidity. With friends like these Jesus needs no enemies. The re-crucifixion of Jesus by his “followers” continues.
- As America Mourned a Shooting Tragedy, Cynical Christian Right Leaders Tried to Cash in by Blaming Atheism (charlog.me)
- As America Mourned a Shooting Tragedy, Cynical Christian Right Leaders Tried to Cash in by Blaming Atheism (alternet.org)
- Christian right blames atheists for Sandy Hook shootings (salon.com)
- Men of God Blame Lanza’s Invisible Atheism, Crow About Being Action Movie Heroes (rawstory.com)
- Six Questions for Christians Following the Newtown Massacre (patheos.com)
- James Dobson and Co Blame Shooting on Gays and Lack of God (advocate.com)
- Conservative icon James Dobson links Newtown shooting to same sex marriage (rawstory.com)
- Speaking from the Heart about Newtown (allenkleinedeters.wordpress.com)
- 6 Terrible Things Gays Blamed For Causing In 2012 (huffingtonpost.com)
- In the Wake of Sandy Hook Tragedy, Political Posturing by Religious Right Unhelpful (charlieray45.wordpress.com)
Free Wood Post – Glenn Beck: Doomsday is Here – The Only Thing Left We Can Do Is Crawl Back Under Our Rocks
Glenn Beck: Doomsday is Here – The Only Thing Left We Can Do Is Crawl Back Under Our Rocks
November 9, 2012
By Sarah Wood
It seems Glenn Beck has even more advice for his listeners. The day after the election is was in apparent shock and disbelief that President Obama won reelection. He told his viewers and listeners to buy farmland, move to “red” counties, and load up on guns and ammunition.
On today’s show he’s taken it a step further. He told his listeners not to take any chances whatsoever, and return to their safety zone under the rocks they crawled out from underneath to cast their ballots on Nov. 6th.
”Okay, folks – after a lot of thought and thorough examination of the situation at hand, I don’t think we can inhabit the same air space as those who seek to stifle our existence. I know a lot of you crawled out from underneath the rocks you were living under to cast your ballot for Mitt Romney to save the nation, but it’s just too dangerous. It’s just to… I don’t even know how to say this without crying… it’s just too – our nation is too far gone. At this point I don’t even think any amount of guns or ammunition or homeschooling or moving to uninhabited lands will protect us from those who seek to “enlighten” us. We need to go further. We need to fully shelter ourselves once again from this scary reality we live in. Please… please, I beg you… Doomsday is here – the only thing left we can do is crawl back under our rocks. I’ll be broadcasting from underneath mine from here on out. Take your children – if you need food, grow it. We can’t be among those who work together any longer. May peace and God be with you.”
Well, this certainly could explain Beck and his viewers world view of things. They don’t seem to know or acknowledge more than what is directly in front of their nose. They seem to be aloof to the fact that there is an entire world out there, and people generally survive better when they work together, compromise, and have a sense of community.
On the other hand, this may quiet things down for a bit. Perhaps if all the under rock dwellers stay there for a while realistic solutions may actually have a chance at happening.
- Glenn Beck on Lying, The Presidency and Benghazi (economicnoise.com)
- Glenn Beck Totally Loses It: ‘Buy Farmland & Guns’ (VIDEO) (addictinginfo.org)
- Watch Glenn Beck’s Measured Reaction To Obama’s Victory, Then Go Buy Farmland and Guns (blogs.dallasobserver.com)
- Romney ‘quietly courted’ Glenn Beck (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- The 6 Best Overreactions To Obama’s Win | ThinkProgress (mbcalyn.com)
- Beck on Benghazi (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Glenn Beck visits Romney rally (politico.com)
- Glenn Beck, Denim Snob: Inside the Design Process for His New Jeans Line (nymag.com)
- Glenn Beck thinks the Goonswarm is a CIA front (massively.joystiq.com)
- Mormon Nutcase Glenn Beck On Romney Loss | “God Really Sucks” (theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com)
King of Saudi Arabia Relates to Romney Supporters, Invites Them to Become Citizens
November 10, 2012
Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the king of the monarchical country Saudi Arabia, invited supporters of Mitt Romney to his country Friday morning after he noticed that they have very similar beliefs to his.
“Americans who favored the candidate Mitt Romney are angry that Barack Obama was elected again and many are looking to move to another country because they don’t believe that Obama adheres to their values. I say to those people, you are welcome in Saudi Arabia, where I believe you are better suited. Let me show you that I understand and respect your values. I agree that homosexuality is immoral; therefore, gay marriage is illegal here, and those who sodomize are killed. I agree that contraception is immoral; therefore, it is illegal here, and those who use it will be imprisoned. I agree that sex before marriage is immoral; therefore, it is illegal here, and unmarried citizens caught fornicating get the whip. I agree that women are incapable of making their own choices; therefore, we tell them what to wear, what to learn, and who to marry.”
Aziz also noted that he and Romney supporters believe that religion is an essential component of government. He referred to monarchy, Saudi Arabia’s form of government, and said, “In my country, God chooses our leaders, not the people. As you know, that is the way it should be.”
He also stated that the Qur’an acts as the country’s governing text and related that to Romney supporters by citing that they often use Bible passages to support certain laws in the United States. He acknowledged that it may be difficult to convince the supporters to convert to Islam (Muslim status is required for citizenship), but addressed the issue by saying that Islam is “basically the same religion as yours but with different names for God and his prophet.”
At the end of his speech, Aziz added that Romney supporters would likely find some Saudi Arabian policies too liberal. For example, the country has a universal health care system, and abortion is not completely illegal; it is permitted in situations where the woman’s health is at risk.
Still, Aziz extended a hand to Romney supporters, stating, “Although we won’t agree on everything, as no two people ever will, most of our beliefs are the same. I hereby invite you to join our country, where you will surely be most content. I think we would get along very well; you would all fit in just fine here.”
- Obama has plans announced for sale of planes to Saudi Arabia (waronterrornews.typepad.com)
- Ethiopia woman tells of sex slavery in Saudi Arabia (bikyamasr.com)
- Saudi Arabia’s women allowed to join country’s main advisory body but must be separated from men by a screen (independent.co.uk)
- PM returns home after visit to Saudi Arabia (nation.com.pk)
- COUNTER-TERRORISM: Saudi Arabia Pushes Pakistan (strategypage.com)
- Turkey approves military deal with Qatar, Saudi Arabia amid Syrian conflict (en.trend.az)
- Saudi Arabia says not aware of Barclays probe (uk.reuters.com)
- Saudi Arabia nets $16.5b from pilgrims (nation.com.pk)
- Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah to undergo back operation (foxnews.com)
- Saudi Arabia plans to buy U.S. military transport planes (panarmenian.net)
GOP: “God Must be Dead”
November 9, 2012
By S. McConnell
In the wake of watershed losses on Election Day, many of the more Evangelical members of the Republican Party have been left wondering what kind of God could have allowed President Barack Obama to be re-elected for a second term. Of those, some have decided He never would have let that happen, under any circumstances. It therefore stands to reason, they’ve concluded, that God must be dead.
“It pains me to say this– it’s hard to even think it,” said Pastor Michael Shane of Kentucky. “But for weeks I have been asking myself, ‘Is it possible that it is part of God’s plan for Obama to be re-elected?’ And ultimately the answer is, Nope. Not possible.”
He continued, “So once Obama won the electoral college, it was confirmed– someone must have gotten to God first and made it so He couldn’t keep Mitt Romney safe and carry him forward to a divine victory.”
Shane added, “Frankly, my money is on Nancy Pelosi.”
Other theologians have questioned whether God might have given Barack Obama a second term as a way to test good Christians; by putting them through deep suffering in order to determine the strength of their loyalty.
“I did wonder about that, at first,” said conservative and Christian Fundamentalist voter Ellen Kent of Decatur, GA.
“God does have a history of subjecting his most dedicated followers to difficult trials and tribulations to ensure that their devotion is pure. So at first I wanted to think that we were just being put through four more years of a blasphemous, satanic president who works to feed the poor and heal the sick as a test of our Christian faith,” she said.
“But then I realized that the amount of suffering that Obama’s second term will inflict on all of us is beyond the scope of anything that Mankind has ever had to endure since the beginning of time,” she added. “So I really don’t think this was God’s plan. He is simply not that cruel. There’s got to be another explanation– so the only answer is that sadly, there must no longer be a God.”
Kent noted that she was ultimately grateful for the fact that God was dead, because it meant He wouldn’t have to see the terrible path this country is on anymore.
“If Jesus were here today, I believe he would weep mightily for how lost we Real Americans are,” she said.
- Join me as I “shine a light” on Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky (goodolewoody.wordpress.com)
- McConnell warns Obama on taxes (politico.com)
- McConnell (kind of) promises to work with Obama (tv.msnbc.com)
- Ashley Judd doesn’t rule out run for U.S. Senate (state-journal.com)
- Time For Mitch McConnell to Get a New Hobby (pensitoreview.com)
- McCONNELL STATEMENT ON THE RE-ELECTION OF PRESIDENT OBAMA (mcconnell.senate.gov)
- Boehner and McConnell Dissed Obama on Election Night – Refused Phone Calls from the President, Claiming They Were Asleep (pensitoreview.com)
- How about ASHLEY JUDD for future Senator in 2014? (bonjupatten.wordpress.com)
- Obama, Boehner Open to Compromise With Firm Stance (bloomberg.com)
- Ashley Judd, future senator? (news.yahoo.com)
Exit Polls Show Republicans Hurt By Things That Make Them Look Like Dickheads
November 9, 2012
By Eric Hetvile
2012 Presidential exit polls across the United States convincingly show that the country overwhelmingly rejected the Republican party in large part due to their vocal positions which make them look like dickheads.
From unbending positions on abortions for rape and incest, to forced trans-vaginal sonograms, generally insensitive talk about rape, blatant denial of rights for gay citizens, denigration of the poor and needy, complete disregard for science, marginalization of women, thinly veiled racist talk, and their constant stream of lies about pretty much everything – Americans cited these as a pretty good reasons to vote against Republicans.
“Yeah, I kind of don’t like when people are dickheads. I don’t really like dickheads representing me. I like people who are not dickheads,” said Richard Crane, N.M.
“These have usually been good issues for us. People used to like this crazy shit we’d say, ” said Todd Akin. “I mean, ‘legitimate rape’ was my nickname in college, for God’s sake. What has gotten into people?”
“Trans-vaginal sonograms? I thought this was gold! I used to bring them on dates” added a Virginia Republican operative who chose to remain anonymous.
“Rapes by God’s will has pretty much been my go-to thing, ” interjected Richard Mourdock. “People are very sensitive all of a sudden. I think this must have started since we started letting women vote. Boy, that was a mistake.”
This reporter abruptly halted the interviews for the Republicans’ own good.
- Exit Polls Show Republicans Hurt By Things That Make Them Look Like D!ckheads (btco.newsvine.com)
- Obama garners 69 percent of Jewish vote in CNN exit poll (jta.org)
- Ohio exit poll, in-depth analysis (halfsigma.com)
- Early exit polls show Obama-friendly electorate in Ohio (washingtonpost.com)
- Remember: John Kerry Easily Won the Exit Polls In 2004, Leading to the “Seven Hour Presidency” (minx.cc)
- Brownback scores in exit polling (midwestdemocracy.com)
- 2012 Exit Polls: How the Faithful Voted – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- Exit polls: Electorate slightly more Republican than 2008, preliminary results show – @postpolls (washingtonpost.com)
- Why Republicans’ position on immigration is a political loser – in 1 chart (washingtonpost.com)
- Most say hike taxes, exit polls say (politico.com)
I Misspoke—What I Meant To Say Is ‘I Am Dumb As Dog Shit And I Am A Terrible Human Being’ | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
I Misspoke—What I Meant To Say Is ‘I Am Dumb As Dog Shit And I Am A Terrible Human Being’
As a politician, I often find myself in situations where, unfortunately, I express a certain thought or idea poorly, or find my words taken out of context. Indeed, that is what happened this weekend. Upon reviewing the impromptu remarks I made Sunday afternoon, I can now see that I used the wrong words in the wrong way. I would now like to set the record straight with the American people and clear up some confusion about what it was I intended to convey.
You see, what I said was, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” But what I meant to say was, “I am a worthless, moronic sack of shit and an utterly irredeemable human being who needs to shut up and go away forever.”
It is clear to me now that I did not choose my words with care and did not get across the point I was trying to convey. In hindsight, I guess instead of using the words “legitimate rape,” I should have used the words “I am an unforgivable, unrepentant, and unconscionable subhuman dickhead.” Or better yet, “I am an evil, fucked-up man who should never have been elected to the United States Congress, and anyone who would vote for me is probably a pretty big fucking dumbshit, too.” See how much more sense that makes? It’s amazing how a few key word changes can totally alter the meaning of a statement.
Because, of course, it’s all about context. And yes, when you take what I said out of context, I can see how it might sound like I’m denying that women can be impregnated via rape. This is, I assure you, not what I was trying to express at all. Such is the age we live in that one little sentence excerpted in a news report can come back to haunt a person in a pretty big hurry. But if you actually go back and look at the remarks closely, you’ll see that what I was actually trying to convey in my statement was that
(1) I am a big fucking idiot,
(2) I am a nauseating slug of a human being who doesn’t deserve to live, and
(3) I am essentially everything that’s wrong with this country and with humanity in general.
Honestly, that’s all I was trying to get across there. It was a simple misunderstanding, really.
It’s funny, because, in my head, I remember thinking very vividly, “I, Rep. Todd Akin, am a bigoted jackass who probably should not be alive, let alone in political office. People need to know what a terrible person I am so they will then remember to punch me in the face anytime they get the chance.” But when I opened my mouth and tried to articulate that thought, somehow I blurted out the thing about rape instead of just saying, in plain English, that I am awful, just purely and incontrovertibly awful.
Frankly, it’s hard not to make a mistake from time to time when you’re in the public eye as much as I am. I am constantly having to speak my mind in a public forum, and sometimes, when all I’m trying to say is something simple and inarguable, like, “Sweet Jesus, I am the worst person who has ever lived,” I wind up saying something completely different. It’s frustrating, really. Because I have a lot of very pertinent and very well-thought out things to say about how somebody should just smack me in the head with a goddamned cricket bat because of how brainless and insensitive I am, but instead my words just come out all jumbled.
I guess I just have a habit of putting my foot in my mouth! And for being the very worst that Western Civilization has to offer!
So let me take this opportunity to be very specific about what I meant Sunday, which was this: I am not a competent or respectable politician; I am, essentially, a subhuman monster of a prick, a prick as profoundly insensitive as he is monumentally unintelligent in every respect; somebody should apply dozens of layers of duct tape to my mouth every morning so that words are not able to exit my large, dumb, misogynist, imbecilic mouth at any point; I make the planet worse; I don’t know jack shit about any of the topics I spoke about in that interview, or about any topics at all, really; I should apologize every day to the women of the world, but doing so would most likely be an exercise in futility given my rock-bottom intellect and my complete and utter lack of human decency; I am, in no uncertain terms, not even worth the time it took you to read this.
That’s what I meant to say. Sorry for the confusion.
- The Republican Party Enables Todd Akin To Lead the Attack on Women! (mbcalyn.com)
- What the Fuck Is Up with Republicans and Rape? (slog.thestranger.com)
- Every woman in America should read this. Every woman who cares about America should read this. Everyone should show it to their friends, and neighbours. (wellthisiswhatithink.wordpress.com)
- “His Position Is Our Position”: Why Is Mitt Romney Outraged At Todd Akin And Not At Paul Ryan? (mbcalyn.com)
- Tina Fey Rips Todd Akin, ‘Grey Faced Men with $2 Haircuts’ Telling Women What Rape Is: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Todd Akin: Conservative champion (wnd.com)
- Wisconsin Republican: ‘Some Girls Rape Easy’ (newser.com)
- Bill Maher: My New Rule for Todd Akin and the Republican Party (huffingtonpost.com)
- Cenk Uygur: Rape Panels (huffingtonpost.com)
- What the men of the GOP don’t get about rape and abortion (kansascity.com)
God Distances Self From Christian Right
OCTOBER 24, 2012
THE HEAVENS—Responding to inflammatory remarks made by Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock during a debate Tuesday night, Our Lord God the Almighty Father sought today to distance Himself from both Mourdock and the entire right-wing fundamentalist Christian movement, sources confirmed.
“I want to make one thing absolutely clear: Mr. Mourdock’s comments from last night in no way reflect my position on this or any other issue,” said the Divine Creator, speaking at a press conference this afternoon to address Mourdock’s remarks that rape-induced pregnancies were God’s intent. “And furthermore, I would like to take this opportunity to say definitively that I, God, do not officially sanction or condone the words or actions of anyone involved in the fanatical, conservative Christian faction that Mr. Mourdock represents.”
“Many people hear my name in connection with the Christian Right and start to assume we are aligned in some capacity, and I’m here to say, for the record, that we are not,” God continued. “So let me just be clear: I don’t want women to get raped—not ever. I don’t think their resulting pregnancies are my divine will. And if a woman is raped, then she has the right to get an abortion, period. I do not agree with Mourdock. I do not agree with the Christian Right. End of story.”
Calling Mourdock’s comments “the last straw,” the Lord Our Maker explained that while in the past there have been a few areas where He and the religious Right have been in agreement, more often than not, in recent years, He and Christian conservatives have grown “actually quite far apart” on a wide range of issues.
God then went on to cite several incidents—ranging from the Westboro Baptist Church’s “God Hates Fags” campaign to Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s remark this year that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant—as examples of what He described as “an unmistakable and disturbing trend toward intolerance that I do not support.”
“What these people are saying betrays a worldview that is, frankly, completely different from my own, and it embarrases me to even hear my name mentioned alongside theirs,” God told reporters, emphatically. “For example, I’m not into capital punishment at all, or really killing in general, so I’m not sure where that whole talking point came from. On the same token, I don’t like guns very much, and I certainly wouldn’t say that everyone has a right to own guns—that’s absurd. Unlike Mr. Mourdock and many Christian Republicans, I agree with the overwhelming majority of climate scientists that global warming poses a major threat to the planet and must be addressed. I also believe stem cell research is very useful, and I think that if you’re gay, that’s fine by me.”
“Even on some economic issues we don’t quite see eye-to-eye,” continued the Eternal One, a self-described Keynesian who said He has “serious doubts” about the merits of trickle-down economics. “And, you know, a lot of this stuff is in the Ten Commandments, too, so I’m already on record as being not in agreement with a good majority of the Christian Right’s views. In fact, in the future, if people could just refrain from grouping us together in any way, I think that would be ideal.”
“That includes members of the Christian Right themselves—if they could stop talking about me entirely, that would be preferable,” God added. “In the end, probably best if we just completely went our separate ways here.”
At press time, God’s son, Jesus Christ, offered a countering view and confirmed He strongly believes pregnancies resulting from rape are, in fact, God’s gift.
- God Distances Self From Christian Right (theonion.com)
- God Officially Distances Self From Christian Right (skeptical-science.com)
- Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin Are Not the Same (usnews.com)
- Pregnancy after rape ‘something that God intended to happen’ (thestar.com)
- Christianity Today: It’s Disrespectful Not to Tell Rape Victims About the ‘Redeeming Power of God’ (patheos.com)
- Romney distances himself from Republican’s remarks on rape (blogs.mcclatchydc.com)
- Ind. GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock: Pregnancy from rape can be ‘something that God intended to happen’ – @washingtonpost (washingtonpost.com)
- Are Pregnancies Even from Rape a Gift from God? (christianitytoday.com)
- Mourdock apologizes for ‘misinterpretation’ of rape comments, Obama campaign pounces (washingtonpost.com)
- Mourdock speaks out on rape comments (wlfi.com)
Bill Maher to Right-Wing Christians: If You Do God’s Work, Why Are You Always Wrong?
“Is the problem that you can’t follow instructions, or is Jesus just dicking you around?” Maher asks.
On Friday’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Maher wondered why conservative Christians who claim to do God’s work always manage to screw up so badly. “If you’re doing God’s work and God is perfect, how come you’re always wrong?” he wonders. “Is the problem that you can’t follow instructions, or is Jesus just dicking you around?”
Maher revisits a 2008 letter sent out by Focus on the Family detailing the horrors that would befall the nation if Barack Obama won the Presidency. As Maher points out, not a single one of the group’s 34 dire predictions came to pass: school children still say the Pledge of Allegiance and the government has not seized everyone’s guns.
Maher admits that Focus in the Family is in the business of scaring “rubes” into giving them money, so the truth is not their highest priority. “But 0 for 34?” he asks in disbelief.
- Bill Maher to Right-Wing Christians: If You Do God’s Work, Why Are You Always Wrong? (alternet.org)
- Bill Maher Goes After Focus on the Family’s Disastrous ‘If Obama Becomes President’ Letter (patheos.com)
- Maher to conservative Christians: ‘Is Jesus just dicking you around?’ (rawstory.com)
- Bill Maher Proves Focus On The Family Wrong: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Bill Maher: If Focus On The Family Is Really Doing God’s Work, Why Are They Always Wrong? (mediaite.com)
- Ann Coulter Tries To Convince Bill Maher Racism Ended In 1964: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Bill Maher spars with Ann Coulter on ‘real racism’ (rawstory.com)
- Bill Maher Torches the Right For Being Completely Wrong About Obama (politicususa.com)
- Maher: ‘Is There No Penalty Anymore For Just Being Wrong?’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Chris Matthews tells Bill Maher panel: Mitt Romney is running a ‘racist’ campaign (rawstory.com)
Einstein Letter on Religion and God to Be Auctioned on eBay
Bidding to start at $3 million.
Wikimedia Commons/Rebecca J. Rosen
On January 3, 1954 — one year before his death — Albert Einstein wrote a letter to Eric B. Gutkind, whose book, Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt, Einstein had recently been reading. The handwritten letter, which is in German, has been kept in good condition over the last six decadeswill be auctioned off on eBay over the next two weeks. Bidding will begin at $3 million. (An image of the letter is available here.)
In the letter, Einstein offers some pointed and characteristically brief thoughts on God and religion. In a key passage, he writes:
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text.*
Despite the dramatic events in the world that he both lived through (e.g. the Holocaust) and directly brought about (e.g. the discovery of the general theory of relativity), Einstein was in many ways remarkably consistent in his feelings about God and religion, and the sentiments in this letter echo those that he had been formulating — not to mention promulgating — for decades.
The clearest of those here is Einstein’s critique of religion as not sophisticated enough to render the universe as Einstein understood it. This is something he said, or at least hinted at, many times, such as when he wrote to a U.S. Navy ensign that he considered a father-figure-like understanding of God to be a consequence of “childish analogies.” Religion, Einstein believed, made a caricature of God.
That’s not, however, because Einstein rejected the notion of God, but because he took the idea of God very seriously, elevating it above a religious conception to a mathematical one. To Einstein, the elegance of the physics guiding the universe were God’s handiwork, the mark not of a humanlike being that maintains control over the world, but of a divine beauty in nature’s laws. As Walter Issacson wrote in his biography, following a religious phase in childhood, Einstein retained “a profound reverence for the harmony and beauty of what he called the mind of God as it was expressed in the creation of the universe and its laws.”
Einstein’s God — deeply shaped by the ideas of Baruch Spinoza — was a “superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe,” he wrote. His religion followed from there. As Isaacson tells it:
One evening in Berlin, Einstein and his wife were at a dinner party when a guest expressed a belief in astrology. Einstein ridiculed the notion as pure superstition. Another guest stepped in and similarly disparaged religion. Belief in God, he insisted, was likewise a superstition.
At this point the host tried to silence him by invoking the fact that even Einstein harbored religious beliefs.
“It isn’t possible!” the skeptical guest said, turning to Einstein to ask if he was, in fact, religious.
“Yes, you can call it that,” Einstein replied calmly. “Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in fact, religious.”
In a 1930 essay, Einstein expressed this another way: “To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.”
Prayer would have little influence over such a God and have no role in Einstein’s personal religion. “Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and this holds for the actions of people,” he told a sixth-grade girl. “For this reason, a scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a supernatural Being.”
All of this squares with Einstein’s letter now on auction. The religion of the Bible was too provincial, too small, to contain the God Einstein revered. That God, the one he found in physics and who inspired his science, deserved more. But, nevertheless, Einstein didn’t believe that differing views on God should interfere with the development of understanding among men. Supernatural matters were abstract, disconnected from the exigencies of the 20th century. In closing his letter to Gutkind he wrote, “Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, i.e; in our evaluations of human behavior. What separates us are only intellectual ‘props’ and ‘rationalization’ in Freud’s language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.”
- Einstein Letter Critical of Religion To Be Auctioned On EBay (science.slashdot.org)
- Einstein Letter on God Up for Auction (msatheists.org)
- Einstein’s letter on God to be auctioned on eBay (todayonline.com)
- Einstein Letter Calling Biblical Stories ‘Pretty Childish’ to Be Auctioned on eBay (theatlantic.com)
- Einstein Letter Calling Biblical Stories ‘Pretty Childish’ to Be Auctioned on eBay (insideboxmag.com)
- Albert Einstein’s ‘God Letter’ To Be Auctioned On eBay With An Opening Bid Of $3 Million (PHOTO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Einstein Letter on Religion (thetruthwashere.wordpress.com)
- Albert Einstein’s ‘God Letter’ handwritten a year before his death to auction at eBay starting at$3M (bornrich.com)
- Einstein’s ‘God letter’ to be auctioned (msnbc.msn.com)
- Einstein letter on God to be auctioned on eBay (cnsnews.com)