Rep. John Becker (R-65) claims to be Ohio’s most conservative legislator. He also claims to be ‘Pro-Life,’ Pro-Gun, and ‘Limited Government’, yet a recent anti-abortion bill he introduced shows Becker to not only not be pro-life or for limited government but also shows he isn’t very bright about basic biology. He’s made Ohio government even more of a laughing stock in the country and it passed a so-called ‘heartbeat’ bill.Continue reading
The good news is that the New York state legislature finally approved a law that will allow same sex marriage. The bad news is that in order for this great thing to happen, changes in the law will allow religious sects AND the non-church businesses they operate to discriminate against gays without any legal repercussions. In the zeal to get these new rights for the LGBT community, did proponents give away the farm?
Ralph Reed former head of the right wing Christian Coalition, which continually violated federal election and tax laws during his leadership, is back with a new organization trying to link the religious right and the Republican party. The group called “Faith and Freedom Coalition” is holding a conference this weekend in Washington DC. This shows once again that religious right criminals never have to pay for their crimes.
I think if the new Congress holds hearings on the ‘Radicalization’ Of American Muslims then they also need to include the radicalization of so-called Patriots like Jim David Adkisson, Byron Williams, Scott Roeder, and Richard Poplawski among others.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is planning to hold hearings on the “radicalization” of American Muslims when he takes over the chair of the Homeland Security Committee next year, the New York Times reports.
King, who denies being anti-Muslim, has nonetheless repeatedly cast suspicion on American Muslims as a whole since the 2001 terrorist attacks. He has helped mainstream the idea that 80 percent of mosques in America are led by radical clerics. The statistic has been cited over and over by those who believe American Muslims are raging a “stealth jihad.” He has called on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, saying Holder isn’t sufficiently aware that “our enemy today is radical Islam.”
I think we shouldn’t limit the hearings just to Muslim extremists but we should include all home grown radicals who promote or act out violence to further their causes. As Paul Krugman wrote in 2009:
Back in April, there was a huge fuss over an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security warning that current conditions resemble those in the early 1990s — a time marked by an upsurge of right-wing extremism that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Conservatives were outraged. The chairman of the Republican National Committee denounced the report as an attempt to “segment out conservatives in this country who have a different philosophy or view from this administration” and label them as terrorists.
But with the murder of Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion fanatic, closely followed by a shooting by a white supremacist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the analysis looks prescient.
What will the consequences be? Nobody knows, of course, although the analysts at Homeland Security fretted that things may turn out even worse than in the 1990s — that thanks, in part, to the election of an African-American president, “the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years.”
And that’s a threat to take seriously. Yes, the worst terrorist attack in our history was perpetrated by a foreign conspiracy. But the second worst, the Oklahoma City bombing, was perpetrated by an all-American lunatic. Politicians and media organizations wind up such people at their, and our, peril.
For some odd reason the media has decided to focus on a small fringe of morons who get their “news” and “information” from FOX “News” or conservative talk radio. One of the idiotic messages the moron club is passing around is that all Muslims are terrorists looking to take over America and force Sharia law on all of us. These geniuses have taken to protesting the building of new Mosques. These people need a civics refresher.
“As a mother and a grandmother, I worry,” Ms. Serafin said. “I learned that in 20 years with the rate of the birth population, we will be overtaken by Islam, and their goal is to get people in Congress and the Supreme Court to see that Shariah is implemented. My children and grandchildren will have to live under that.”
“I do believe everybody has a right to freedom of religion,” she said. “But Islam is not about a religion. It’s a political government, and it’s 100 percent against our Constitution.”
Banning mosques is a stupid idea that doesn’t address the made up issue they have. Banning anything just pushes it underground. China banned Christian churches for years but it never got rid of Christianity. People still meet in secret even though China does allow some public Christian churches. If one is worried about terrorism and you believe they all hook up at mosques then I would want them in the open so they can be checked out if need be.
Banning mosques is nothing but symbolism like banning a church. It wouldn’t prevent youth from being radicalized. It is just a cheap and ignorant way to express your jingoism.
As pointed out in the article:
Radicalization of alienated Muslim youths is a real threat, Mr. Bagby said. “But the youth we worry about,” he said, “are not the youth that come to the mosque.”
Besides none of the geniuses advocating the idea and protests have said what would be done with all the mosques already established such as in the Pentagon. There was one at the recent Boy Scout Jamboree. The BSA – the paragon of right wing Christian fundamentalism had a mosque!
The fact is we have the 1st Amendment that has and would prevent any strict religious law from becoming public law. The religious right is concerned probably because that has been their agenda for decades – forcing biblical law on all of us.
Jewish law and some Catholic laws are administered in this country for those who hold those beliefs. Typical use is in marriage rules since the civil act of marriage – managed by the state – is separate from the religious act of marriage.
Another example is the Amish. They use public roads yet the only requirement is to use a slow moving sign on their buggies. The courts ruled that the secular purpose of the sign trumped the Amish religious beliefs against garish colors on their buggies.
Under traditional use Muslims could use some of their Sharia law in their communities as long as those laws don’t conflict with the Constitution or current public laws.
It just ticks me off that the mainstream media have blown this issue up and still have not reported the truth about the complaints.
Some years ago in an e-mail list about Humanism, I made the argument that religion indoctrinates children to carry on the faith to the next generation. At that time, some on the list took me to task for using the word “indoctrinate” as if the parents and religious leaders were doing something criminal. I think religious training is child abuse just like when parents try to maintain that Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny are real. The recent documentary “Jesus Camp” proves my point if in a more hyper way.
Jesus Camp is a documentary about the “Kids On Fire School of Ministry,” a charismatic Christian summer camp located just outside Devils Lake, North Dakota and run by Becky Fischer and her ministry, Kids in Ministry International. The camp was started in 2001. The film focuses on three children who attended the camp in the summer of 2005—Levi, Rachael, and Tory (Victoria). The film cuts between footage of the camp and a children’s prayer conference held just prior to the camp at Christ Triumphant Church, a large charismatic church in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City.
All three children are very devout Christians. Levi, who has ambitions of being a pastor, has already preached several sermons at his father’s church, Rock of Ages Church in St. Robert, Missouri. He is home schooled (as are many of the campers), and learns physical science from a book that reconciles young-earth creationism with “scientific” principles. He is also taught that global warming is a fictional political speculation, and that the earth’s temperature has only risen by 0.6 °F. Levi preaches a sermon at the camp in which he declares that his generation is key to Jesus’s return. Rachael, who also attends Levi’s church (her father is assistant pastor), is seen praying over a bowling ball during a game early in the film, and frequently passes Christian tracts (including some by Jack Chick) to people she meets. She does not think highly of non-charismatic churches (or “dead churches,” as she calls them), feeling they aren’t “churches that God likes to go to.” Tory is a member of the children’s praise dance team at Christ Triumphant Church. She frequently dances to Christian heavy metal music, and feels uncomfortable about “dancing for the flesh.” She also does not think highly of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
One of the points made during a later portion of the film is that Fischer admits the need to “teach” the children since “our enemies teach theirs”.
I also had a good chuckle when the mother of one of the kids in the film says to the child “See how science doesn’t prove anything?”
I said, “Really?”
The main issue with the adults in the film was equating their politics and faith. Getting children to cry out to Jesus to end abortion without going into the details of the debate is just wrong in my view.
The problem with this indoctrination is that it’s indoctrination. You can tell children anything and they will automatically believe you and as pointed out in the film by their teens those teachings will stay with them for the rest of their lives. That’s why some people still think Evolution is only a view point and not a scientific fact.
Then when they do find out not every thing they were told in their youth was true – they can become angry or rebellious.
Parents should be able to educate their children how they wish but not when that teaching makes them stupid or makes them a later burden on society. Don’t take sides. Give the children all the info out there and let them decide what they want when they get old enough to make those decisions.
If my kids come to me and ask me about religion, I’m not going to tell them they will die if they find out or they aren’t good kids if they are religious.