Taliban America

Those of us who want to rest snugly in the denial that our Country is immune from the religious madness such as the Taliban that is tearing apart other countries, are getting a double-dose of reality right now. Between the US Supreme Court and the Conference of Catholic Bishops, one can hardly ignore the rising tide of religious authoritarianism rising. Taliban America?

In a recent Supreme Court ruling on a case where a Lutheran Church was allowed to discriminate against handicapped employees, the Court ruled in effect that Secular Law cannot interfere with Ecclesiastical Prerogative. In other words, a Church can discriminate against any American on the basis of the separation of Church and State. Well, so much for the Constitution protecting us from Shari’a Law. I mean, if an Imam chooses to enforce the religious penalty for adultery and beheads a woman, what’s to stop them? Like the Citizens United decision, the SCOTUS has opened the door to one of the most destructive forces against our liberties. Permission to violate the law or Constitutionally protected rights because of religious beliefs is dangerously close to have no Constitutional rights at all, which brings us to another aspect of religious assaults on our liberties… the political interference of religions in our Country.  

The Catholic bishops are “outraged” that Catholic-sponsored health care institutions and insurances must be required to provide birth control as prescribed and are launching a political and media-driven campaign against the government forcing them to “violate their conscience”.  Let’s set aside the obvious contradiction of Catholic Bishops (who enabled and covered-up child sex abuse) invoking a conscience of any kind, and consider the issue for what it is: money. The vast majority of Catholic women have used birth control and the majority of Catholics support the mandate requiring providing birth control, and Catholic Institutions could easily avoid the mandate by refusing any tax monies. If conscience means that much to the bishops, why not perform acts of charity without relying on tax money to make a profit?  If their conscience comes into conflict with the concept of “equal under the law”, then do your own thing without our tax money. They want to be free to make money by collecting tax money, while being tax exempt. It seems odd that men whose conscience didn’t bother them a bit when children were being sexually abused, would be so outraged that they would have to provide equal treatment to all women, or, maybe not.

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8 Responses to Taliban America

  1. InYourFaceNewYorker says:

    One of the big problems that enables this sort of thing, as outlined in Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion and Sean Faircloth’s Attack of the Theocrats is that there is this assumption that religion is something to be respected, period. If you challenge people’s beliefs, even in a diplomatic way, you are seen as intolerant. That needs to change. Now.

    People need to stop believing in something just because it makes them feel good and need to start rationally evaluating evidence. No, I don’t mean forcing them to stop believing, but to start calling them on their silliness and strongly encourage them to think rationally.

    When I tell people, even those who aren’t religious at all, that I don’t believe in the afterlife and never have (except for a brief stint when I was twelve and didn’t want to believe that my dead dog was truly gone), they ask me, “Oh, so you’re okay with dying and that being the end? What if you died tomorrow?” Doesn’t matter whether or not I want there to be an afterlife. It doesn’t negate what is true. Do I know for sure there is no afterlife? No. But I don’t know for sure that there aren’t any leprechauns either. Besides, what about the assumption that when you die you go to this wonderful place we call heaven? How do you know that when you die you don’t end up locked in a room for eternity where you get ass-raped by a clone of George W. Bush? Oh, that’s ridiculous. Sure it is. It’s just as ridiculous as the belief that when you die you go to heaven. Both are beliefs that have no demonstrable evidence of their veracity, so why believe them? What’s that? No evidence for their non-existence? Sorry, I’m not the one making the claim. The burden of the proof is on the person making the claim. I am merely rejecting the claim due to insufficient evidence.

    That said, I have to wonder how lawyers and scientists can be religious. Clearly, humans are remarkably good at compartmentalizing.

    Julie

  2. I agree fully with your post Geoffrey and with Julie’s comment.

    Santorum scares the hell out of me as a candidate, primarily as a function of his complete lack of understanding regarding the Constitution and the role of the rule of law (as opposed to Iran like theocracy) in America.

    Recent(ish) tweets I’ve made to this effect:

    Andrew Tomlinson @Tunner4America
    I wonder if @RickSantorum has consulted Supreme Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran on how to run a theocratic dictatorship? #Gopfail #OWS #TFA

    Andrew Tomlinson @Tunner4America
    Will S.C break away from Judeo-Biblical law to embrace vulture capitalism? Will Rick trump Mitt? Tune in for more #GOPfail !! #TFA #OWS

    Andrew Tomlinson @Tunner4America
    RickSantorum: Please contrast modifying U.S Constitution w/ Judeo-Christian biblical doctrine vs. Sharia Law in Iran. Thanks! #TFA #OWS

    Andrew Tomlinson @Tunner4America
    New Hampshire wants to know: Would Rick Santorum abort a gay baby? #TunnerForAmerica

    Glad to see other people are worried as well!

    Best,
    Andrew

  3. @Andrew

    Rick Santorum scares the hell out of me. In 2006, in response to the attempted abortion ban in South Dakota, I wrote three Onion-style articles called The Menstruation Ban Trilogy. I got the idea when someone on an Internet forum commented on the attempted abortion ban by pointing out that most pregnancies end in miscarriage very early, before the woman knows she’s pregnant. He sarcastically proposed installing filters in the toilets to catch these “babies.”

    Originally, The Menstruation Ban Trilogy (whose articles are dated with 2013, 2015, and 2017) had Jerry Falwell as president, followed by Pat Robertson. Then Jerry Falwell died. In 2010, I revised the Trilogy to have Sarah Palin as president (for two terms). Now I’m thinking I need to revise it again with Rick Santorum as president! With him in office, the Trilogy is just one step away from becoming a reality!

    If you want to read this satire, which doesn’t seem so satirical anymore, it’s here on my blog!

    http://inyourfacenewyorker.blogspot.com/2010/02/menstruation-ban-trilogy.html

  4. I should also point out that it actually isn’t MOST pregnancies that result in early miscarriage. It is estimated to be between 25% and 50% that do. Either way, how’s that for “intelligent design?” Anyway, that’s a lot of “babies” being flushed down the toilet! Let’s install the filters!

  5. @ InYourFaceNewYorker

    LOL! Thats super prescient… I’ll check the story out!

    Rick Santorum = Douchebag

  6. Rick Santorum needs to go to the Rick Sanitarium.

  7. @Andrew, if you haven’t read my Trilogy yet, here it is; I just revised it now with Rick Santorum as president: http://inyourfacenewyorker.blogspot.com/2012/03/menstruation-ban-trilogy-rick-santorum.html

  8. Mr. Fieger, I await the inevitable blog post about the loonies in Georgia who want to force women to carry dead fetuses to term and the loonies in Utah and other states who passed laws forcing women to wait 72 hours for an abortion.

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