Religion or Mental Illness?

September 28, 2012

Disclaimer:  I am an equal opportunity offender of all organizations that threaten life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

 

Is Christian fundamentalism a mental illness manifested by delusions of the “end of all times”, panic attacks every Presidential election, the fear of everything and everyone, and lack of reality testing?

Consider the widespread panic when Obama first ran for President. According to many of the leaders of the “Christian Right”, the election of Obama would result in the confiscation of all guns, the end of the State of Israel, disarming our military and the surrender of Iraq and Afghanistan to al Qaeda, economic collapse and re-education camps for conservatives (they even had pics of FIMA mobile homes being prepared) and the end of all times. And they were very, very afraid.

(Some of the same claims were made before Clinton’s second term).

Well, of course none of that happened, but it hasn’t stopped the crazies from going at it again. Now they claim that re-electing Obama REALLY will result in confiscating all our guns, disarming our military, economic collapse, the destruction of Israel and the end of all times. They tell us we should be very, very afraid. That is their essential argument for supporting Romney.

I suppose in one sense the Christian crazies have made some progress in the last 4 years. After all, their basic objection to Obama last time was that electing a non-Christian as President would result in the end of all times (remember Obama was really a secret Muslim), but now they support a man who actually is not a Christian.   

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Stupid is as Stupid Does

September 28, 2012

So the joke goes: after Mitt Romney speculated on why passenger jets didn’t have roll down windows this past week, Fox News released a survey of their viewers showing that 53% thought jets airplanes did have roll down windows.

I actually think that Mitt Romney is a decent man – a man who gives generously to charities and who has personally tried to help people he knew (aside from his attack on a fellow student at Cranbrook and subsequent amnesia about the event). His tenure as Governor of Massachusetts was marked by progressive policies on health care and education. In fact, 12 years ago he would have been the very definition of a “compassionate conservative”. I also think that his ambition to become President has overtaken the better angels of his nature and his transformation into the GOP nominee has caused him to lose that sense of decency. The Mitt Romney of 12 years ago would have been more in the tradition of the Rockefeller Republican and a light in the darkness that has become the Republican Party.  To win the nomination he needed to win the base and recent surveys, not to mention the debates, have shown that Republican base to be increasingly older, whiter and markedly less informed by reality.

                For example, Mitt’s most recent position on health care that Emergency Room treatment for uninsured people is adequate is a position he once called “socialist” and quite correctly called “fiscally irresponsible”. However, a majority of his base don’t care. Romney, once a champion of education, now doubts the science of climate change and evolution. Romney, once a supporter of women’s rights, now supports a platform that outlaws all abortions, some form of contraception and refuses to support equal pay for equal work.

                It’s sad really… sad that a man would totally compromise his principles and intellect for political ambition, and sad that the Republican Party has de-compensated to an anti-science, anti-woman and anti-reality movement.  Consider recent polls showing 30% to 50% of self-labeled, conservative Republicans believe we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that climate change is a hoax, that Obama is a secret Muslim and that he is not an American citizen. Perhaps Paul Ryan’s comment about the “stench” of Romney is referring to the remains of a once decent and intelligent man.      


Finally! The Real Romney Speaks

September 18, 2012

His speech was fluid and familiar. He was speaking “off the cuff” and from his heart. The behind closed doors talk to wealthy donors finally revealed the true conviction of Mitt Romney (rather than the ever changing, contradictory “principles” of the campaign, so far). Romney told the millionaires gathered:

“[M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

He said he was referring to 47% of all Americans. He was referring to every senior who depends on social security. He was referring to every parent of every student who relies on student loans to go to college. He was referring to men and women serving in the military and their families.

Mitt has finally made the choice in this election very clear.

The other “big news” today is the fact that the DOD is giving up on having American soldiers and Marines train Afghan police and military. Too many of our side (52 soldiers so far this year) have been killed by our Afghan “allies”. Meanwhile, non-essential American civilians are being evacuated from Afghanistan because our “allies” are rioting and threatening every Westerner in sight. After over a decade at war, trillions in dollars and most importantly thousands of American casualties, this is what we have? I happen to agree with the critics that as far as war goes, there is not a breath of difference between President Obama and George W. Bush. Both have lied to us and both have wasted good men and women over that lie that is Afghanistan.   


The Last 72 Hours

September 13, 2012

After the last 72 hour news cycle I feel a bit like Jack Bauer in the television drama “24”. The news behind the news is like a television drama full of betrayal and intrigue. Consider these facts:

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asks “The only question for Israel is which regime change to support the most – that in Iran or in the United States?”

A man with Israeli and U.S. citizenships films a video funded by a secret source and intentionally inflammatory toward Islam and posts on the web, along with Arabic subtitles.

The video is promoted by Baptist Minister Terry Jones, along with an announcement to put “Mohammed on trial in the USA.”

Egyptian cleric somehow “discovers” the video and promotes violence toward the USA.

In what appears to be a pre-planned attack, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya is killed. It is near the 9/11 anniversary and months after the #2 al Qaeda leader is killed.

Mitt Romney (former business partner with Netanyahu and supporter of a war against Iran) denounces President Obama with lies about apologizing for the USA and encouraging the militants.

The Head of the Israeli Knesset declares that they should go to war with Iran immediately.

Those are the facts. Are they related? Is there anything more chilling than President Obama announcing that the people who killed our Ambassador will be brought to justice? That’s the difference between Obama and the Republicans: when he says they will be brought to justice they will – dead or alive.


The Great Divide

September 4, 2012

Several years ago I wondered in a blog if a significant part of our country had simply gone insane at the reality of an African-American President. That was at a time when tea baggers were parading around with blatantly racist picket signs and all manner of apocalyptic warnings if Health Care Reform was passed. It was as delusional and as consistent with the paranoid presidential election nonsense we had to go through. You know, the ones saying Obama would confiscate all guns, was not born in the United States and the one big lie that scared the daylights out of many “Christians” – namely, that Obama was not a Christian. You remember how so many Republican rank and file were so passionately opposed to a “President Obama” because the fist non-Christian president would usher in the “Great Tribulation”? Of course, objections to Obama had nothing to do with him being a “non-Christian”, a fact proven by the acceptance of the first verified non-Christian as the Republican nominee. It really was about race all along. But if racism is the fuel that runs the very personal and hateful attacks on the President and his family, there is another more fundamental problem dividing the two Parties, and it has to do with insanity.

Insanity, defined as the failure to perceive and respond to reality, has to include a recognition of facts. The current G.O.P has a platform rejects economics, science, and even some of the most mundane facts of life (such as rape leads to unwanted pregnancies). Paul “Lyin’” Ryan has been caught lying about such insignificant things as his time running a marathon. Are Romney and Ryan simply unable to acknowledge the truth, even when confronted with the facts? Or are they simply a more extreme variation of the sociopath as politician? I don’t know, but what should worry us even more is the fact that so many rank and file Republicans are willing to overlook the lies (such as the welfare reform, the GM plant closing, apologizing for America, etc. etc. etc.) simply because of their hatred of the black man in the White House. Ryan continues to lie about the GM plant closings in his district even after the facts were widely publicized. Ask a Republican how they can tolerate a candidate lying even after he has been proven to be lying, and they will simply go on to attack President Obama. It was as though the Eastwood “speech” became a metaphor for the whole GOP: a confused, angry old white guy talking to himself.

We can’t have a solution to any problem when one side simply refuses to admit to reality. Solutions happen when both sides agree on facts, define the problem and are willing to explore solutions. When someone is so consumed with fear and hatred that they cannot cope with reality, it creates a delusion, and that delusion makes it impossible to begin to solve our problems.