mijan: (Kirk: Gotta be fucking kidding me)
Aaah, you know what time it is. The Family Research Council (a homophobic organization in bed with the National Organization for Marriage and other fundamentalist dominionist Christian groups) had their head honcho post this piece of trash on CNN.com:

Apparently, Jesus was a free market supporter. Christ for Capitalism! WHEEE!!!

This is such a juicy piece of religion-twisting-for-propaganda. I've seen stuff like this in recent months - lots of folks pretending that Jesus was a pro-capitalism financial cheerleader. It's hilarious. Did you see that billboard? Yeah, that sort of shit.

See, just because I left the Jesus Fan Club years ago doesn't mean I don't remember all those years of Bible studies. I also happen to have a mother (Hi, Mom!) who was the odd combination of rational and religious. So... for being raised in the Jesus Fan Club, I had a very practical application of it. Science was reality. Religion is morality (sorta). But anyway...

This article twists one of the parables. Go on, read the article.


I said read it. Otherwise, how else will you know what I'm ranting about?

Read it? Good. So... here's what I want to say to the knucklehead who wrote this:

The parable of the King giving the minas to his servants wasn't about monetary profits. The parable was about growing the numbers of followers, making a spiritual investment, and also making the most of the gifts God gave to you such as your intelligence and compassion.

As far as the business of making money was concerned... wasn't Jesus the guy who threw the merchants out of the temple? Didn't he say (regarding money and taxes), "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's?" Didn't he say, "Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor?"

And... doesn't the Bible condemn usury? It does. Repeatedly. You see, we don't have a capitalist system. We have a corporatist system, and our entire financial structure is based on the lending of money at interest... a practice condemned in multiple places in the Bible. In fact, the Bible is significantly clearer on its stance against usury than "hot button" issues like gays and abortion. Go on... do a search for "Bible usury." Those two words will bring you plenty of references.

The Bible specifically condemns usury in regards to lending money to the poor. Good followers of God are supposed to lend money to those in need, but NOT at interest. NEVER at interest. Not to the poor, nor to family or friends. And if you charge interest to a wealthy person in a business transaction, the interest rate must not be excessive. Have you seen the interest rates on credit cards? THAT is usury, NOT free market as Jesus would have recognized it.

Of course, I'm not Christian. Wise man said, "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ." Well, just because I'm not part of the Jesus fan club doesn't mean I can't read and comprehend. It doesn't stop me from holding your own behavior up against the religion YOU CLAIM and seeing whether or not you're full of shit. And having come from a Christian background and knowing your religion inside and out, I KNOW YOUR HYPOCRISY. It's an ugly, ugly thing you have going.

Someday, you're going to have to accept that the biggest reason (other than the Constitution) that we're not a Christian nation is because a nation that actually followed Christ wouldn't treat the poor, the sick, the hungry, the homeless, the outcasts, and strangers as we treat them. And as for OWS... yeah, Jesus would have been down in the Occupy Wall Street protests. Not just protesting along with them, but leading them through the lobbies of the huge corporate banks and throwing out the CEO's who are raking the poor people of the nation over the coals. Jesus would condemn the entire mortgage industry, the credit card companies, and all those making money through the exploits of usury and investment trading. Jesus would be a socialist.

Talk about an inconvenient truth.

The point is that we're dealing with people who have no qualms about manipulating and completely twisting the nation's dominant religion in order to sway public policy in the most insidious way. The point is that people listen to this shit. It's bad enough that people want to base public policy on ANY religion... but once there are no rules, and the religion can be bent to the whims of the people in power, completely gutting ANY positive message that the religion once had... we're in trouble.

So... in conclusion, I bring back this oldie-but-goody. Take it away, Stephen:

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.”
― Stephen Colbert
mijan: (UU Rainbow Dignity and Worth of EVERY Pe)
Here's a short (two minute) video, in which a few key statistics about gender inequality worldwide are given with striking directness, and the dynamic of gender bias is illustrated with equal starkness by Daniel Craig.  You should watch it.

Now that you've watched it... take a peek at this article, which rips apart the misogyny displayed by the MRA ("men's rights") bigots in response to the video.    

Anyway, kudos to Daniel Craig.  My respect to the people who made this video.  I hope people will process the information presented therein.  And a giant "fuck you" to the MRA bigots.
mijan: (CP: huh?)
CNN is featuring this article:

Are Whites Racially Oppressed?

First, please note that CNN is not actually saying that whites are/aren't oppressed.  They're saying that growing numbers of white people are viewing themselves as oppressed. 

And yeah, I've noticed that "help, help! I'm being oppressed" bullshit from a growing number of white people... PARTICULARLY the affluent, white, straight, Christian males.  (Oh dear, SO oppressed, aren't they?)  It's really disturbing to see that just because certain people aren't quite as far ahead as they used to be just on the basis of their race, they are deluded enough to think that their slightly reduced privilege is actually oppression. 

The article is a mish-mash of opinions and bleating from various people.  I'd laugh at this as a piece of satire, except I know these people are actually serious.
mijan: (Doctor Crusher is NOT amused.)
It looks like the TSA wants to get more personal with me than my doctor does.  Sorry, Security Dude... you're not my type.

By now, I'm sure you've all seen and heard about this.  The full-body scans.  The radiation exposure (and I work with radiation almost every day, and yet I'm still pissed about this).  The excessive patting and groping.  The way people with prosthetics and mobility aids have been subjected to horrible indignities.  And the simple fact that if we don't submit to all this bullshit, we can't fly.  For some of us, the amount of time needed to travel by train or car (think 1000+ miles at a time) is simply not possible.

But at the end of the day, what can we do?  What effective protest do we have against the government choke-hold on the transportation industry and the free transit of free citizens?  This mess was started under Bush and continued under Obama.  It's not partisan... it's just fucking obnoxious.

Here's my suggestion:


Yes, that's right, boys, girls, and fellow others!  Let's get it on.  Sometimes, the best weapon is to directly mock the thing that you're facing down.  They want to see everything, huh?  Let's do it.

Wear a bikini the next time you fly.  Before you head to security, stop by the bathroom.  Change into a bikini.  Wear flip-flop sandals to walk to the security checkpoint.  It doesn't matter if you're male, female, young, old, fat, or thin.  In fact, this would work best if people of all shapes and sizes and descriptions participate.  It's not about being sexy.  That isn't the point. The point is that ALL people going through security are being stripped to nothing, exposed, and violated.  (Plus, if only a group of girls who look like models out of playboy were to do this, then the MESSAGE of the protest would be lost in the oogling. Sad to say.)  The point is demonstrating that everyone is impacted by this. 

Add some pizazz to your act:  Bring a bunch of old hair-product containers that you were just about to dump anyway.  Carry them TO the checkpoint, and "suddenly" realize that you can't bring them through security.  Lament their loss as you drop the bottles into a nearby bin.

But yeah... the bikini.  I think I'm going to do it.  I'm no supermodel.  In fact, I'm not really comfortable in women's clothes.  But hell, this ought to be hilarious (fight oppression with HUMOR!!!), and it should make the point.  Even if you're not comfortable with this plan, or if you're not planning to travel by airplane anytime soon, please pass this on.  If enough people do it, it might send a message... and it might actually be fun.

Anyone else willing to throw this bullshit back in the faces of the TSA?

ETA:  I've edited a few tid-bits for clarity about my intent.


Oct. 24th, 2010 11:26 am
mijan: (UU Rainbow Dignity and Worth of EVERY Pe)
This... is kinda extremely awesome in so many ways.

The only sad thing is that I really don't like pink. Nasty little color. (Yes, I'm prejudiced against pink.) Can I fight H8 by wearing purple instead?

Honestly, I might wear pink for this.

Spread this video like the fucking plague.
mijan: (Stormtrooper - Loser)
This is NOT worksafe due to language.  A LOT of language.  This is a brilliantly and elegantly direct commentary on the Pope's defense (and feigned ignorance) of all the child-raping priests in the Catholic church. 

If you're Catholic, and you want the church leadership to come clean, ferret out the child rapists, and have those child-abusing criminals turned over to the authorities for punishment instead of allowing the papacy to protect them, then that's fine.  This shouldn't offend you.  I know a few Catholics who agree with this strongly.  Even before I escaped the Catholic church, I agreed with the sentiment of this video.

However, if it offends you because ZOMG RESPECT TEH POPE, and you think the pope us justified in sheltering and defending the child-fucking priests all over the damned world, then fuck you, too.  Sorry. 

If it offends you because of the excessive cussing... er... I write porn.  There's a lot of fucking on this LJ.  Really, this is nothing.

(Why do I ever feel a need to justify what I post on my own damned LJ?  I should examine that.)

Without further ado, enjoy the song.

mijan: (Stand back! Try science!)
As some of you know, the Boobquake on Monday was the inadvertent brainchild of a college student from Indiana who responded with delightful tongue-in-cheek humor to that Iranian cleric who said that promiscuous women cause earthquakes.  So the natural, scientific way to test that assertion was to dress provocatively and then check the earthquake frequency at the time of the experiment. 

Well, the RESULTS are in!  And as you can probably guess, these ladies' lovely cleavage did not shake the earth.  It might have shaken other wonderful things, but the tectonic response was neutral.  Besides, if that was the case, we would see massive earthquake activity on Mardi Gras, Cinqo de Mayo, Halloween, and Pride Days.  Who wants to bet that there's no correlation there, either?

Now, this cleric isn't alone in his assertions.  Religious nuts of all persuasions and creeds have been making claims like this for thousands of years.  That's nothing new.  In fact, back in 1998, Janis Walworth wrote an article about Pat Robertson's claims that gays were incurring God's wrath in the form of natural disasters: Do Gays Cause Hurricanes?  Read it.  It's a lovely bit of statistical satire that really proves its point.  It also proves that religious fundamentalists of all creeds tend to make crass, judgmental statements that have no basis in reality.  In the "highly amusing irony" category, you should also note that Pat Robertson made those comments in 1998. The first hurricane to make landfall in the United States in 1998, after Robertson's comments, was Hurricane Bonnie.  Bonnie landed in North Carolina  and caused a great deal of havoc and millions of dollars of damage to the Hampton Roads/VA Beach area of VA. And... VA Beach is the HQ of Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network.

So... in conclusion, wear what makes you comfortable!  Have a wet t-shirt contest!  Wear a bikini!  Wear a corset!  Wear fishnet stockings and stilettos!  Your attire will NOT cause an earthquake!  It may cause your parents to have a heart attack, but you will not cause the earth to crack open and swallow cities whole while fire and brimstone rain down upon the earth.   Likewise, modest attire will not prevent these things from happening either.  Sometimes... an earthquake is just an earthquake.
mijan: (UU Rainbow Dignity and Worth of EVERY Pe)
In Sonoma County, California, there lived an elderly couple who just happened to be a pair of gay men.  They'd been together for 20 years.  Clay was 77.  Harold was 88.  A nice retired couple enjoying a quiet life together in their golden years.  They had all their paperwork, powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and all that in place, so they could take care of each other when the time came.

And then the time came.  Harold got injured from a fall.  And placed in a nursing home.  That part is normal.  

What is NOT normal is that Clay, his loving partner in all things, was PREVENTED from even SEEING Harold.  Completely prevented.

In fact, the county went a step further and forcibly removed Clay from his home while he was still healthy and capable, and confined him to a nursing home.  A SEPARATE nursing home. 

Three months later, Harold died.  Clay never got to see him.

And all of their belongings?  The county auctioned them off.  Terminated their lease on their home.  Left Clay with nothing.

All the details can be found HERE.  Read it.  Read the court documents.  It'll infuriate you.

In this nation, the only minority that can still LEGALLY be discriminated against are GLBT folks.  Yes, discrimination still happens to other minorities, and it's always ALWAYS wrong, but if someone discriminates against you for your race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or other demographic status, there's legal recourse for you, because that discrimination is illegal.  And straight couples are allowed to marry and create families that aren't ripped apart by the government, by hospitals, or by other powers that be, regardless of their race or religion.  But gay folks... are still legally second-class citizens.  In this country, in most places, it's LEGAL for a company to fire you (or refuse to hire you) if they find out that you're gay.  You can be kicked out of your rental apartment or house if your landlord discovers that you're gay.  And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

It's too late for Harold and Clay.  It's not too late for the rest of us.  Speak up, act out, and don't stop until we have true equal rights for all citizens.

If that story infuriated you, as it should, please post this story on your LJ.  People need to know this side of the story.  They need to see that this is also the face of discrimination against gays.  Gay or straight, we'll all be old and grey someday.  When you're in those shoes (with orthopedic supports and all), imagine what it would be like to be forcibly separated from your spouse or partner like that.  We human beings need to be better to each other, and this is only one reason why.  But then, if you read that story and it didn't make you angry, just defriend me now. 
mijan: (Bones: Eyebrow of DOOM)
The Good: 
- Private health insurance can't deny you for a pre-existing condition under this bill.
- You can't be dropped from a policy because you get sick.
- If you have insurance, they can't "cap" your coverage and say "you've been sick enough now, so we're not paying any more."

The Bad:
- It's not REAL universal health care.  YES, I am "one of those" who fully wants this backwards country to switch to a single-payer system like Canada's system.  I think anything less is a travesty - humiliating and ludicrous.  Time to join the modern world, people.
- Because it's not real UHC, this will do nothing to help the over-complicated network of insurers and the grossly high overhead costs of the health care system.
- Private insurance still rules our health care system.  I'm sorry, but for-profit health "insurance" is a crime against humanity, as far as I'm concerned.
- Nothing to attenuate costs of malpractice insurance, which is putting even GOOD doctors out of business, even if they've never been sued for malpractice.

The Ugly:
- Fining people for not having health insurance.  WTF?!?  I'm sorry, but for the self-employed to have to afford policies on their own when they're BARELY making ends meet... this is going to bankrupt many individuals.  That's STUPID.

Want to chime in with your thoughts?  Go for it, but no flaming.  Civil discourse, please.  Actual facts, please.  Insight from those who live in countries with UHC are welcomed and encouraged to share their experiences.
mijan: (McCoy: Major Malfunction?!?)
Cross-posted from [livejournal.com profile] cluegirl 's LJ, HERE:

During the course of the case, the CDCR, other related defendants, and the Assistant Attorneys General who represents them have argued before the court that Pagans are not deserving of equal civil rights as are provided adherents of the preferred faiths. In one of their first arguments to the court, the defendants said that certain "traditional" faiths are first tier faiths and that those faiths were meant to have equal rights and protections under the United States Constitution, but that all of the other faiths, for example, Hindus, Pagans, Buddhists, Sikhs, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jains, are second tier faiths deserving of lesser rights, and therefore are not meant to have the same equal rights and protections under the United States Constitution as the first tier faiths.

Okay, read the article it's linked to.  Then read the articles and sources linked through that first link.  Take a look and see what this is all about.  Basically, this assholes want to re-define the term "religion" in the legal sense to only include the religions that they deem worthy or acceptable, on the grounds that they claim the founding fathers only meant the Abrahamic faiths when referring to religion.  Everybody else... sorry!  Pagans, Hindus, Buddhists... OUT OF THE POOL!  

Do I think any court will actually state that there are second-tier religions in this country?  I want to say no, but I don't want to be complacent about the notion.  There are wingnuts in this country who really do believe that certain religions should be legally designated to second-class status, or even forbidden. 

PLEASE REMEMBER that the wingnuts to whom I am referring here are a sub-set of Christians, not all of them, not by a long shot.  DO NOT BASH ALL CHRISTIANS ON MY LIVEJOURNAL.  But please, feel free to discuss this form of bigoted extremism that's being so openly displayed in efforts such as this one. 

PLEASE cross-post.  People need to know that cases like this are happening.  This is the sort of case that could lead to religious discrimination and bigotry on this continent on a level we've not seen since the Salem Witch Trials.  Wait... I'm wrong.  The recent President Bush declared that Pagan religions weren't real religions and shouldn't be allowed to be practiced on military bases.  *shrugs*  I guess bigotry never quite goes out of fashion, huh?


Jul. 1st, 2009 09:45 am
mijan: (Default)
From Political Pundit, and offshoot of icanhascheezburger.com:

I adore that woman.  She is my new hero.  I don't know her, I can't see her face, and I'll never meet her, but DAMN.  She is made of epic win.  An Iranian Rosa Parks.  Balls of steel indeed.

Whoever you are, don't back down.



May. 6th, 2009 12:39 pm
mijan: (UU Rainbow Dignity and Worth of EVERY Pe)
I know, people on my f-list are already posting it, but allow me to add my voice to the chorus to spread the news:


So now we have Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont (in September), and Maine.

But don't forget the other smaller victories, too:

New York and Rhode Island recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

Civil Unions are granted in New Hampshire and New Jersey. 

Domestic Partnerships and other registries give some of the same rights in California, Oregon, Washington (state), Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

It's not everything, but it's progress.  There's still a lot of work to do, and a lot of obstacles to overcome, but for now... let's kick off our shoes and celebrate a bit.  :)

mijan: (UU Rainbow Dignity and Worth of EVERY Pe)
New Hampshire Senate approves same-sex marriage
Posted: 03:28 PM ET


(CNN) The New Hampshire State Senate narrowly voted Wednesday to allow the state to become the fifth in the country to legalize same-sex marriage.

The measure, passing on a 13-11 vote, now heads to the New Hampshire House of Representatives, which vetoed a similar bill earlier this year.

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, has not indicated whether he would sign the bill should it reach his desk.

Let's see how this plays out.  Keep your fingers crossed, boys and girls.
mijan: (Republicans for Voldemort)
This is a very touchy subject for millions (if not billions) of people around the world, but it's the touchy subjects that force us to really examine situations and how we react to them.  I've been pondering it ever since reading a LJ post about the issue written by a friend of mine (no, I'm not linking her, because I don't want anyone to hassle her). 

It was a tense and ambiguous moment at the UN's conference on racism.  Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stood at the podium and called Israel a racist state.  Many delegates stood and cheered.  Some delegates quietly walked out of the conference, leaving their empty seats as a clear statement of their disgust.  France said it was a "hate speech" and the US called it "vile". Some countries had boycotted the meeting altogether. 

Some have said that anything that comes out of the mouth of a holocaust denier is automatically garbage.

Some have said that even though he's an evil malicious hater, he's still correct about this.

So... what do you think?

Is Israel a racist state?  Is it a democracy or a theocracy?  Is Israel the promised land of a people who have been tormented throughout history and deserve a respite?  Is Israel a stabilizing force in the region, or the cause of much of the unrest in the Middle East?  Is it a bit of both?  Is it something else entirely?

Is Ahmadinejad always wrong, or does he occasionally say something right, even though he's still an asshole?  Should world leaders listen to him, even if they hate him, because he does happen to be the elected leader of a country, or should he be put on the political ignore list until he stops being a malicious idiot?

Give me your opinions.  Comments will be screened.  Speak your mind, tell me what you really think.  Nobody will be de-friended or "outed" if they happen to disagree with me.

If you give me permission, I'll post your comment in a later LJ post for people to read an consider, but I'll keep your identity anonymous.  I want people to hear the opinions of others without judging and ripping things apart.  I don't want a flame war here.  For that matter, I'm not even making my personal opinion known.  I really want to hear what everyone has to say, and I want people to think about their answers.
mijan: (Republicans for Voldemort)
Okay, so I saw the news wrap-up of Michelle Obama and Queen Elizabeth.  The Queen first put her hand on Michelle's back, and the First Lady reciprocated.  From the reports I saw, it wasn't standard protocol, but the Queen put her arm around Mrs. Obama's back first, and she seemed happy with Mrs. Obama, and the two ladies seemed to hit it off brilliantly.

However, as expected, there are a lot of people in the United States who are determined to hate the Obamas for any reason they can find.  So, I'm seeing stuff like this:

"i dont know i though it was funny... not only did mrs o grab the queen but she shook her hand with both hands... she probity should of spent more time getting to know the customs then she did... my mom said she showed no class..."
(Please ignore the bad spelling and grammar - this guy is a regular on the military.com forums, and actually thinks he's intelligent.  He's allegedly a veteran.  I think he's a moron.)

"Stop reading the tabloids and find some common brit on the street or in the pub. [The Obamas are] the butt of the weekly jokes this week."
(This one is convinced that the British citizens think Mrs. Obama's behavior and breaches of standard protocol were shameful, and that they're mocking her.)

So, my friendly neighbourhood Brits, what do you think of Michelle Obama's encounter with the Queen?

mijan: (Default)
I'd hoped that finally removing the Religious Right's puppets from the White House would mean that bullshit like the "Faith-Based Initiatives" program would finally be eliminated.

But no.

"Obama to Unveil New Faith-Based Office."

Sure, the office was already there, so Obama didn't make it up himself... but doesn't anyone see the UNCONSTITUTIONAL bent to this thing?  Obama shouldn't be "revising" or "changing" this office.  He should be ELIMINATING it.

Our government has no business giving funds to ANY faith-based initiatives.  Why not, you may ask, if they make sure they give out the money fairly to initiatives based on all religions?  The answer is simple:  Because they WON'T.

Try creating a Pagan-based charity and requesting funds.  It would be rejected faster than a pork chop at an orthodox Jew convention.

If a charity wants federal funds, then it needs to dissociate itself from any religious group, and it needs to ensure that people who come to the charity for help aren't pressured to convert, and aren't required to adhere to a specific religious philosophy. 

If a charity wants to preach, that's FINE... as long as they aren't using taxpayer dollars to support it.

mijan: (Default)

When it comes to religion, there are certain things upon which we can all agree.   We all agree that there's a God.  We all trust him.  No decent American taxpayer would be offended by a "non-sectarian" prayer.  And, of course, we all know that's why "in God we trust" and "one nation, under God" are in the Constitution.

And if you've been paying attention, you'll know that the first paragraph is COMPLETE BULLSHIT.

I just read a little article in the LA Times.  Take a look.  Then, think about it again.  This is all based on the notion that monotheistic, Judeo-Christian religious views are the only ones acceptable in this nation.  It's also based on the idea that atheists, polytheists, and other non-Judeo-Christian groups are not worthy of the same consideration.  You may think I'm taking it a bit far, but consider this: 

When your leaders are spending their public time - on your tax dollars - promoting prayer and "non-denominational" activities, are they actually doing their jobs?  Is it possible to fairly represent all religions in government without causing unconstititional offense to those whose religions differ in their absolutely basic, fundamental premises? 

No, and no.

Look at this article's discussion of the Bible verse suggested for use with the National Day of Prayer (a government-sanctioned event): 
But the Scripture verse the group recommended to the governor is neither an open nor a veiled endorsement of right-wing politics -- or of Christianity, for that matter. The verse, from
Psalm 28, says: "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped." That passage is similar to the non- sectarian sentiments expressed in prayers offered before sessions of the U.S. Congress or the exclamation "God save the United States and this honorable court" with which the Supreme Court begins its sessions.

Does that seem offensive to you?  Well, if someone else wants to pray it on their own time, I wouldn't care either way, but when my elected officials are reciting it in the halls of Congress on MY time, then yes, I find it offensive.  I don't agree with the statement, nor the source.  The gender-association of God as a "man" is a concept I find offensive, so the use of the pronoun doesn't sit right with me.  I don't agree with that verse's use of the term "Lord."  More to the point, I find the attitude of the quote to be offensive - in my belief, we should not cling to deities as a shield and a source of help - deities manifest within and through the natural world, and WE are the ones responsible for our own fates within this world.  Anything less is offensive.  And then, naturally, the idea of relying on any god for shielding and strength would be considered ludicrous or offensive by an agnostic or atheist. 

What would the chance be that our government would EVER permit a Pagan to offer an opening prayer or benediction?  I mean, hell, there was ONE Hindu who offered a prayer, ONCE, in Congress last year, and his words were met with shouting from protesters and disrespect from our elected representatives... and having read the text of the Hindu's prayer, I'd say that was the closest thing to a true non-denominational prayer I'd ever heard from Washington DC.

So, why must this stuff be pushed into the public eye by our government officials?  That's the thing about Separation of Church and State:  It CAN'T be a wishy-washy sort of blurred line.  It's impossible to have it both ways.  Personally, I'd love to hear the Preamble to the Constitution recited before each session of Congress.  I'd love to hear the Declaration of Independence recited before important events.  I'd love for our elected officials to get down to business, instead of trying to placate their constitutents with the empty promise of "I prayed."  As the article later states:
"Pushed to its logical conclusion, such 1st Amendment fundamentalism would forbid presidents of the United States from invoking God in their speeches or participating in the National Prayer Breakfast,"
I couldn't agree more.

A prayer given in a "display" of faith seems to me to be empty and arrogant.  I see no sincerity in the prayers of Washington.  I see hypocrisy and vanity.  I see people putting on a display that exists in direct contradiction to their other oaths and actions.  I see a waste of time and effort.  I see people who pray to their God, and who invoke their God's name to denounce others and to push their version of morality on others, but who don't actually follow their God's alleged morality themselves.  Even if I were a Christian, I'd find their use (and yes, I mean USE) of God offensive.

Now, that's not to say that I don't believe in the power of prayer.  Truly sincere prayers, in my opinion, do have an effect.  They help to influence the state of mind of the person praying, and when you change the state of your mind, and when you focus your intentions, you can have a real impact on your reality.  I also believe in absolute religious freedom of free individuals in this country, and I would fight to the death to defend your right to practice your religion, insofar as you do not use your beliefs to bring harm to others.  I AM NOT DENOUNCING PRAYER.  I AM NOT DENOUNCING RELIGION.  I am denouncing the notion that government-sanctioned prayer belongs in the United States of America.  Until the day comes when people of every religion, and of no religion, are given equal time at the podium before Congress to offer a profession of belief or non-belief, then we are violating our Constitution.  And until Congress becomes SO efficient that it can get all of its work done, balance the budget, and have spare time left over, then I think our elected officials have more important things to do than to pass religious resolutions, endorse the National Day of Prayer, and bicker over prayer-time.

*** Feel free to debate and discuss this issue.  The rules are as follows:
1. Do not insult anyone's personal beliefs.
2. Do not come into this discussion with the assumption that your religion should take legal precedence.  (You can certainly believe that your religion is RIGHT, but we're talking about legaltiy, not faith.)
3. No cussing at people.  You can cuss (I do all the time), but not AT people.  (You should know the difference.)
4. Make sure that you know the Constitution before you allude to it.
5. If you don't live in the United States, your opinion is still valid to the discussion.  In fact, I'd love to hear your opinion.
6. You are always entitled to disagree with me, but please debate with logic.
mijan: (Default)
One of my political LOLz made it onto the front page of the "Pundit Kitchen" portion of icanhascheezburger.com. 

And now, I share it with you!

mijan: (Default)
Lovingly shared from [livejournal.com profile] angulique :

Pass it on!


mijan: (Default)

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