Aug 212012
 
Photo fo Todd Akin

Rep. Todd Akin (R-DB)

So there’s tons of furor over Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-DB)(Doucebag) comments about how, in the case of a “legitimate” rape, a woman can’t get pregnant. There’s plenty there to be furious over, but he’s vowed to stay in. And he’s still leading his opponent. That’s because lots of people (even some of the ones who have distanced themselves from Akin) actually believe some of the bullshit he’s let slip out.

Now Akin’s started out claiming he misspoke. Today he went on Mike Huckabee’s radio show again, and now he’s saying he just put, “misspoke one word in one place on one day.” He referred to the reaction of Republicans as an overreaction to him getting one word in the wrong place.

So let’s dissect what he said. First off, he pulled a classic Republican tactic. He tried to support his claims by trying to give it a scientific imprimatur. He claimed he heard his craziness from “some Doctors I’ve talked to.” Of course, when he was called out on it, he refused to say which doctors he talked with. Make no mistake, he knew what he was saying. He’d planned this at least his own mind, because he had given it enough thought to add-on this attempt to support his position with “science.”

As bad as that part of the statement may be, it really comes as no surprise. The Republicans have, for years, used this tactic to support their off-the-wall theories and positions. If the science doesn’t support their position, they either buy a study, or just make it up…use that old saw of saying, “some scientist,” “some doctors,” “some experts in that field.” The sad thing is, lots of people buy that crap, and they know it.

The worst part of his statement was use of the phrase, “legitimate rape.” The keyword there is “legitimate.” These are code words for the Tea Bagger Party and religious wingnuts of the party. Akin knows this too, and he was throwing them some red meat. The idea here is that most women aren’t really raped. They really, secretly want it, but turn on the man later if they feel bad about it afterwards. This is part of the male superiority that Republicans expect, and it fits with the subservient position of women so often found in the various religious texts.

Republicans decry “Sharia Law,” but make no mistake, there are parts of it they like, and the parts that make women subservient to men, they are all over, and doing their best to put that into American law…hence their strong efforts to outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. That’s in the party platform as they prepare for their hate fest here in Tampa next week. Akin slipped up and spilled the beans, but when you go to vote, you need to understand that Republicans believe that a woman should be required in incubate and deliver the baby of her rapist…you know, because it obviously wasn’t a “legitimate” rape after all. She was really wanting it.

Rev. Mike Huckabee, in defense of Akin and the rest of the Republicans, says we should definitely allow for rape babies. Some of them might turn out to be good Christians. Here’s the transcript of what he had to say about the topic:

“Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape,” Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: “I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designated hate group, The Family Research Council (FRC), is giving Akin it’s full-throated support:

“This is an effort to try to direct attention away from … Claire McCaskill, who has been supportive of Planned Parenthood — an organization that’s been under investigation for criminal activity,” FRC President Tony Perkins said in between meetings of the RNC platform committee.

Perkins is also claiming authorship of the Republican Party platform plank that doesn’t offer any exceptions. And just so we’re clear about where Tony Perkin’s sympathies lay, four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America’s premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list.

See, it’s because they don’t really believe in rape. They believe they have the right to screw anyone/anything they want. Brian Fischer (of another SPLC designated hate group, the American Family Association) claims that Akin has been raped himself by the media and other politicians. After all, he was just telling the truth (obviously).

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Feb 182011
 

Planned Parenthood has long been banned from using federal monies for abortions. But they would have received $330 million through the end of September for preventative-health services, including federal funding for contraception and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. But in a vote of 240-185 (with 10 Democrats presumably burnishing their “conservative credentials”) the Congress took aways that funding.

Yesterday Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) took to the floor of House, and called out the bullshit coming from the Republican who spoke before her, went off about the bill and shocked the chamber with an angry recounting of her own abortion. She called them out for exercising a vendetta against Planned Parenthood while Americans go hungry and jobless.

But, oh that’s right, we’re a Christian nation, so we can’t provide preventive health services and cancer screenings for the poor and struggling women of this country. Jesus was, after all, a straight white male American protestant/catholic, and he hates everyone else.

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Dec 202010
 

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) behind the perfect podium

You will be thrilled to know that Florida now has a member of Congress who supports forced child marriages. Incoming House Foreign Affairs chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) defeated a bill Thursday evening that would have committed the United States to combating forced child marriages abroad, by invoking concerns about the legislation’s cost and that funds could be used to promote abortion.

You should know that there is template language in all such bills which prevents the funds being used for abortion. Her concerns about spending are knowingly false, but you know, who wants to spend protecting children anyways? Here’s the letter I wrote her:

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
2206 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20515-0918

Dear Rep. Ros-Lehtinen:

Congratulations. Once again you’ve acted to further advance the opinion of the rest of the world that Florida is backwards “hick” riddled state.

We’re already viewed as people who can’t count votes, and inbred bumpkins who marry our cousins, and now here you go opposing a bill to help stop forced child marriages around the world?

You claimed the bill would cost $108m over five years, but the CBO estimates an outlay of only $67m, and you were aware of this. You claim to have offered a “less expensive bill” (because really, who wants to spend money protecting children anyways), but your bill lacks implementation procedures, and you knew that too.

So all I can do is ask, “Why do you support forced child marriages, or do you just hate children?”

I look forward to your answer.

Fax number of her Washington, D.C. office is 202-225-5620

Mar 132007
 

From LA Times

Evangelicals battle over agenda, environment

A struggle for control of the evangelical agenda intensified this week, with some leaders declaring that the focus has strayed too far from their signature battles against abortion and gay rights.

Those issues defined the evangelical movement for more than two decades — and cemented ties with the Republican Party. But in a caustic letter, leaders of the religious right warned that these “great moral issues of our time” were being displaced by a “divisive and dangerous” alignment with the left on global warming.

A new generation of pastors has expanded the definition of moral issues to include not only global warming, but an array of causes. Quoting Scripture and invoking Jesus, they’re calling for citizenship for illegal immigrants, universal healthcare and caps on carbon emissions.

The best-known champion of such causes, the Rev. Jim Wallis, this week challenged conservative crusader James C. Dobson, the chairman of Focus on the Family, to a debate on evangelical priorities.

“Are the only really ‘great moral issues’ those concerning abortion, gay marriage and the teaching of sexual abstinence?” Wallis asked in his challenge. “How about the reality of 3 billion of God’s children living on less than $2 per day? … What about pandemics like HIV/AIDS … [and] disastrous wars like Iraq?”

A Focus on the Family vice president, Tom Minnery, said he would be happy to take up that debate. Dobson himself, Minnery said, is busy writing a book on child rearing.

“Without question,” Minnery said, “issues like the right to life for an unborn child concern evangelicals far more broadly.”

The public dispute began with the release of a letter signed by several men who helped transform the religious right into a political force, including Dobson, Don Wildmon of the American Family Assn. and Paul Weyrich of American Values.

The signatories — most of them activists, not theologians — expressed dismay that an evangelical emphasis on global warming was “contributing to growing confusion about the very term ‘evangelical.’ ”

In religious terms, an evangelical is a Christian who has been born again, seeks a personal relationship with Christ, and considers the Bible the word of God, to be faithfully obeyed.

But Dobson and his fellow letter-writers suggested that evangelical should also signify “conservative views on politics, economics and biblical morality.”

The letter took particular aim at the Rev. Richard Cizik, a prominent evangelical lobbyist who has promoted environmental protection as a moral imperative. Citing the creation story in the Book of Genesis, he has called the fight against global warming a directive “straight from the word of God … no doubt about it.”

The letter accused Cizik of “dividing and demoralizing” Christians by pushing this agenda and called on his employer, the National Assn. of Evangelicals, to silence him or to demand his resignation.

“This is, in some ways, a defining moment,” said Randall Balmer, a professor of religion at Columbia University in New York. “It’s the old guard trying to hold on.”

The renewed debate on moral priorities came as the National Assn. of Evangelicals – which represents 45,000 churches and 30 million Christians – gathered for a board meeting Friday in Eden Prairie, Minn.

The board declined to censure or silence Cizik. Moreover, it appeared to embrace a broad view of the evangelical agenda, endorsing a sweeping human rights declaration.

The board also reaffirmed its support for a 2004 Call to Civic Responsibility that urged evangelical engagement on seven key issues, including religious freedom, the sanctity of life, justice for the poor, and environmental protection.

Those advocating a broader agenda insist that they’re not trying to downplay – much less back away from – traditional evangelical positions on abortion and sexual morality.

White evangelicals are more united against abortion than any other religious group, including Catholics, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. A 2005 poll found 15% in support of a total ban on abortion and 53% in favor of only narrow exceptions. By contrast, global warming is deemed a “very serious” problem by less than 30% of white evangelicals, according to a 2006 Pew Forum poll. Less than 40% accept the scientific consensus that human activity, such as burning coal for energy, is responsible for the Earth’s rising temperatures.

“It’s a mistake to think that we’re all becoming liberal Democrats. That’s not true,” Wallis said.

But he asserted that his followers – especially young people – no longer want the old guard of evangelicals to define their priorities.

When he preached recently at a conservative evangelical college, Wallis said, he was besieged by students furious at the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who recently described global warming as a satanic plot to divert Christians from more pressing moral issues, such as spreading the Gospel.

“James Dobson and the religious right are outside the evangelical mainstream. That’s just a fact,” Wallis said. “That doesn’t mean they have no power…. But their monologue is over. Their control of the agenda is over.”

He and others have sought to re-brand traditional slogans of the religious right, such as “pro-life,” to encompass a range of programs, from working with AIDS victims in Africa to helping illegal immigrants achieve legal status so they can continue to live with their U.S.-born children.

The Rev. Jim Ball, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, has worked global warming into his definition of pro-life; he argues reducing carbon emissions will cut back on air and water pollution and that in turn will improve the health of pregnant women and unborn generations.

“We’re saying we can be pro-life and take care of global warming,” Bal said. “There’s a strong connection there.”

Friday’s board meeting advanced that view, but the debate is not over.

“The NAE is at a crossroads,” board member Jerald Walz said.

“You won’t find an evangelical who will say ‘I’m for poverty.’ Of course not,” Walz said.

But when it comes to helping the poor, ideas vary; some prefer to work through private charity, while others want government intervention.

Since there’s no consensus, Walz argued, “we ought to be reticent about speaking with force and clarity” on such issues.

Instead, he will keep pressing to focus the agenda on issues he considers “home runs” – namely, restrictions on abortion and bans on same-sex marriage.

Some on the board who share those views are already working on a second letter criticizing Cizik for his environmental activism.

Balmer, the religion professor, says he senses an unstoppable momentum for the new generation of social-justice evangelicals. But though he criticizes the traditionalists for “moral myopia,” he’s not willing to write them off yet.

Dobson and his allies still wield considerable clout; their radio shows, newsletters and e-mail alerts reach millions of conservative Christians.

“They’re still very powerful,” Balmer said. “And they’re not giving up.”

We can only hope these goobers break apart and wind up devouring themselves.

Mar 072007
 

You heard right. Apparently conversative Christian leaders are mad at the Government Affairs guy for the National Association of Evangelicals (yep, the one Ted Haggard used to head). They seem to think fighting against equal rights for gay people and opposing abortion are more important than saving the world from blowing itself up. From NY Times

Leaders of several conservative Christian groups have sent a letter urging the National Association of Evangelicals to force its policy director in Washington to stop speaking out on global warming.The conservative leaders say they are not convinced that global warming is human-induced or that human intervention can prevent it. And they accuse the director, the Rev. Richard Cizik, the association’s vice president for government affairs, of diverting the evangelical movement from what they deem more important issues, like abortion and homosexuality.

The letter underlines a struggle between established conservative Christian leaders, whose priority has long been sexual morality, and challengers who are pushing to expand the evangelical movement’s agenda to include issues like climate change and human rights.

“We have observed,” the letter says, “that Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time.”

Those issues, the signers say, are a need to campaign against abortion and same-sex marriage and to promote “the teaching of sexual abstinence and morality to our children.”

The letter, dated Thursday, is signed by leaders like James C. Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family; Gary L. Bauer, once a Republican presidential candidate and now president of Coalitions for America; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; and Paul Weyrich, a longtime political strategist who is chairman of American Values.

They acknowledge in the letter that none of their groups belong to the National Association of Evangelicals, a broad coalition that represents 30 million Christians in hundreds of denominations, organizations and academic institutions. But, they say, if Mr. Cizik “cannot be trusted to articulate the views of American evangelicals,” then he should be encouraged to resign.

Mr. Cizik (pronounced SIZE-ik) did not respond to requests for an interview yesterday, and the association’s chairman, L. Roy Taylor, was unavailable. But the Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the association, said, “We’re talking about somebody here who’s been in Washington for 25 years, has an amazing track record and is highly respected.”  Continue reading »

Sep 282005
 

The London Times has an interesting story about an article published in an academic journal. According to the study, belief in and worship of God may actually contribute to social ills.

The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, reports that most Americans believe, “that their church-going nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shinining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example of an increasingly skeptical world.” However, according to this study comparing the social performance of relatively secular countries such as Britain with the U.S., “In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion.”

The study concluded that the US was the world’s only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries. The US also suffered from “ uniquely high” adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates, the study suggested.

The researchers took a macro of view of the U.S. as a whole compared with other developed nations. The results of this study come as no surprise when one takes a more micro view within the U.S. The “red” states, generally considered to have higher rates of religious belief and church membership, show much higher rates of “social ills” than the “blue” states. According to a CDC Study, the red states have a higher teen pregnancy rate than blue states.

The murder rate is higher in red states than blue states. The red state divorce rate is 4.5 per 1000 Residents, while its only 3.6 per 1000 Residents in blue states. Abortion rates are higher in red states. Illiteracy rates are also higher in red states.

So I have to agree with the study’s findings. Statistics in this country bear out the study’s findings. But the real question is, what causes this?

The forecast for 33611 by WP Wunderground