maxomai: dog (dog)
By now we've all seen this moron:

A Republican congressional candidate in Chicago believes God controls the weather and that tornadoes, autism and dementia are his punishments for the gay rights movement and abortions.

...

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she added, blaming natural disasters like tornadoes and diseases including autism and dementia on recent advances in the LGBT movement. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."


The moron in question is Susanne Atanus (MBA, MPA, Northwestern grad), and she is indeed a Republican candidate for Congress. Really, though, that's not saying much, since she's still just running for the Republican nomination. In fact, she made her remarks during a debate against the other Republican candidate, a socially moderate veteran from my old neighborhood named David Earl Williams III. The winner will go on to lose to the incumbent, enormously popular Democrat Jan Schakowsky, by at least two-to-one.

Nonetheless, Atanus's remarks are a huge deal. Part of it is that she's a superstitious idiot and a religious bigot, although progressives would probably forgive that if Atanus were a new-ager talking about vaccines causing autism. Most of it is that abortion, birth control, and gay rights, as cultural issues, are huge winners for liberals and huge losers for conservatives. I know plenty of "pro-life" zealots who will disagree with me that abortion is a losing issue for them, but the defeats of Senate candidates Mourdock and Akin make my point for me. Ditto for birth control. Furthermore, the nation has changed its mind on gay rights, particularly on gay marriage, which has gone from a winner for conservatives to a winner for liberals in just the last decade. Every time a Republican candidate opens their mouth on these issues, they risk ramming their foot into it. When that happens, it's not just the candidate that suffers, but the entire Republican brand.

Republicans know that their brand suffers when candidates fumble on abortion, birth control, gay rights, and many other cultural issues. This is why they're trying to educate their candidates to tread lightly around those issues. For them, Atanus is a worst case scenario. She has already demonstrated that she's recklessly dim-witted when it comes to cultural issues. The media attention will only grow as she says more dumb things as a candidate. The primary election isn't until March 18th, which gives her almost two months to cause more damage. And if she wins the primary, then what?

It shouldn't surprise anyone, therefore, that the Illinois GOP wants her to quit. Personally, I hope she stays on.
maxomai: dog (dog)
I admit that, when I was a kid, I would put the occasional quarter in the Salvation Army bucket. You'll never see me give them a penny as an adult.

It's not just their tacit homophobia. It's also that they refused to help a friend of SC's because said friend "looked too goth."

On the other hand, I saw first hand the work the Red Cross does towards disaster relief, when they helped Katrina survivors relocate to Portland and elsewhere. That's why they get my holiday charitable donation money, and have since 2005.

You can donate to the American Red Cross here.
maxomai: dog (dog)
Somehow, I missed this bit of complete brilliance from Garfunkel and Oates.



(If the embedded player doesn't work, try this)
maxomai: dog (Default)
Quoting the man himself:

I will name the time and the place, per your offer, as soon as possible. Looking forward to it, NOMnuts.


On the one hand, Dan Savage knows next to nothing about Christianity. On the other hand, Brian Brown is a homophobic idiot who also, IMO, knows plenty about the fascist, nationalist brand of Christianity, a bare minimum about the Bible, and nothing about much else. The whole fight is bound to be about as enlightening as a professional wrestling match.

However, I do see some potential for good here, if GWAR jumps on stage during the debate and kills both of them. How about it, guys?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Quoting the man himself:

I will name the time and the place, per your offer, as soon as possible. Looking forward to it, NOMnuts.


On the one hand, Dan Savage knows next to nothing about Christianity. On the other hand, Brian Brown is a homophobic idiot who also, IMO, knows plenty about the fascist, nationalist brand of Christianity, a bare minimum about the Bible, and nothing about much else. The whole fight is bound to be about as enlightening as a professional wrestling match.

However, I do see some potential for good here, if GWAR jumps on stage during the debate and kills both of them. How about it, guys?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Well then!

Rekers, a Baptist minister who is a leading scholar for the Christian right, left the terminal with his gay escort, looking a bit discomfited when a picture of the two was snapped with a hot-pink digital camera.


Rekers hired his escort via Rentboy.com. As Joe points out, Rekers is one of the leaders of NARTH, an organization to promote Reparative Therapy, a huge scam that purports to "cure" people of their homosexuality. He is also a co-founder of the Family Research Council.

This kinda thing is getting almost routine.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Well then!

Rekers, a Baptist minister who is a leading scholar for the Christian right, left the terminal with his gay escort, looking a bit discomfited when a picture of the two was snapped with a hot-pink digital camera.


Rekers hired his escort via Rentboy.com. As Joe points out, Rekers is one of the leaders of NARTH, an organization to promote Reparative Therapy, a huge scam that purports to "cure" people of their homosexuality. He is also a co-founder of the Family Research Council.

This kinda thing is getting almost routine.
maxomai: dog (Default)
One of the big realizations inside the Democratic Party is that the Left is getting creamed on so-called "values issues," because the GOP has figured out how to talk to white protestants and the Dems haven't. That's not to say that religious voters always go Rethug -- after all, African-American Christians go Democratic by anywhere between ten to one and twenty to one over the GOP. Even so, the single strongest correlation that we can find that determines how one votes is whether one attends Church regularly.

The Democrats, in a fit of framing, decided that it's time to start talking to Christians directly; and who better to do that than Barack Obama, who had his own Born Again experience in a church on Chicago's South Side? So he gave a speech at the Call for Renewal conference. (Go read it, it's important.) This speech has been lambasted by progressive bloggers who apparently have completely forgotten where the values of the progressive movement came from. (Civil rights? SANE/FREEZE? Those were powered by churches, folks, much more so than by advocacy groups like NAACP.) To my mind, this lack of understanding marks one of the significant differences, politically, between African-Americans and White Progressives. To White Progressives, the Christian Left seems odd and novel; to African-Americans, it's basic and obvious. Advantage, negroes.

The problem is, Senator Obama is still basically stuck in the secular progressive mindset, as shrieking theofascist Albert Mohler points out on his blog:

So, after encouraging believers to bring their convictions into the public square, Sen. Obama now tells them to keep such convictions to themselves, at least when it comes to any matter of public policy.

When the senator demands that any policy proposal be couched in an argument from secular principle -- "some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those of no faith at all" -- he is institutionalizing secularism. This is the same kind of argument heard from academics like Robert Audi and the late John Rawls.

But this is also demanding the impossible. Sen. Obama seems to believe in the myth of a universal reason and rationality that will be compelling to all persons of all faiths, including those of no faith at all. Such principles do not exist in any specific form usable for the making of public policy on, for example, matters of life and death like abortion and human embryo research.

This is secularism with a smile -- offered in the form of an invitation for believers to show up, but then only to be allowed to make arguments that are not based in their deepest beliefs


Sounds like Mohler has figured out Senator Obama's kryptonite, and the kryptonite of most of the embryotic Religious Left: he believes that all people hold fundamentally the same beliefs. Let me assure you folks that this is not true, and I know this from my own struggle with Thelema. When most people's highest morality is humble-self sacrifice, and your own highest morality is rising from the mud to achieve Godhood, there is a conflict that can't just be papered over. People won't stand for it. If you don't believe me, look at what my presence is doing to Street Prophets.

So Mohler has figured out Obama's kryptonite. What Mohler doesn't realize (yet) is that this same kryptonite applies to the theofascists. After all, it's okay to legislate in such a way that your values get shoved down the throats of an unaccepting public if you assume that we're all fundamentally the same, modulo some theological discipline. Once you realize that we're not fundamentally the same -- that there are differences in culture, aptitude, dedication, devotion and achivement that make us inherently unequal -- then the cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all dogma of the Christian Right just doesn't cut it anymore. And at that point, the Christian Right doesn't have the keys to anything that's universally useful, unless you count the bathroom door.

As I stated earlier, I think trying to revive the Christian Left is a lost cause; the progressive Christianity that inspired Bryant and MLK has been fractured, and the pieces that are left over are tearing themselves to shreds. (Just take a look at the Anglicans and you'll see what I mean). But I could be wrong, and if I am, then Barack Obama will probably be the person who proves me wrong. He took a clumsy first step this last week, and got egg on his face in the process. I personally hope his next step will be a little more sure -- and a little more well-founded.
maxomai: dog (Default)
One of the big realizations inside the Democratic Party is that the Left is getting creamed on so-called "values issues," because the GOP has figured out how to talk to white protestants and the Dems haven't. That's not to say that religious voters always go Rethug -- after all, African-American Christians go Democratic by anywhere between ten to one and twenty to one over the GOP. Even so, the single strongest correlation that we can find that determines how one votes is whether one attends Church regularly.

The Democrats, in a fit of framing, decided that it's time to start talking to Christians directly; and who better to do that than Barack Obama, who had his own Born Again experience in a church on Chicago's South Side? So he gave a speech at the Call for Renewal conference. (Go read it, it's important.) This speech has been lambasted by progressive bloggers who apparently have completely forgotten where the values of the progressive movement came from. (Civil rights? SANE/FREEZE? Those were powered by churches, folks, much more so than by advocacy groups like NAACP.) To my mind, this lack of understanding marks one of the significant differences, politically, between African-Americans and White Progressives. To White Progressives, the Christian Left seems odd and novel; to African-Americans, it's basic and obvious. Advantage, negroes.

The problem is, Senator Obama is still basically stuck in the secular progressive mindset, as shrieking theofascist Albert Mohler points out on his blog:

So, after encouraging believers to bring their convictions into the public square, Sen. Obama now tells them to keep such convictions to themselves, at least when it comes to any matter of public policy.

When the senator demands that any policy proposal be couched in an argument from secular principle -- "some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those of no faith at all" -- he is institutionalizing secularism. This is the same kind of argument heard from academics like Robert Audi and the late John Rawls.

But this is also demanding the impossible. Sen. Obama seems to believe in the myth of a universal reason and rationality that will be compelling to all persons of all faiths, including those of no faith at all. Such principles do not exist in any specific form usable for the making of public policy on, for example, matters of life and death like abortion and human embryo research.

This is secularism with a smile -- offered in the form of an invitation for believers to show up, but then only to be allowed to make arguments that are not based in their deepest beliefs


Sounds like Mohler has figured out Senator Obama's kryptonite, and the kryptonite of most of the embryotic Religious Left: he believes that all people hold fundamentally the same beliefs. Let me assure you folks that this is not true, and I know this from my own struggle with Thelema. When most people's highest morality is humble-self sacrifice, and your own highest morality is rising from the mud to achieve Godhood, there is a conflict that can't just be papered over. People won't stand for it. If you don't believe me, look at what my presence is doing to Street Prophets.

So Mohler has figured out Obama's kryptonite. What Mohler doesn't realize (yet) is that this same kryptonite applies to the theofascists. After all, it's okay to legislate in such a way that your values get shoved down the throats of an unaccepting public if you assume that we're all fundamentally the same, modulo some theological discipline. Once you realize that we're not fundamentally the same -- that there are differences in culture, aptitude, dedication, devotion and achivement that make us inherently unequal -- then the cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all dogma of the Christian Right just doesn't cut it anymore. And at that point, the Christian Right doesn't have the keys to anything that's universally useful, unless you count the bathroom door.

As I stated earlier, I think trying to revive the Christian Left is a lost cause; the progressive Christianity that inspired Bryant and MLK has been fractured, and the pieces that are left over are tearing themselves to shreds. (Just take a look at the Anglicans and you'll see what I mean). But I could be wrong, and if I am, then Barack Obama will probably be the person who proves me wrong. He took a clumsy first step this last week, and got egg on his face in the process. I personally hope his next step will be a little more sure -- and a little more well-founded.
maxomai: dog (Default)
I'm sure most of you have heard about South Dakota's law banning abortion in all cases except where necessary for the mother's health.

But did you hear about a bill in Tennessee that would force a woman to notify the man who got her pregnant of her intent to abort?

You can read the House and Senate versions of the bill here and here.

If you value your right to choose, you'd better goddamn well get active -- right now.
maxomai: dog (Default)
I'm sure most of you have heard about South Dakota's law banning abortion in all cases except where necessary for the mother's health.

But did you hear about a bill in Tennessee that would force a woman to notify the man who got her pregnant of her intent to abort?

You can read the House and Senate versions of the bill here and here.

If you value your right to choose, you'd better goddamn well get active -- right now.
maxomai: dog (Default)
The guy who founded Domino's Pizza wants to build a town based on strict Roman Catholic principles -- in particular, one in which birth control, abortion services, and pornography will not be available.

I'm not sure he could get away with it, but on the other hand, there may be a market for this kind of thing. If there is, I propose we build Thelemaville.

What kind of town is Thelemaville? Well:

  • You can basically sell, eat, drink, say, do, or produce whatever the hell you want.
  • Local law enforcement shall be encouraged to issue letters of good report for Class III transfer stamps.
  • There will be, at a minimum, one of each of the following: high-quality beer and wine shop (think Liquid Solutions), gun range, hobby shop (for models, RPGs and such), dojo, occult book store, high-quality food mart, fabric store, sporting goods store, blacksmith, custom jeweler, full-service Planned Parenthood center, community radio station.
  • Notwithstanding the above, there will not be a television station, movie theater, video rental shop, or any other business that primarily encourages passive entertainment.
  • Town hall meetings will start with reciting the following: "I will know my own Will. I will do my own Will. I will rejoice in the Will of my God."
  • The closer to Thunder Ranch, the better. (OK, maybe that's not so important -- but it would be really cool.)


Of course, the downside of this is that it would require Thelemites to, you know, take the project seriously. This isn't always our strong suit.
maxomai: dog (Default)
The guy who founded Domino's Pizza wants to build a town based on strict Roman Catholic principles -- in particular, one in which birth control, abortion services, and pornography will not be available.

I'm not sure he could get away with it, but on the other hand, there may be a market for this kind of thing. If there is, I propose we build Thelemaville.

What kind of town is Thelemaville? Well:

  • You can basically sell, eat, drink, say, do, or produce whatever the hell you want.
  • Local law enforcement shall be encouraged to issue letters of good report for Class III transfer stamps.
  • There will be, at a minimum, one of each of the following: high-quality beer and wine shop (think Liquid Solutions), gun range, hobby shop (for models, RPGs and such), dojo, occult book store, high-quality food mart, fabric store, sporting goods store, blacksmith, custom jeweler, full-service Planned Parenthood center, community radio station.
  • Notwithstanding the above, there will not be a television station, movie theater, video rental shop, or any other business that primarily encourages passive entertainment.
  • Town hall meetings will start with reciting the following: "I will know my own Will. I will do my own Will. I will rejoice in the Will of my God."
  • The closer to Thunder Ranch, the better. (OK, maybe that's not so important -- but it would be really cool.)


Of course, the downside of this is that it would require Thelemites to, you know, take the project seriously. This isn't always our strong suit.

Quiz time!

Jan. 21st, 2006 11:52 pm
maxomai: dog (Default)
I ganked the following from DailyKos:

They are vehemently against abortion, they resist progressive woman's rights. They view homosexuality as a crime against nature and God, some advocate the death penalty as an option for it. Separation of Church and State is despised by these folks; they insist the nation is founded on the principles of their religion, and they work hard to bring that de facto theocracy about. They deplore strong language, gay characters, and sexual content on TV and in the media. And they ignore the Geneva Convention when it suits their ideological purposes, including provisions against torture or due process. They're anti-stem cell research, pro-creationism, and generally distrustful of science. These folks are easily whipped into a state of frenzy with ideological manipulation to the point where they will commit violence, or at least tacitly endorse that violence is acceptable, if it advances their Divine agenda. They then take great pains to justify that violence, including unprovoked attack of civilian areas, under certain conditions, with convoluted theological gymnastics. They are almost to the man pro-death penalty.


So here's the question. From the looks of this, is the author talking about Al Qaeda, or the Religious Right?

Update Surprise! He was actually talking about Al Qaeda. But -- isn't it interesting to see the similarities in their ideology?

Quiz time!

Jan. 21st, 2006 11:52 pm
maxomai: dog (Default)
I ganked the following from DailyKos:

They are vehemently against abortion, they resist progressive woman's rights. They view homosexuality as a crime against nature and God, some advocate the death penalty as an option for it. Separation of Church and State is despised by these folks; they insist the nation is founded on the principles of their religion, and they work hard to bring that de facto theocracy about. They deplore strong language, gay characters, and sexual content on TV and in the media. And they ignore the Geneva Convention when it suits their ideological purposes, including provisions against torture or due process. They're anti-stem cell research, pro-creationism, and generally distrustful of science. These folks are easily whipped into a state of frenzy with ideological manipulation to the point where they will commit violence, or at least tacitly endorse that violence is acceptable, if it advances their Divine agenda. They then take great pains to justify that violence, including unprovoked attack of civilian areas, under certain conditions, with convoluted theological gymnastics. They are almost to the man pro-death penalty.


So here's the question. From the looks of this, is the author talking about Al Qaeda, or the Religious Right?

Update Surprise! He was actually talking about Al Qaeda. But -- isn't it interesting to see the similarities in their ideology?

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