Blog Archives

On the Republicans and their sophisticated views on Rape…

The Friskey has published a Handy Dandy Guide with a great chart. Isn’t it amazing how these men don’t seem to ever have asked a woman what being raped and/or getting pregnant from it means? The Friskey comments on the gentlemen in the chart:

“I have such a hard time remembering which conservative politician said what ridiculously offensive thing about rape. They’re all old and white and most of them are in some state of partial baldness. They all look the same! And they all sound basically the same too, given that woman-hating bile spews from their open pie holes. Alas, they are all individual people, who hold or have held positions of power within government, and aspire to inflict their beliefs upon your life.”

You know, there are people who listen to and agree with these terrible concepts and who admire all five of these Republicans. You can bet Mitt and his buddy Ryan are included in these.

I will be amazed when someone comes out with the statistic after the election of how many women voted Republican. It is as if they would enjoy being treated like cattle.

What in hell is it about Republicans and rape?

A new television ad in Indiana has Romney endorsing Richard Mourdock for Senator in that state. Mourdock, however, has displayed the Republicans‘ opposition to women and the right to choose. In a televised debate with his Democratic opponent Representative Joe Donnelly, he opposed abortion as a choice after rape… why? because God says so:

“Life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”

– Richard Mourdock 

So this is a new and compelling reason (if you are a Republican) to leave raped women pregnant whether they want to bear a rapist‘s child or not. And, of course, Romney’s support indicates his actual neoconservative leanings, despite having tried to seem moderate in the last debate.

It’s hard to believe that any of these candidates would top Todd Akin, but Mourdock certainly has.

What is it about Republicans and Rape?

Tom Smith is running for Senate against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. When the Akin/Ryan/Rape business came up he was interviewed by Mark Scolforo of the Associated Press. Catch this:

SCOLFORO: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that?

SMITH: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose the way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.

SCOLFORO: Similar how?

SMITH: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.

SCOLFORO: That’s similar to rape?

SMITH: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.

Perhaps Republicans have no real idea what Rape is… a violent and immoral crime. For the state to have control of a woman’s decisions related to the use of her body is equally as violent, whether psychologically or physically, and just as criminally immoral.

At least we know now that birth out of wedlock is “similar” to rape.

I hope you Pennsylvania folks keep a very good Senator that you are lucky to have… Bob Casey.

(Special thanks to Wonkette for the transcript.)

Would Sally Ride have eaten at Chick-fil-A?

 

The revelation at her death that Sally Ride, an American Hero, was also a Lesbian who had a 27 year relationship with a female partner, brings me back to the anti-gay marriage statements by Dan Cathy, President of that detestable fast food empire.

It is time to re-think ALL our values…EVERYBODY… because this is the 21st Century and we should no longer be tied down by religious or ultra-conservative regulations and ignorance.

Here’s a view of what the radical right thinks and how those thoughts are defined:

Can we now realize that there are great people and ordinary people and all kinds of people who are gay or straight and they all have the right to live equal lives!

 

Why I will never eat at Chick-fil-A…

 

Because of it’s management’s consistent push of fundamentalist Christianity upon it’s customers, whether they are Jews, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or atheists like me, I have stayed as far away from Chick-fil-A as I could. If I were starving I would still avoid it. Restaurants should be concerned with making food and not making converts.

Recently, the President of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy,  came out as radically anti-gay… from opposition to gay marriage as well as opposition to gay employees. Does McDonalds do this? Burger King? Boston Market? Well, no.

Let me recommend that you avoid these guys, too. If you really feel a need to eat at the Rush Limbaugh of fast foods, just think about how every buck you spend there is supporting an ignorant society.

 

My life has changed… not for the better, I’m afraid

Following my radio show this morning, I’m sitting over at Mellow Moods having coffee while I wait for my friend Cecil to pick me up

He’s over at  workshop at the Contemporary American Theater Festival and are schedules our slightly skewed.

This not being able to drive, what I have been condemned to since my accident, stands a real possibility of going on for the rest of my life. If I were in a city with public transportation to everything going on, it would be one thing, but I’m a few miles out of town in an empty, rural neighborhood where walking to anything is out of the question and there are no buses or anything else.

I’m dependent on family and friends to go out, can no longer do the grocery shopping, which I enjoyed, and, basically I feel trapped. The internet is my only way out, so you, dear blog readers, are now my connection to the world. I enjoy hearing from you whether you agree with me or not.

Think I’ll go buy another cup of coffee while it becomes 102° outside.

I needed something to laugh at this afternoon… so here it is:

From Conan’s show: Jack McBrayer (Kenneth on 30 Rock) & Triumph The Comic Insult Dog Visit Chicago’s Weiner’s Circle (a famous site of vulgar insults.)

You’ll get a kick out of this (language not safe for prudes.)

Science vs. God – America is becoming ignorant.

Gallup has released the results of a national poll on science, and unfortunately, modern biology didn’t fare well:

“Forty-six percent of Americans believe in the creationist view that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.”

In fact, only 15% believed in evolution with God playing no part in everything (ie: the major premise of modern science.)

Here in America we used to have a competitive edge in science… now we are falling way behind competing countries. We need to start taking science seriously again —  ignorance costs far too much. Results such as those of the Gallup poll should serve as a wake-up call.

Neil deGrasse Tyson gave a lecture a few years ago on the “philosophy of ignorance,” in which he said a lack of appreciation for basic scientific principles will hurt America’s scientific output, which has traditionally been the nation’s largest economic engine.

“If nonscience works its way into the science classroom, it marks … the beginning of the end of the economic strength this country has known,” Tyson said.

If you care about American economic competitiveness you have to care about science.

A frightening story from the Religious Right:

Thank you to WarIsACrime.org for making us aware of this. Part of the article as follows:

How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren

By davidswanson

Child reading Bible

The story of Saul and the Amalekites has been used to justify genocide throughout the ages. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

The Bible has thousands of passages that may serve as the basis for instruction and inspiration. Not all of them are appropriate in all circumstances.

The story of Saul and the Amalekites is a case in point. It’s not a pretty story, and it is often used by people who don’t intend to do pretty things. In the book of 1 Samuel (15:3), God said to Saul:

Now go, attack the Amalekites, and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.”

Saul dutifully exterminated the women, the children, the babies and all of the men – but then he spared the king. He also saved some of the tastier looking calves and lambs. God was furious with him for his failure to finish the job.

The story of the Amalekites has been used to justify genocide throughout the ages. According to Pennsylvania State University Professor Philip Jenkins, a contributing editor for the American Conservative, the Puritans used this passage when they wanted to get rid of the Native American tribes. Catholics used it against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics. “In Rwanda in 1994, Hutu preachers invoked King Saul‘s memory to justify the total slaughter of their Tutsi neighbors,” writes Jenkins in his 2011 book, Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses (HarperCollins).

This fall, more than 100,000 American public school children, ranging in age from four to 12, are scheduled to receive instruction in the lessons of Saul and the Amalekites in the comfort of their own public school classrooms. The instruction, which features in the second week of a weekly “Bible study” course, will come from the Good News Club, an after-school program sponsored by a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). The aim of the CEF is to convert young children to a fundamentalist form of the Christian faith and recruit their peers to the club.

(read the rest HERE.)

And yet, we can look at Muslims and see them responsible for acts like those in Syria and other places where women and children are killed… or look at the same kind of crimes in Guatemala a couple of years ago (The report on Dos Erres by This American Life comes to mind) and you’ll see what is almost an acceptance by the US Government (unless we are doing something that is invisible.)

Religion… the danger of extreme belief,,, rises to confront the world on a regular basis. Will we allow such a rise in our schools?

North Carolina Pastor: Pen In ‘All The Lesbians And Queers’ With An Electrified Fence, Wait For Them To ‘Die Out’

What is it that gives Religion the kind of Clowns that North Carolina does?

North Carolinians voted to alter the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage… why? They were largely moved by fear-tactics fueled by far right religious groups bent on punishing lesbians and gay men. The vote also makes North Carolina, as The New York Times notes, the last state in the South to marginalize gay people with a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Now we have a North Carolina Pastor with a kind of “leper colony” proposal to end the problem of gays and gay marriage. He’s Charles Worley, and he proposed this to his wrapt congregation this week:

“I figured a way out — a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers. But I couldn’t get it passed through Congress. Build a great big large fence, 150 or 100 miles long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. Have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed ‘em, and– And you know what? In a few years they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.”

Don’t you just admire the logic of that? You KNOW the Bible‘s “agin’ it”… here’s Worley’s speech:

Victoria Lamb Hatch, who I have quoted in this blog before, made a fine summary statement on Worley’s little diatribe:

Does this mentally arthritic idiot know that the vast majority of gay people are born to straight people? Does he know that penning up gay people and waiting for them to die out won’t solve his “problem” because straight people will just continue birthing gay babies? Does he know that anyone who “can’t reproduce” would die out anyway, penned up or not?

Does he know that he’s a hateful, evil person who isn’t earning God‘s favor with comments like these?

I guess Victoria doesn’t realize it, but torturing the gay/lesbian community is where all the FUN is. Right?

btchakir:

As a “Kind Atheist” being preferred by any God is a gift I do not require, nor would I open it if received.
However, “Hateful Christians” are in the same category to me as “Hateful Muslims” or “Hateful Jews” or even “Hateful Atheists.” Being hateful is one of the reasons this whole world has been steadily going to pot.

Originally posted on Millard Fillmore's Bathtub:

Actual photo, from the Rose City Park United Methodist Church, in Portland, Oregon.

Rose City Park United Methodist Church sign, "God prefers atheists . . ."

The sign got a mention in Larry Bingham’s column in The Oregonian, and he says it’s making more headlines.

The Rose City Park United Methodist Church minister’s recent sign, which says “God Prefers Kind Atheists over Hateful Christians” is making headlines all over the place.

My colleague, Religion Writer Nancy Haught, cites it in her story on the shifting terminology between “religion” and “Christian.” And The Christian Post also has a story.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Kathy Paxton-Williams.

View original

Good Morning, America. Time to get back to our roots…

… and to me that starts with dropping In God We Trust and returning to “e pluribus unum” (Out of Many, One) as our official motto (I’ve been thinking about this all night – even in one very bad dream – since posting the last night’s quote from Mark Karlin.)

It was adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782, although not as an official motto but what came to be considered, de facto, the basic statement of the USA. It is on the official Seal of the United States.

“In God We Trust,” in this era of the Religious Right separating itself from any compromise position with the center or the left, is meaningless.  What do we trust in God for? That He would allow one side to corrupt the country in His name? If we don’t get back to unifying the many, we will no longer have control of the basics of daily life.

OK… I’m an atheist, as I’ve pointed out many times on this blog. The religious connection with politics, in general, leaves me both appalled and extremely worried. Even if I had a belief that was in line with the other 80% of Americans, I would be upset about single sects pushing their beliefs on everyone else. This is not American…not the American Way.

Show me a candidate that can finish a speech without acknowledging a blessing from  their own God, and I will show you someone who is more reliant
on what he or she CAN DO by him- or herself, with the united population…the one out of many. That, to me, is worth voting for.

Is there too much religion in today’s politics?

38% of Americans think so (up from 18% in 2001) and would like to keep religion out of politics.

To break it down to a party level, Pew research says 46% of Democrats, 42% of Independents and even 24% of Republicans think there is “too much religious talk from politicians.”

Time Magazine in its Swampland section also points out:

In an article appearing in the March-April 2012 issue of Foreign Affairs adapted from their upcoming book, American Grace: How Religion Unites and Divides Us, Putnam and Campbell argue that the growth in the unaffiliateds has been fueled by a backlash against the religious right. There’s some debate whether the “nones” are really abandoning spirituality–most still believe in God but don’t claim ties to any organized religion–and whether culture warriors, secular indoctrination at elite institutions (as some conservatives dubiously argue) or pop evangelists (see Ross Douthat) are to blame.

But whatever the cause, the political implications of this bloc are plain: Unaffiliateds don’t like religious sermonizing in the public square. According to Pew, 66% of “nones” think the government is too involved in dictating morality; 70% think abortion should be legal in all or most cases; and 71% think homosexuality should be accepted by society.

Living in the rural district…

Bird's nest over our front porch.

Sunny day, warm weather and I spent the last half hour sitting out on my porch with my next door neighbor, Francis, talking about lawn mowing, hay growing, birds nesting, different kinds of tree blossoms…etc,etc. This is nice.

If you are going to be retired, I can’t think of a better place. It’s a great place to write and develop theatre projects (John Case and I are working on an updated

Flowering Pear Tree

version of Odets’ “Waiting for Lefty” which will include contemporary references and some music… we’ll be performing it at The Folly sometime this summer.) It’s also wonderful for gardening and other outdoor activities.

There’s a whole different kind of concerns out here than there is in the closer suburbs… the weather relates more to how the land operates than to what you’ll wear and how you will move around. Rain out here is is a prized phenomenon (and we expect some this afternoon and tomorrow.)

And now that winter has been eliminated by an early spring, it looks like things will get even better.

Culture Wars…

We are entering another month of the ongoing political culture wars next week, without really looking at the concerns of jobs, economics, climate change or any of the other real problems that need to be addressed.

Tuesday will be the Michigan and Arizona primaries, so the TV pundits are focusing on those states and in so doing are revealing some new cultural phenomena. For instance, in Arizona they are considering a new law that bans college teachers from cursing but allows students to carry guns. Got that? Gun violence good, language violence bad? And then… what is a naughty enough word to get a teacher fired? Will they be listed in the law?

The biggest insertion of cultural conflict into the process is, of course, religion. Between candidates who have been spoken to by God and encouraged to run, to major religious groups protesting established birth control legislation but supporting the penetration of vaginas to discourage abortions, the promotion of religion over secular politics is frightening… and disgusting.

These politicians are ready to scrap what we know of the scientific proof for climate change in order to promote more industries that pollute the air (listen to the righties cheer) or to ignore what is necessary to reduce the unbelievable growth of population. Don’t they see what is going on here?

I turn to the world of intellectual comedy to backup my views of religion, science and atheism (a belief area that I belong to… but like most atheists don’t try to inflict my beliefs on other people using the replacement of secular law.) Here’s Eddie Izzard:

Even if you don’t agree with Eddie (or me), I hope you were at least entertained… and will think about how to get away from the culture wars and back to solving our real problems.

(BTW, Eddie Izzard will soon be appearing in a new version of Treasure Island playing Long John Silver. Can’t wait.)

(Stupid) Quote of the Day

Climate Change is…

“an absolute travesty of scientific research that was motivated by those who, in my opinion, saw this as an opportunity to create a panic and a crisis for government to be able to step in and even more greatly control your life…

“When you have a worldview that elevates the Earth above man and says that we can’t take those resources because we’re going to harm the Earth; by things that frankly are just not scientifically proven, for example, the politicization of the whole global warming debate — this is all an attempt to, you know, to centralize power and to give more power to the government.”

-Rick Santorum speaking in Colorado

In his article in TPM on Santorum’s little speech, Sahil Kapur also put this in:

But lest you believe Santorum’s thinking is hitherto unseen in the GOP. Rep. John Shimkus, in a 2009 congressional hearing, cited the Book of Genesis as evidence that climate change is a hoax, pointing out that God promised Noah that man won’t destroy the Earth. Shimkus was subsequently rewarded with the Chairmanship of the powerful Energy & Commerce subcommittee on the environment.

Don’t you love the Religious Right? Isn’t the Book of Genesis the one that never explains where all the other people beyond Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel come from? And there’s a talking snake.

No contraception! “Every sperm is sacred”

btchakir:

I love Moe’s posts… I get my biggest laughs out of them. See the whole thing plus video  HERE.

Originally posted on Whatever Works:

I think the recent Catholic objection to paying for contraception was not without merit on First Amendment grounds. But that’s the constitutional part. I am otherwise delighted to join in the mockery, so richly deserved.

This Monty Python classic has been getting a bit of play around the interwebs today. (Should I email it to the local archbishop I wonder? It might be okay cuz it’s not about lady parts.)

View original

Just a comment on belief… atheists can be thankful,too.

Someone asked me how I could be thankful on Thanksgiving with no belief in a creator on high.

It’s time to reveal a reality: Atheists can be thankful,too.

We don’t thank a holy individual.

We thank our families and our friends and the celebrated and the anonymous.

We are thankful for good things that have happened to us and thankful just to be alive and surviving in the great wide world.

We are thankful to have a means of expression (like this blog, or community theatre plays, or radio shows, or art, or the basic freedom of speech.)

We are thankful that we can share all these things with each other and hope to continue to for years to come.

See? It’s not hard to conceive of a thankful atheist. It’s much harder for us to conceive of an invisible deity pulling the strings.

 

Belief and politics

I read somewhere, very recently, that an acknowledged atheist in our society, no matter how qualified or politically necessary, can never be elected President. Damn… there go all my hopes for the future.

Perhaps the majority of voters think we need a god to keep the world at peace, or feed the hungry, or raise the poor from the economic miasma.

And what about giving us an edge on foreign religions? Hell, don’t they believe in the god as well?

And what about the conflict between religion and science? Don’t we need science for civilization to progress? And don’t we need to reinforce education, rather than lay off teachers,  to promote science?

And Math?

And the Arts?

It seems, though, that the fundamental beliefs of the atheist in human development and responsibility are meaningless when compared to the beliefs of the prayer-meeting politician.

I signed a petition this week to have “Under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. I’d sure like to see “in God We Trust” taken off our money. Neither is likely to happen.

I know the rich keep getting richer while the poor trust in a god to lift them up to a mythical “next life.” The don’t see that they are being used… kept in their place by that upper class.

Now, I CAN’T take advantage of the poor. I’m what’s called in NYC an “Ethical Humanist.” It doesn’t make me much of a political guy in West Virginia… but, at least, I can live with myself.

Is there a split going on with the far right?

…from The Hill.

I’m making a sincere request for your help…

I need your help to keep Under The LobsterScope going… but I never take your contributions without making it worth your while:
1. I present a blog that keeps you up to date on politics and the arts… and lots of things you don.t find anywhere else…

and

2. For every donation of $5.00 or more I am now offering 2 special fonts – real designer’s treasures – for your computer design and publishing efforts:
Bill’s Asterisks and Bullets and Bill’s Ampersands (see samples:)

These sell on my font site (http://utftype.blogspot.com) for $29.00 each.

To make a contribution, just go to this PayPal site::
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=LW5LW84KWFGRN”

Thanks in advance,

- Bill

Rick Perry and the Religious Right show their True Faces…

From TexasTrailerParkTrash:

What Would Jesus Order?

It’s been said many times recently that the GOP is living in a parallel universe, with their own set of facts that have nothing to do with reality as the rest of us know and understand it.

Here is proof, in living color.

These photos were taken at Rick Perry’s Prayerpalooza on Saturday, where he called for seven hours of intense prayer and fasting.

Apparently, the good folks who were in attendance didn’t know that fasting means not eating anything.

Either that, or they have applied the Michele Bachmann Rule of Denial and believe, even as you can “pray away the gay,” you can eat nachos and still call that fasting.

Hey, Babe… thanks for the word from Texas. Don’t you want to keep your Governor and not inflict him on the rest of us? :)

Change To Win

I spend most of my time on this blog, lately, pointing out the growing number of things that are destroying our economy, our community, our health and, ultimately, our existence. I’m not sure who listens or believes what is proven over and over. I know many are putting their faith is religion, in second comings, in waiting to be lifted to heaven as the Devil takes over the Earth

Come back to reality, folks. Most of the solutions are fairly clear and require us to put in a great deal of work. We have all got to be ready for it.

I haven’t run one of these videos in some time… but I feel like upping everyone’s will to win:

Got it? I hope so.

OK…Harold Camping got it wrong… but he has a new date for the Rapture…

I guess he didn’t raise enough to add to his blessed $72 million bucks. better get in line with him now  and send in your money) so you make it up to heaven when it really happens. But do it before October 21st.

Here are his comments:

Got it? Now get back to work.

… and a quote for the evening from Stephen Hawking:

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

It is a strong statement, and one I agree with.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 319 other followers