Monday, January 30, 2006

Conservative Christian activist defends racist killers

One of the architects of the fundamentalists coup that destroyed the Reagan/Goldwater tradition is Paul Weyrich. Weyrich is a leading light in the neanderthals that want to impose a theocratic state on the US.

Now many people have heard the excellent speech that Al Gore gave regarding the usurpations of power by the Bush regime. Of course it is true that the Clinton White House did some of the things the Bushites are doing. But two wrongs don't make a right and that Gore was wrong then doesn't mean he's wrong now. Elementary points obviously. But Paul Weyrich is upset with Gore and has penned his own version of the speech that he wanted Gore to give.

One of the things he wanted Gore to apologize for is this: "I'm sorry we listed among the hate groups, such as Nazis, the KKK, skinheads and the like, a group called Christian Identity. I don’t know anything about such a group and I’m not sure if we were trying to say that any group which paraded its Christian identity might be a problem. In any event, I know now that such a group caused no harm so I apologize and ask your forgiveness."

Please note what Weyrich is saying about the Christian Identity movement. He is saying they are not a bad group at all and that they "caused no harm". What do these Christians mean by the word "identity" in their title?

They are the offshots of the British-Israelite movement that was promoted in the US by some of the most racist, extreme Nazi types to ever darken the soil of this country. The identity part refers to race. Specifically it refers to the idea that white Christians are the true Israel of the Bible. And what of the Jews you might ask? Well, according to Identity theology they are the literal sons of Satan. Blacks are part of "the mud races" which White Christians will hold in servitude.

The founder of Christian Identity was Wesley Swift, an organizer for the Ku Klux Klan. He started the first Identity church in 1946. Other prominent leaders in the group were William Potter Gale and Richard Butler. These men were avid Jew haters and preached genocide. This blogger himself heard a Identity minister preach in person. He was dressed in a Nazi uniform (absolutely true) and had a bevy of storm troopers with him. He preached about the future Christian American where "kikes and niggers" would be slaughtered. His preferred method was to throw them alive into a tree grinding maching.

Now the original advocates of British Israelism were not antiJewish at all. They said that whites and modern Jews were both descended from the Old Testament Hebrews. But the modern Idenity movement takes the position that the Serpent in the Garden, Satan himself, had sex with Eve and his cursed off spring are the Jews. One Identity book I read said that blacks were actually animals that pre-existed the creation of man and are not even human.

Contrary to the "speech" that Weyrich wrote the Christian Identity has hurt people. It is violent and dangerous. Identity members have murdered in the name of their relgion along with committing other crimes. A Jewish radio talk show host was assassinated by Identity Christians associated with the Identity-oriented Aryan Nation. In addition Identity factions have commited crime sprees to raise funds for their racial resistance to ZOG (the Zionist Occupational Government).

Four Identity "patriots" were convinced in 1995 of a conspiracy to release ricin to kill policemen. Another Identity follower was caught with bubonic plague cultures.

A few minutes research will verify the violent, racist nature of this cult. For Weyrich to say they never harmed anyone is incredible. That he particularly picked out these Nazis to defend may well say something important about Weyrich.

Below is an illustration that one Identity church is distributing. Sure these folks are harmless.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Christians boycott film -- Not that one!

I’ve mentioned how the Religious Right, while claiming an left-wing agenda, from Hollywood ignore recent films like End of the Spear and The Chronicles of Narnia both of which have Christian messages which does something to disprove their allegations.

But some Christians have found a reason to dislike End of the Spear in spite of its Christian message. It seems the American Taliban is in a dither because the man that was hired to star in the film is former child star/actor Chad Allen. And Allen is a terrible sinner because he’s gay. Over 100 mullahs left their pulpits, put down their Bibles and signed a petition expressing their “deep disappointment” over the casting.

Evangelical mullahs across America were given free tickets to the films so they could help orchestrate a campaign to attend the film and prove that God sells. But some of the more extreme mullahs were unhappy it wasn’t hard core enough and furious at the choice of Allen for the role.

Allen was offered the part because they felt he had the required talent but once they found out he was gay they wanted him off the job. But they had a problem in that they had already signed a contract with him. Of course you could imagine the ruckus if a mainstream film had refused to hire actors because they were practising Christians.

So the fundies behind the film had a dilemma. They couldn’t really fire him and they had to decide whether to try, and risk a major settlement for breach of contract, or to bite the bullet and make the film anyway. They chose the safe path and went ahead and then convinced themselves that God had been intervening and showing them signs that he, God, wanted Chad Allen in the part.

They were willing to go back on their word. They decided they’d let the family of the missionary, whose life is portrayed in the film, make the decision whether or not to fire Allen. The family evaded the issue by saying the producer of the film was put in charge of the film by God (see nothing happens that God doesn’t control). So they passed the buck back to hm. The producer said: “I wish I were able to articulate all the things that happened which led to me deciding God had, in fact, sent Chad to play the parts of Nate and Steve. It is very hard to share the ways the Lord leads especially when you can't fully grasp why He is doing things that don't make sense to the natural man. It is hard to see people have to defend a decision that I was responsible for, for people to have ugly things said about them because of a decision that I made. Why must others have to go through this when it wasn't their fault? I have total peace about the decision that was made. But I have to trust God for the others affected, as it is too big for me to handle. I must admit even though I wouldn't have thought so when I began the process, I have total peace Chad Allen was the man God intended to act in the movie, End of the Spear. I will be held accountable for this decision and I feel I have made the right decision.”

The producer is a real wacko. He was convinced that actors he couldn’t get for the film were denied him by his deity. So if this deity denied him some actors but he got Chad Allen that must mean that this god wanted Allen to play the role. Then he had a dream about the matter and that clinched it for him. So Chad Allen stayed in the film.

The fundie blog that revealed the “problem” has quite a few comments from those diagnosed with severe religiosity, a delusional state of mine where bigots convince themselves that their hatred is sanctioned by some supernatural being. And these Taliban converts are not buying the producer’s arguments. One fundie dismissed “some nebulous feeling” saying they should have cast the film by “God’s word” instead. Another accused the producer of thinking only of costs.

Another fundie says they should have refused him the part regardless. But to show how tolerant he is, he writes: “I personally don’t have a problem with non-Christians getting the part, but in this case it is someone who is not only unsaved, but lives in open rebellion to clear Bible principles and is an outspoken champion for that rebellion.” He just wants Bible nonsense to dominate all legal contracts instead.

The head mullah in this campaign says that: “Chad is not only gay, he flaunts his sexuality on the big screen.” That means he played a gay role in one film. They also insist that Allen, who is supposedly a Christian, is really anti-Christian. Again this is based on roles he was hired to play. He was in Save Me which is play about the antigay Christian “exgay” movement.

The mullahs were also upset that the film may expand “his fan base... especially among Christian kids”. If these young people then go to the Chad Allen fan site they will learn about “support groups for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-gendered teens.” By the way one of the main groups that Allen helps support is a counselling like for suicidal gay teens. We sure wouldn’t want Christian kids, depressed by their churches teaching, fearful of their parents, and terrified they will be beat to death ala Matthew Shepherd, and who are suicidal, actually finding a hotline number where they can go to deal with that problem. Maybe their theory is “better a dead teen than a live homosexual”?

It takes only a simple web search to see that the fundie web sites and publications have exploded with the story. Now there are two things I noticed from this debate:

1.) Despite all the arguments from Christians on this controversy I’ve not seen one of them raise the main issue. No one seems to consider that a contract was signed with Allen and going back on it would show you can’t trust their word. None of the Christians whiners mention that. They seem to have no problem whatsoever about going back on their word and announcing that contracts with born again nutters mean absolutely nothing to them.

2.) For sometime they have said that it’s not gay people they hate but what they do and their “agenda”. This shows it is who they are. The film does not promote a gay “agenda” but a Christian one. And it’s still unacceptable to them because the actor is gay. When they say they “hate the sin but love the sinner” the fact is that they hate the “sinner” as well.

They can't even keep their stories straight

Sometimes the stereotypes are just too funny.The Citizen Patriot from Jackson, Michigan wrote an article because Brokeback Mountain is playing locally now. They ran into a local by the name of (and I'm not inventing this) Elwin Skinkle. It seems that Mr. Skinkle is very unhappy about Brokeback Mountain and announced to the paper: "I won't see it, I will not go to see it. It's Hollywood trying to push the homosexual lifestyle. It's contrary to biblical principles. It's not normal, although Hollywood tries to make it normal." Thank you Mr. Skinkle.

Old Elwin Skinkle (I just love saying that name, it's so descriptive) was there to see End of the Spear. Now as all the loony Right whine about "message" movies and the Hollywood, liberal, homosexual, radical agenda they ignore this film entirely. Why? Because it's a film for the born-again crowd. It promotes religion and has missionaries as the main characters. The churches are kneeling before the screen in humble adoration. It's been heavily promoted by religious groups. They don't mention it in there "agenda" conspiracy articles because to do so undermines the theory they are pushing. Yet only a few weeks ago they were chirping that the success of the Christian based Chronicles of Narnia was because it was decent while Brokeback was a failure. But for their radical conspiracy nonsense to be true neither Spear or Chronicles should have been produced at all.

Earlier this evening I heard Right-wing author James Hirsen pushing his anti-Hollywood, right-wing tirade Hollywood Nation. He was claiming that these films do not promote "American values". He lamented the end of authoritarian top down rule at the studios and pined for the old days when religious nutters could censor films that other people watched. He also pushed the old and totally discredited canard that Brokeback Mountain is not appealing to the mainstream public.

The fact is that when the film was mainly being show in "liberal" enclaves -- meanings bastions of civilization -- it was coming in around 10th in the top films. It started showing in "mainstream" American towns and it had moved up to 8th on the list. This last week it added around 600 smaller cities to the list and it shot up to 5th place.

The Right-wing Liberty Film Festival (which tries to tie themselves in with libertarians thus smearing libertarians in the process) has an article claiming there is no controversy over Brokeback because "Americans are a more tolerant lot than you [evil liberals]give them credit for being. Apparently it's difficult for some of Brokeback's boosters to admit this..."

What a turn around! See the real bigots are the "boosters" of the film. But the boosters of the film were not the ones claiming that decent Americans would never go see this film. It was idiot conservatives and brain dead fundamentalists who were saying it. It was the target audience for Liberty Film Festivals who were saying it. I've quoted here, over the last few weeks, several Right-wing nutters drooling how the film will fail because Americans are decent, god-fearing, neanderthals. They said the film would fail dismally. As of today it's closing in on $50 million in revenues on a $14 million investment. When their predicted failure didn't materialize you then have conservatives pretending this is because American's are decent people and the fans of the film are the real intolerant bigots.

But as I said, just today I heard conservative Jim Hirsen (that's him with the limp wrists in the photo above) claiming the film was failing and that good Americans won't see such unAmerican movies. They can't get which story they want to spread consistent. Even the talk show host, a conservative himself, found some of the views of Hirsen a bit weird. He noted that it's not that someone seeing Brokeback is going to come of the cinema deciding to be gay instead of straight. Hirsen seemed to imply something along that line but his thinking was so muddled it was hard to get exactly what he was saying and drive through traffic at the same time. But basically he argued that the purpose of the film was to convince people that straight men could become gay from just one encounter.

Now all the left-wing, liberal, radical gay agenda people I know have argued exactly the opposite. They have repeatedly said that even such an encounter is not going to turn a straight man gay. It was always Hirsen's fans in the fundie backwaters of America who argued the opposite. That was what their claim "they can't reproduce so they recruit" was all about. It's hard to follow conservatives.

They argue the film will fail because Americans won't see evil radical films like Brokeback. They when the film turns into a success they say it's because Americans aren't bigots the way the film's boosters had portrayed them. For years fundies said gays were recruiting because just one experience can convert one's sexual orientation. Then Hirsen makes it sound like this was the purpose of Brokeback Mountain. Hollywood is a left-wing plot to corrupt America and only produces these agenda films, says the Right, while promoting Hollywood films like Chronicles and End of the Spear for having Christian values. But these people believe in virgin births and resurrection of the dead. They can believe anything.

Friday, January 27, 2006

IDiots Downunder

Most of the rest of the West is relatively sane when it comes to religious mania. Members of the American Taliban tend to think that every Western nation is a besotted with Jesus as they are. Not so. And even those who consider themselves Christians are not of the fanatical brand that haunts American Protestantism.

It is true that fanatical cults exist in most Western nations. But these are usual imported from the nut groups in the US. American fundamentalists like their Saudi Islamic fundamentalists kin are spending vast sums of money to export their fanaticism around the world.

One example of this is the silly campaign for Intelligent Design (ID). Advocates of ID, or IDiots for short, are now trying to push this anti-science theory around the world. They have been smacked down repeatedly by the courts in the US, something George Bush is doing his best to remedy through his judicial appointments. But of course such silliness is restricted to the US alone.

Australian Denis Sutherland now reports that the anti-science teaching of US fundamentalism is cropping up in Australia as well. She reports that Campus Crusade for Christ has paid to send an IDiot DVD, “Unlocking the Mystery of Life: Intelligent Design” to every high school in Australia.

She reported that the IDiots from Campus Crusade met with the Federal Minister of Education. The Conservative government of Australia is a bit more Bushian than most Western governments. And this Minister is a Christian. While he said that IDiocy shouldn’t be taught as science but if the schools want to teach IDiocy as well then he doesn’t have “any difficulty with that.”

What a good idea? Now the schools can have classes that teach and other classes that unteach. If you can have a science class that teaches evolution and then another class that unteaches it why not do this across the board? In hygiene courses you can have witch doctors teach that diseases is caused by evil spirits not by germs and that hygiene is not important.

You can have courses that teach that 2 plus 2 does equal 4 and then have someone advocate the idea that numbers are meaningless and that nothing really adds up at all. Geography can show students a globe while Medievalists come in and teach a flat earth theory. Along with chemistry we can teach alchemy and along with astronomy teach astrology. Biology courses can concentrate on the Loch Ness Monster, the Abominable Snowman and flying reindeers pulling sleighs.

At the university level it becomes a lot more fun. Along with anthropology classes we can have courses on how space aliens created the human race. In medical college we can teach prayer and advance faith healing along with acupuncture and the use of crystals. We can have the bottom-bouncers of TM come in and teach courses on international relations.

Now I respect the right of nutters to teach their kids nonsense. If the Greens can do it with their faith then fundamentalists ought to be able to do it with theirs. I just don’t think they belong in the government schools.

I also respect the idea of private education. I prefer that all education be private and I would urge secular, rational people to start private schools to compete. We need good quality, secular schools and government is a lousy way to provide it. Government does to school kids what it does to the mail. You spend a lot on both and in the end they are still slow.

But as long as government is providing certain “services” then those services should be restricted to those purposes. School are meant to educate students about basic things like math, reading, writing, science, history, etc. Stick to those core issues.

Some people argue that everyone has the right to teach their views in the government schools. No one believes that especially not the IDiots. They don’t want a lot of things taught in the schools. And if they had their way evolution would be out and only their creationists bull would be taught. They only demand equality because they can’t have dominance.

Now a hospital that is government financed offers medical care. As long as it is government financed that is all it ought to do. It should, for instance, be open to faith healing crusades or circus shows. Just because someone is forced to fund it doesn’t mean that the institution should be used for any purpose that any taxpayer, or group of taxpayers, may demand.

If a large number of tax wanted to use a hospital operating theater for seances it should not be allowed. If government provides a park that doesn’t mean people can turn it into a camping ground. If a group of people want to use the street to set up a series of shops they don’t have that right.

One problem with state ownership of anything is that competing groups can demand that the object, which they fund, be used for their purposes. But it can’t be used for an unlimited series of projects at the same time. So until privatized it ought to be used for the function for which it was created. Parks are not camp grounds, hospitals are not meeting halls, schools are not churches.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Safe schools violate Christian's faith

San Leandro High School (CA) wanted to get a message across to students that are gay that the high school is safe for them. A poster was designed by some students that said: “This is a safe place to be who you are.” That’s it. It didn’t say: “Hey, kids you all should be gay.” It didn’t say: “Being gay is great and lets impose” some liberal gay agenda. It only said to gay students that school was a “safe place” for them.

Of course the Christians teachers refused to put the poster up saying that it violated their religion. I’m sorry but these losers are just a bit much. How is telling kids they are safe at school a violation of their hateful, ridiculous superstition? When these Bible bigots say that message goes against their religion one can only assume that fag bashing is in keeping with their religion. Telling kids that school is not safe for them would be Christian!

Really think about this. That poster made no political statement. It did nothing more than tell kids they are safe at school and these Christians found that offensive to the monster they worship. The fact is that such people are barbarians.

The district superintendent said rightfully: “This is not about religion, sex, or a belief system. This is about educators making sure our schools are safe for our children, regardless of their sexual orientation.” And I say that teachers which can’t do that don’t deserve to be teachers.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What God's men have been doing lately.

The illegal arrest of fundamentalist Southern Baptist Rev. Lonnie Latham for soliciting a male police officer for sex got me wondering about what other ministers might have done lately to get themselves incarcerated. So I did a little digging. Now please remember that I think Latham should not have been arrested. He did nothing illegal. I still think all the evidence points to the cops trying to harass gay men and Latham happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In Alabama the so-called “Prophet”, Ron Williams got himself arrested for inciting a riot. Williams, who I suspect is self-ordained, comes from some hole-in-the-wall Miracle of Prayer Church. His secretary was arrested. Williams stormed the police station cursing, swearing and making threats. He started calling members of his “church” who also showed up and started screaming and cursing as well. All in all very Christian of them. When the congregation of followers of Jesus started to threaten police mace was sprayed which sent them running. The reverend was then arrested.

In Edinburg, Texas another arrest took place. Robert Franklin the former music minister for Trinity Worship Center was arrested again. His first arrest was because he was caught having sex with a 14 year old church member. He also supplied cocaine to the child. He was out on 10 years probation but was caught with more drugs. I guess he didn’t “get high on Jesus”. The child who reported Franklin originally was viciously attacked, requiring several operations, by an older boy supposedly on Franklin’s orders.

In Chicago Rev. Daniel McCormack was arrested and charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The arrest was over incidents with two children, one 12 and one 9.

In Flint, Michigan the Rev. Derrick Aldridge was arrested. He was charged with possession, with intent to deliver, of cocaine, carrying a concealed weapon and driving under the influence of drugs. Rev. Aldridge has a record. He was peviously convicted of grand larceny and for drugs. And he has also been charged with embezzling a market that he worked at a few years ago.

In Tampa a youth minister, Joshua Rosa, was arrested. He is alleged to have strangled to death a 13-year-old neighbor who also attended his church. Details are sketchy. In Waterloo, Iowa Rev.Galen Peckham was a “visitation minister” with the First United Methodist Church. He was arrested for “sex crimes”. The minister sexually assaulted a 93-year-old woman in a nursing home. In Pensacola a pastor of a Lutheran Church was arrested for soliciting sex from a minor.

In Forth Worth “Bishop” Terry Hornbuckle of the Agape Christian Fellowship is in custody. He faces six charges of sexual assault, one of drug possession, one of retaliation and one charge of tampering with a witness.

Rev. Michael Baker was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport. He resigned from the priesthood a couple of years ago but his arrest was for molestation he committed on two children, both under 9 years of age when he was still a priest. In El Paso, another former priest, Bruce MacArthur was arrested for molestation. He has also served time in prison for similar offenses and has admitted to raping and molesting numerous women and girls.

Of course a litany like this can go on for some time especially if one goes back far enough. But for this column I just checked the papers for the last two or three weeks! The idea that one can only be moral if one believes in God is a bit strained under the circumstances.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Is God a libertarian? Hardly!

Have you heard the line: “God is a libertarian”? Even people who are not libertarians use similar variations. “God respects your choice.” “God gave man free will.”

Personally I think this is rubbish. The very concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing being automatically precludes the very concept of free will. If God is all powerful then only what God wills can happen. Some argue that God does not predestine your choices but he knows them before hand. But if he knows what I will do before I know what I will do how do I have a choice? It’s not as if I can do anything else then. If I did it would mean God is not all-knowing. So the foreknowledge of God requires that he preordains all human action; not just human action but all action.

Every tsunami, disease, earthquake, accident, fire, and disaster is the will of God. This is scary stuff.

I think this is the reason people just assume that God must be all-loving as well. It is scary to think that one being could have all that power and be malignant. That’s why so many people simply refuse to believe George Bush is evil. With all the power he has it’s scary to think he might be malignant.

Now there are some real problems with all of this. If you have no choice how can it be said that morality or immorality exist? There is no such thing as morality without choice. All there is then is that which is the will of God. You can’t even say there are things which are not the will of God. All that is, is, because this god wills it to be. No other possibility exists.

Not only does the existence of a god who is all-knowing and all-powerful preclude free choice but his existence abolishes the concept of right and wrong. Morality goes out the window. Everything that such a god wills must be right unless he himself is evil. Which is, of course, a possibility as well but one believers don’t like to consider.

To prevent the fear that would come with such ideas the believers also invent the concept that a god must be all-loving as well. But then they can’t deal with why tsunamis or earthquakes are examples of God’s love. Now murders, etc, they blame on man since “God gave us free will”. But natural disasters, or what are called “acts of God,” are not man’s fault. We don’t choose for children to die of cancer or have entire villages wiped out in some natural disaster. If there is a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing then these disasters are the choices of God.

God is a genocidal maniac according to most of the people who believe in him. Though most of them try to avoid the logic that draws that conclusion.

Now I know some Christians who claim God is a libertarian. He supposedly gives you free will to decide whether to believe in him or not. But if they are orthodox Christians then have a problem. This god is no more a libertarian than a mugger who says: “Your money or your life.”


The God of orthodox Christian has created eternal torment. He must have if he creates all things. And if you don’t choose to believe in him then he will send you to that torment. Certainly an all-powerful god could have created a “hell” that would be a pleasant place. Or he could have just asked everyone to join him in this so-called paradise he created. There is presumably no power great enough to force him to do anything which he does not wish to do.

So the mugger gives you a “choice”. Either you give him your money or he will kill you. Now no one considers your actions to be freely chosen. You hand over the money because you are threatened with violence if you don’t. The mugger couldn’t go to court and say: “But your honor, he handed me the money voluntarily.”

So how can a Christian claim that God offers us a free choice. He does not. If you think such a being exists then you have no choice but to accept him. He will torture you if you don’t. In fact this deity is worse than the mugger.

If you are robbed the evidence of the robbery is clear and present. You can not draw a conclusion otherwise unless you are psychotic. The man with the gun is standing in your face. You see him. You hear him demanding your wealth. The evidence for his existence is overwhelming.

But some deity, on the other hand, is far less apparent. We don’t see him. We are only supposed to see the results of what he allegedly does. But all the things we see have other explanations for them as well. It is not unreasonable to draw conclusions denying the existence of such an entity.

God is very much a divine mugger. He comes along and demands your soul or eternal damnation. But you can’t see him. You can’t even hear him when he makes the demand. There is no clear cut example of his presence similar to that which you get with a normal mugger. But if you don’t notice his supposed existence he pulls the trigger anyway. At least a mugger gives you a fair chance.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The fury of the fundies.

My job is to comment on the antics of the clowns that make up organized religion especially the species known as Boobus Fundustheologica. You can tell them apart from the rest of the species by the small brain, drab feathering, and the constantly fearful look over their shoulder as they waddle down the road.

Because I comment on the religious nut cases it may appear that this blog is now dedicated to Brokeback Mountain alone or at least dominantly so. That is not the case. But the success of this film has so rattled the American Taliban that they are having theological fits all over the place. And the fits are getting worse as the success of the film grows and grows and grows.

Those infested by the virus of fundamentalism live in a fake world of their own creation. One aspect of that faux reality is that they convince themselves that they speak for all Americans. Rubbish. Sure Americans seem particularly prone to religious infections but that doesn’t mean that most Americans are fundamentalists. Most polls shows that the “moral agenda” of the white sheeted Christians is a minority viewpoint. And the bad news for them is that it is a declining viewpoint not an ascending one.

They are just emboldened in their bigotry and viciousness because the head Boobus Fundustheologica besmirches the White House with his presence. And considering some of his predecessors you would think that besmirching the White House any further would be a difficult thing to do. On the other hand I’m not full convinced that any resident of that building had much going for him since Thomas Jefferson retired to Monticello.

I read the blogs. I read the mainstream press. I even read the publications of the American Taliban. And it is clear that this film has totally unnerved them. Their vendetta against it will increase and increase and increase. If they could they’d burn down a few cinemas to make their point. But the typical fundamentalist is, at heart, a coward. He is too afraid to engage in the violence himself so he fantasizes in a deity who will do his violence for him. But given half a chance they clamour for a goverment as malignant and merciless as they are themselves. That is why the worship the ground of that vile barbarian in Washington, DC.

When this little film first appeared on the scene it was only shown in 5 cinemas. They it went to 43, then to a couple of hundred, then to almost 700, and this weekend it practically doubles distribution. When you open in five cinemas there is no way in hell you are going to pull in millions. But this film was pulling in around $30,000 per screen and that was very impressive. But the totals being earned were modest and the Christians leapt on that fact alone, in total isolation to the rest of the story, to comfort themselves that the American people are as petty and small-minded as are the Bible bigots.

But the interest in the film kept growing and growing far faster than even the film’s producers dared to hope. Now the rabid Right is really rabid. That people across the US and even the so-called “Middle America” are going to see this film. Outrage is all these befuddled baboons can feel.

One particular odios oaf of the Right is L. Brent Bozell who makes sues we knows he is really L. Brent Bozell the third! What a horrifying thought! Isn’t one more than enough? He writes for a trashy publication called Human Events. I should note that Human Events wasn’t always as trashy as it is today. Some of its early founders like Felix Morley and Frank Chodorov were pretty decent fellows. But like the conservative movement in general Human Events has jumped into the fanatical fever swamp of fundamentalist bigotry.

So this trashy rag screams out a headline “LIberal Hollywood Conspires to Promote ‘Brokeback Mountain’”. See it’s a plot. And if we can’t really go around talking about Jews and international bankers lets create a “conspiracy” of Hollywood and gays. Bozell the Boob whines about Brokeback winning some Golden Globes and points out that the Hollywood Foreign Press Assocation,which gives out the award, is a small group. Duh! That is pretty well known and always has been. No one has complained about the size of its membership before. But now it’s ominous.

But if that is ominous wait until you hear that not only is the group smal but “many of them [are] Europeans.” You can feel the Boobus Fundustheologica shaking in fear at this tiny cabal of Europeans. Bozell, who is Alzheimer’s age, is horrified that these Europeans are pushing the “decadent culture of Old Europe, in love with illicit sex, drugs, dysfunctionality -- and even anti-Western political weirdness.”

Now I contend that is not the case at all. The difference between Europe and America is that Europe is not rushing back to the Dark Ages with the Holy Trinity as cheerleaders. Europe went through the Age of Enlightenment. America was founded by such men, advocates of reason and sanity. But when America found Jesus it threw out reason and it threw out limited government. Contrary to the lying “truths” of the Religious Right the US was not a religious country. It only found Jesus in the late 1800s and only in the 1940s did church attendance rise above 50 percent.

Bozell says that Brokeback is evidence of “European sexual decadence”. See there really is no such thing a full blooded American homosexuals. They are all Europeans at heart. Like the typical Know Nothing of the American Right Bozell has not seen this film or any of the others he is trashing. He admits so much when he says that people “who’ve actually seen these movies are a better judge” as to their quality.

And Bozell has to insist that it’s really only those crazy liberals infected with Europeanism that are going to the cinema to watch it. He says the films profit comes “largely in the large blue-state metropolitan areas with devoted gay audiences.” Well, the film started there but it’s not ending there. And press reports showed it was selling well in places like Grand Rapids and Salt Lake City. These are not large blue-state metropolitan areas with devoted gay audiences.

But the illusion has to be kept up that no one from Middle America will see this film. And since he’s an obsessed Catholic he can’t mention Brokeback without mention that tribute to grotesque torture The Passion of the Christ. Here was a vile, vicious, violent film that depicted the most exaggerated form of torture available and the lunatic Christians flocked to see it. It was a piece of crap based on the demented visions of some nun out of the Dark Ages.

But to Bozell the fact that the nut case Mel Gibson didn’t win awards for that film is proof “that these awards are not based on merit as much as on decadent cultural politics.” It never occurred to this man that the one film is winning awards because it is a good film while the other didn’t win them because it was trash. Hell, the story was badly done and the main character is not even believable.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Christians steaming across America

It is so fun watching the Christians steaming over Brokeback Mountain. They fussed and fumed and lied as much as they could. They kept howling that the film was being foisted on people by some left-wing plot and that it had no support. They ignored the box office records that repeatedly were showing that the film was doing something which the pundits said was not possible——appeal to a mainstream audience.

As I've reported the film was being released slowly but as it moved in typical "Middle America" it was still going strong. The American Taliban denied it was so. They prayed it wouldn't be so. Once again their prayers were ignored.

Brokeback has been in the top ten rather consistently until Tuesday of this week. On Tuesday the film grossed $742,412. That made it the number one film in the country for the first time. On Wednesday it grossed $748,028 and held the number one spot for a second day. That it grossed this amount is actually impressive when you realize that it's only showing in 683 theaters. The previous number one film, Glory Road, did pass the $700,000 mark even though it was being shown in 2,222 theaters.

Focus Features, the producers of the film, had originally planned to have the film in 300 cinemas by the end of January. But they more than doubled that last week and have now announced that come this weekend the film will expand again to 1,194 screens. That's four times what they were planning on doing at this time. Focus says they believe the film will be the highest earning film in the company's history.

The film has also just been released in some foreign markets. In the UK, during it's second week of release, it is already holding the number one spot though playing on just 275 screens. And it was just released in Paris where it is also holding the first place honors. The critics like the film, the movie industry likes the film, and the indications are that the public likes it as well. The Taliban will fuss and fume and spout hate but this is one battle they lost. The only unaswered question now is whether the film will walk off the Academy Award for best film of the year. And it is the odds on favorite. And if that happens expect another big surge at the box office.

At some point the Taliban will figure out that one problem with living the Dark Ages is that the rest of world will pass you by.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How low will they go?

There are times that I think that fundamentalist Christians have gone as low as they can. I assume that they have shred of humanity and decency deep down somewhere inside of them. But regularly they show they are inhumane, that they are so blinded by the religious rubbish that they believe that have lost all compassion and decency.

Not many people know the story of the teenager Matthew Shepard who was viciously assaulted by a couple of God-fearing types in Wyoming. He was tied to a remote fence after the beating and left to die by his assailants. His murder shocked the people of Cheyenne, Wyoming where it took place. And it caused people to reconsider their hatred of people for being gay. Matthew was killed because he was gay. Now that kind of “reconsideration” bothers the Bible bigots. So they have gone through a great deal of effort to constantly imply that somehow Matthew was responsible and not the two strapping Christians who murdered him. There is always that hint that he deserved what he got.

The latest vile monster from the Religious Right to push that theory is a woman from the extreme Right named Janet Parshall. Here is what she said on the Larry King Show:

“PARSHALL: Well, there's a lot of questions about his [Shepard's] background. Was he, in fact, coming -- and this is no way, shape, or form, a justification of what happened because it was wrong, wrong, and wrong. Let there be no ambiguity there.”

“But, in reality, I understand that Matthew was somewhat of a person who hung around some of the gay bars and was coming on to some people. So, was he looking for trouble in all the wrong places?”

“If I were his mom, I would have given him some counsel, "stay away from that kind of a lifestyle," because there's a way that seems right on demand and the end therein is death, and, unfortunately, it cost Matthew his life.”

The story the fanatics want to push is that this slight boy was trying to “come on” to two straights boy at the same time. Right! Notice how she almost makes the accusation and then catches herself: “Was he in fact coming...” She catches herself in mid sentence of saying “Was he in fact coming on to them?” Obviously that was too blatant. So she pulled back. But later she says he “coming on to people”. And said he was looking for trouble.

Now get what this means? If Matthew was making a pass at someone so what? Is that a capital offense? Is any teenager who makes a pass at another teenager then deserving whatever happens to him? Teenagers make passes at teenagers all the time, Janet! It is not a crime. And it was not the “lifestyle” that lead to death for him. It was a couple of your fellow Christians who beat him to a bloody pulp and then left him alone on a hilltop to die!

At first the two killers claimed all they wanted to do was rob Matthew because he had money. When they got to court, and knew they could face the death penalty, they suddenly started claiming that they snapped because Matthew made a pass at them. And what is this “gay panic” defense? It basically says that “we are so hateful towards gay people that when we discover one of them we have no control over ourselves and we kill them but it’s their fault not our own.”

Matthew Shephard did not deserve to die. He did not deserve to be beaten. His killers deserved something however. They were on trial for their lives. Wyoming could have imposed the death penalty. But gay groups had passed resolutions opposing the death penalty and Matthew’s family stood up in court and, in Matthew’s name, pled for the lives of the killers.

Now where do these demented people get the idea that killing homosexuals is okay? Try the Bible! “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13). As one “Christian” website of demented Calvinists puts it, gays “are wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly (Gen. 13:13), are violent and doom nations (Gen. 19:1-25; Jgs. 19), are abominable to God (Lev. 18:22), are worthy of death for their vile, depraved, unnatural sex practices (Lev. 20:13; Rom. 1:32), are called dogs because they are filthy, impudent and libidinous...”

The lunatics at “” quote another Bible verse saying that homosexuals “which commit such things are worthy of death.” Rev. Greg Dixon was the pastor of a large fundamentalist Baptist Church and Vice President of the Moral Majority. He said: “When they say homosexuals should have their civil rights I ask one question.: Do you give criminals rights like honest citizens? Absolutely not! Criminals do not have their civil rights.” But that wasn’t all he said: ““I say either fry ‘em or put them in the pen. Don’t unleash them on the human race.” Dixon made it quite clear that “fry ‘em” means execution. In the same sermon he said, “I don’t know how in the world you can get a society that won’t even put their murderers to death, I don’t know how you can ever get them to put these homosexuals to death but God’s word would uphold that. They which commit such things are worthy of death.”

Rev. Robert Billings was a leader in the “Christian school movement” and a born-again Christian who helped found Falwell’s Moral Majority. In one of his sermons he said: “I know what you and I feel about these queers, these fairies. We wish we could get in our cars and run them down while they march.”

The fact is that the sick and demented book called the Bible inspires the ignorant and the unintelligent to murder people.

Islamic fundamentalists kill in the name of Allah. Christian fundamentalists kill in the name of Jesus. Both are a danger to a free society.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Woman Named Bob

According to the Times of London the American Taliban is having a collective fit. You see “dem dere foreegners in Hollyweird” voted “Brokeback Mountain” as best picture of the year. Yes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave their Golden Globe award to the “gay cowboy” film.

Nothing riles the Boobus Fundustheologica quite so much as a combination of the press, foreigners and gays. The press they know is evil. It has to be. After all it reports things which cast doubt on the Bible. And if it were all that important to begin with God would have put in the Bible anyway. And since the Boobus Fundustheologica is convinced that Jesus is an American they know them there foreign types have to be of the Devil and this award proves it.

The “Concerned Women of America” are a case in point. Janice Crouse of the group argues that “media elites are proving their pet projects are more important than profit.” Hmmm! Normally the idiots at CWA would praise such selfilessness. Now if these are the “Women of America” then there is reason to be concerned. Such brainless bimbos are a blight on the female species.

First consider the absurd argument that the films that won awards should not have done so because, according to CWA, none of the films are a box office hit. Janice Crouse, the spokesbimbo for CWA said: “Brokeback Mountain has barely topped $25 million in ticket sales. If America isn’t watching these films, why are they winning awards?”

What brainless idiocy! Think of what she is actually arguing. A film should only win awards if it passes some general test of popularity. More people watch “Desperate Housewives” than watch the typical TV evangelist. Would Ms. Crouse assume that therefore “Desperate Housewives” is more worthy than some brain dead evangelist like Pat Robertson? She wouldn’t. I wouldn’t either since Pat Robertson is a brain dead evangelist even if he had the most popular show on television.

It seems that these concerned “women” believe that quality and quantity are the same thing. This is why they support spreading porn around instead of wholesome Christian films like the absurd “Left Behind” series. Porn sells a lot more at the box office than does Jesus therefor porn is good and Jesus isn’t. Or does this logic only apply when they want it to apply and not apply when inconvenient?

What this does is just show how foolish these Christians in CWA can be. Ms.Crouse claims that Brokeback Mountain “has barely topped $25 million in ticket sales.” Barely? Well if $7 million more than that then counts I guess it’s barely. The Golden Globes were just handed out and the most recent box office takings for films were out already when that happened. So Crouse either intentionally used old numbers or refused to check her facts before opening her mouth. But “Brokeback Mountain” has taken in $32,074,517 in the six weeks it has been on circuit.

And that is not bad considering that when it first opened it was in 5 theaters, in the second week it was in 26 only. Last week it was in less than 400 theaters. This week it is in almost 700. CWA wants to compare box office sales of this film to a film like Chronicles of Narnia which was in 3,225 theaters last week and started at that number when first released.

One way to ask yourself how well a film is doing is to compare the revenue per theater for the film. This is not something that is just intended to make “Brokeback Mountain” look good. It’s actually standard industry practice. But if you do that then “Brokeback Mountain” is the most popular film in the country and these concerned women would get really concerned if people knew that.

Even as “Brokeback Mountain” is seeing the number of theaters screening it increase dramatically (about 40% increase last week alone), it remains the highest revenue earner in the country on a per screen basis. It is the only film earning over $10,000 per screen per week. During the holiday weekend in the US, from Friday to Monday, the film took in over $7 million. That is half the cost of producing it in just four days. I’m not sure you can call that putting issues ahead of profit.

When “Brokeback Mountain” first was released Robert Knight, an old time antigay bigot and the real “woman” behind “Concerned Women for America” said that the film “is something that could be and should be ignored.” Obviously Ms. Crouse wasn’t listening with her tirade yesterday.

The American Taliban that runs the theocratic “Center for Reclaiming America” said: “People are talking about how much money the film has made, but it’s a limited-release film on a few screens and it’s going to flop.” Now these are the same religious nutters who have been saying Jesus was coming back for decades so their track record is not particularly good.

But since that comment was made “Brokeback” has seen the number of theaters showing it increase substantially from 5 the first week to 700 in six weeks and it still has the highest revenue per theater of any film in the United States. So much for the “flop” prediction.

Mr. Knight, the leading “woman” at “Concerned Women” made a fool of himself recently when he attacked the Barbie doll for “promoting gender confusion among children.” It appears that the Barbie website had a question on line asking children visitin ghe site if they were a girl, a boy or “I don’t know”.

Knight saw an evil conspiracy by radical homosexuals behind that. “It’s the idea that well, maybe aren’t born a particular biological sex, or they are but that shouldn’t determine their gender identity. And that’s a very big component of the homosexual activist agenda now.” Even worse Barbie is “steering girls away from the idea of womanhood as predominantly in terms of Christians serving the Lord, getting married, having kids, building a home. You don’t see any of that with Barbie -- it’s all about things.” Oh, my! I think the should bring out a Barbie that is barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen, badly dressed, speaking poor English, with a miniature TV with Jerry Falwell on the screen and a Bible on the couch next to a dictionary so she can look up the hard words! That ought to inspire little girls.

Now the problem with the hysterics of this “woman” from “Concerned Women for America” is that he never bothered to actually check what happened and how it was corrected. Instead of there being a radical homosexual activist agenda there was a simple mistake. It seems the website routinely asks children their opinions on different things. As such it usually gives them three options, one of which is “I don’t know”. When the webmaster changed the question to “Are you a boy or a girl?” he merely forgot to reset the answer buttons. He was supposed to change “I don’t know” to “I don’t want to say.” In fact once the error was pointed out it was immediately corrected.

That gives you an idea as to kind of flakes you find at Concern Women for America. And if anyone is suffering from gender confusion you’d think it would be a “Concerned Woman” named Bob. And I'd like to conduct a poll. The picture at the top of this post is Janice Crouse from CWA. Now I've looked as several photos of her in different places and she consistently looks like a drag queen. What is going on at CWA? What would Jesus do?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Why they don't want you to see this film.

I don’t usually do this. Not only am I going off topic but I’m going to let other people do the speaking here. I’ve been following the debate regarding Brokeback Mountain because the American Taliban hates the film. I have not seen it but I have done a lot of research on it and find the Taliban, as usually, is lying for Jesus.

I read one rabid nutcase going on about how the film is a flop. I couldn’t figure out how he determined that. All the evidence is the contrary. I read an article on Salt Lake City where the film was beating the other films in the cinema. In Grand Rapids the same thing was happening. I went and checked the revenue of the various films. Brokeback is running in the top 10 pretty consistently. On a per screen basis it’s beating out every film out there. Last week it took in $2.3 million and that was from 683 theaters. “Tristan and Isolde” took in only $90,000 more but was showing in 1,845 theaters. Or we can compare “Brokeback” to “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Both films have been out for 37 days. “Memoirs took in $1.7 million out of 1,654 theaters. The heavily promoted “Chronicles of Narnia” was in 3,224 theaters. That’s five times as may as “Brokeback” but with five times the exposure it only took in $2 million more. It “Narnia” did as well it would have taken in $21 million instead.

I went to a film website to read what people had to say about the film. Here are some of the comments. I will leave the most interesting one to last as I think it helps explain the fundamentalist obsessions with this film. I will not attach names only the comments.

‘I was dying to see it so badly and Wednesday I drove 90 minutes to the closest theatre that was playing it... and after watching it I wanted to see it even more badly than I wanted to before I saw it. I have never been so emotionally attached to a film in all of my life. “

“Oh my God, I though that was just me! This film moved and affected me so much, I can't concentrate on anything!”

“It's playing about five miles from my house, so it's a constant temptation. I've seen it nine times and the tenth is just days (or hours) away. I'm so afraid I'll never see such beauty on a screen again, I just have to store up memories for the future. *sigh*”

“I've driven 60 minutes twice now to see it and I just saw in the paper today that it's now in my town!!! I feel like a kid on Christmas Morning!! Guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend!!!”

“I just saw it last night for the third time and it hit me more than the last! sigh! It's just such an amazing movie!! So much to digest!!”

“I too find this movie will not let me go. I saw it 6 days ago and think about it endlessly all day long. It kept me up for most of the first night I saw it. I'm AFRAID to go see it again because I'm afraid all this emotion isn't good for me and the baby, poor thing (she's due in early March). But oh how I WANT to. This is the first place I actually felt like I could talk about it because I don't think anyone I know would get it. I saw it with my mom and either she wasn't as deeply affected as me or she's lying. My husband definately wouldn't get it. I wish I could stop this obsession!!!”

Here are excerpts from one posting that makes clear why the Taliban hates this film.

‘Last weekend, I was in Dallas and - to make a long story short - I ended up "having" to see this film. It definitely was NOT my choice to do so, but to avoid a confrontation, I relented. Everybody makes this sort of compromise sooner or later, right? If the film we wanted to see hadn't been sold out, I don't think I'd ever have seen ‘Brokeback Mountain.’”

“It's been four days since I saw the film, and progressively, day after day, I have been forced to admit that I am ashamed of the way I felt about homosexuals. I literally had no concept of what life is truly like for these individuals, and must continue to be. In my heart I know that good, wholesome, long-standing friends of mine - true-believing Christians - have made life horrible for these people when they go out of their way to bad mouth them behind their backs...”

“I can't explain what I'm feeling, but I haven't had this kind of doubt (about the church I go to) since I made the decision a long, long time ago to leave the family business against my father's wishes. I also didn't go into the same branch of the armed forces that he went into. Which is another story. In a way, I guess, my own personal history and my relationship with a disapproving (and uneducated) father somehow made me "get" what Heath Ledger's character goes through. Let me just say that a lot of heartache was involved. The God I believe in, that I teach my kids to trust, would never wish the kind of pain that I went through on anyone, which really I now know for real, is the same kind of pain homosexuals must go through just to live what for them is an honest life, and the choice they must make. I'd never had my eyes opened to this before, not ONE IOTA.”

Friday, January 13, 2006

Inept and unqualified but God wants her to teach

The fundamentalist fanatics in the United States are absolutely intent on cramming their stilted theology and warped world view down the throats of American school children.

Now I won’t mince words, as if I ever do. The public school system itself is utterly corrupt. It is populated by students who are forced to be there by law, funded with stolen money from taxpayers, and is basically a welfare scheme for the teachers and their labor union.

The institution is a contradiction in terms. Education requires thinking. Thinking requires freedom. State education is based on coercion which is the antithesis of freedom.

And that is why the religious lunatics on the Right want to grab hold of the schools. These Jesus authoritarians love force. They love big government. Just witness how they worship at the feet to their new prophet, Georgie Bush—the first president qualified to wear a dunce cap when addressing Congress. Even with cue cards he can’t speak more than a few sentences without stumbling over two syllable words -- just witness his recent “endorsement” of Alito for the Supreme Court. It was a shambles.

Now a judge in Pennsylvania slapped down the attempt by Bible bigots there to try and teach the ludicrous story of Genesis as science. Fundamentalists are prone to lying. And they lie when they try to present their religion as “another scientific view”. It’s not science. It’s a belief in the supernatural. It’s as rational as Tarot Cards, Astrology and spoon-bending. It is the crutch that the terminally dumb cling to in the hopes of having answers that they are simply incapable of figuring out on their own.

When the creationist nonsense was slapped down yet again numerous people suggested that such ideas could be taught in philosophy or in comparative religion classes. And that sounded reasonable. But fundamentalists use what ever wedge they can find to push their agenda. Their belief concerning “sinners in the hands of an angry God” is such that they can’t avoid any opportunity to recruit children into their cults, cathedrals and faux tabernacles. They pride themselves on their dishonest tactics to “win souls for Jesus”. They see nothing warped and sick about their concept of a vicious God who would torture people for eternity. The Jehovah of the fundamentalist is a demented dictator who makes the crimes of Stalin, Hitler and Mao pale in comparison. They may have killed millions. But the God of the fundamentalist tortures billions of people, without end for all of eternity. And he does so for the simple reason that it gives him pleasure to do it. If Jehovah had a childhood, as opposed to being the figment of the imagination of some really sick people, he would have been the kind of child who tortured kittens and set dogs on fire.

Now to protect “souls” from the warped wrath of their angry God the fundamentalist Christian has to get people ‘born again” and active in their silly cults. And they love unwilling audiences. That is why they want to capture school children and feed them their silly Bible stories and fantastical theological garbage.

Now there is a place for philosophy and even comparative religion in education. But it’s purpose is to teach students what the various religions teach or to teach various ways of understanding the world. Of course the true believers in the carpenter don’t see it that way. All that is smokescreen so they can push their real, hidden agenda.

A course on the philosophy of the origin of life would certainly cover Christian irrationalities. It would cover Hindu absurdities and the ridiculous views of “indigenous peoples” around the world. It might even mention the scientific theory. But when Christians say they want “intelligent design” taught in philosophy then don’t mean as part of the course. They mean as the entire course. And they don’t mean that they want it taught in conjunction with other religious fictions. They want it as the only fiction taught.

This is what happened in Lebec, California at the Frazier Mountain High School.

A “special education” teacher, Sharon Lemburg, proposed a course on “intelligent design, creationism and evolution” as part of the philosophy department. The school board meet in an emergency meeting on New Year’s Day to ram it through.

Now what qualifications does this teacher, who normally works with the retarded, have to teach philosophy? She is the wife of the local Assemblies of God minister. In other words she and her husband are part of the American Taliban. These are people who work themselves up into an emotional lather and burst out in incoherent babbling which they think is “the Holy Spirit” speaking through them. They shout and jump around and wave their arms. Some of the more spry among them will run around the church shouting and screaming and having what, by all appearances, is a mental breakdown. Some fall to the floor in divine epileptic fits. These are people who are so mentally disturbed they almost make Jerry Falwell look sane.

Now I can see why this woman was a “special education” teacher. It made her feel like she was with her own congregation again. She isn’t very shy about admitting that her motivation is not educational but religious. She told one interview: “Did God guide me to do this? I would hope so.” When Lemburg wrote a statement on her motivation for the course she began it with a Bible quote saying: “In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct they paths.” She also admitted: “I believe that this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach.”

Of course this “soul winner” isn’t attempting to present a balanced course at all. That would defeat the purpose for the subterfuge that they use to try and warp the minds of children. And this is what has caused some parents to complain. Instead of getting a course in philosophy their children are being taught the nonsense believed by this “tongues talking” troglodyte from the Assemblies of God. The syllabus of the course showed that 24 videos would be shown to the students.

That the course relies so heavily on video is no surprise. I will bet dollars to doughnuts that the tongues talker has no significant training in the topic she is addressing and is utterly incapable of having a discussion on the topic without resorting to quoting some ludicrous passage from the Bible. This is a woman who mainly teaches people who are mentally retarded. She might be qualified to teach someone how to tie their shoe or make change from a dollar but what qualifications does she have to teach philosophy? And when you consider the course was approved on January 1 and is scheduled for completion on February 3 there simply can not be that many days in the class. Even if it meet each school day this would pretty much indicate that this woman’s entire contribution is to push a video into a machine. Why? Probably because she knows absolutely nothing and is merely using a hour a day of education time to push her religious agenda. And you don’t have to know anything to be a fundamentalist. In fact many of them pride themselves on how stupid they are. It’s the “wisdom of this world” and God condemns it.

Lemburg whined to the press that she just wants to “teach”. She means push buttons on a video machine. Even the syllabus she prepared admits she won’t do much teaching. Her own syllabus says: “Much of the teaching will be done by way of videos and discussion.” So she will show them movies and then guide their discussion. Guide it the way God guides her no doubt.

Out of the 24 videos that were going to be shown 23 of them were produced by religious nutters. So much for the balanced course theory. After the course was approved parents expressed concerned. So the tongues talker changed the course title from Philosophy of Intelligent Design to just “Philosophy of Design”. Now it sounds like some home decorating course but it’s still fundamentalist rubbish. And the syllabus Lemburg put out makes it clear that very little of the course is actually about philosophy but about evolution bashing and promoting creationism.

Other teachers in the district told the school board that this course would undermine science at the school. But 3 of the 5 school board members pushed it through during this extraordinary New Year’s Day session. I would love to see someone investigate these politicians because I would bet they are fundamentalists themselves. Remember that years ago the Religious Right said they would run people for offices like school board in order to take over the country and impose the rule of God.

The tongues talker supposedly told the school board that there would be two guest speakers as well. Presumably they will speak in English and not ecstatic gibberish. Only problem is that one of the guest speakers, a local parent who is a scientist, said he had refused the invitation when it was offered and he is now one of the parents suing to prevent the course. He told Lemburg weeks before she passed out her syllabus he wanted nothing to do with her course. Yet one school board member said, “I was reassured when I saw Dr. Hurst’s name as one of the speakers.”

The other guest speaker listed was as Francis H.C. Crick. Crick is one of the men who discovered DNA and would be impressive. Lemburg is so uninformed that on top of not knowing he was dead she misspelled his name.

Her list of guest speakers indicates her intent to push her theological clap-trap. Other than the dead Krick she lists one other scientists as a speaker but he says he never agreed to speak to the class. She lists a Ross Anderson as a speaker. His “science” degree comes from a fundamentalist college that prides itself on teaching “the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days.” A second speak , Joe Francis, was also associated with the same fundamentalist college. A third speaker, David Kopich, is listed as a “Creation Scientist” which is sort of like dry water.

Lemburg tried to excuse the falsehoods on her syllabus by saying: “Everything happened quickly. I had to have a syllabus overnight. I’m not an expert on this subject.” So exactly why is she “teaching” the course? It makes no sense that a woman who knows nothing about the subject matter but who has a clear bias for extremist religion is teaching this class. Lemburg also told the school board that the high school’s science department “is going to help with the course.” That also turned out false. Dr. James Selgrath of the science department had never heard of this arrangement and said: “I have no plans to do that.”

Since Lemburg is incompetent to teach on the subject she is relying on the videos to do the teaching for her. She was asked about the origin of the videos and she replied: “I don’t know. They were lent to me by a friend. They are at my house. I haven’t watched them yet.” This woman is not just a fanatic but inept as a teacher. She has cribbed together a course on a topic she is unqualified to teach. She is using course material that she has not even seen. She lists “science” speakers for the course yet one said he turned her down, a second said he was never asked, and the a third was dead. All that remained where fundamentalist Christians as speakers.

The local newspaper in Lebec actually investigated the videos that were listed. They reported that only one was a reputable science video and that all the rest “are produced and distributed by advocates” of Biblical creationism.

Dr. Hurst has said that a course on this topic can be constructed in a balanced manner “but not with this syllabus and not with this instructor.”

Lemburg finally admitted that she, in fact, had no scientists lined up to speak on behalf of science. She she bought some videos to do that and she will be presenting the scientific case. How? She knows nothing about science and is a confirmed creationist with religious motivations. But she wants people to believe she will give a “balanced” view. And while she changed her course to include some actual science videos that doesn’t mean she intends to show them. As she herself admitted; “Some portions of videos may be used and others may not be used at all.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dithering Pat fleeces the dumb

One of the dithering old fools of the Religious Right is the daffy Pat Robertson. Robertson is an extremists in politics, a bigot in personality, and the friends of dictators in reality.

If one were intentionally trying to discredit religion Pat Robertson would be the way to do it.

Now most people know that this man became extremely wealthy fleecing the sheep.

It is not usual for me to watch this buffoon when he’s on TV pushing for donations to his so-called ministry. But while channel surfing there was this clown in his antiquated turtleneck sweater pushing his new “diet” plan. No surprise there. Next to religion “diet” plans are one of the fastest way to separate fools from their money.

Robertson then pushed a “report” that I thought was low even for him. It’s hard, of course, to stoop lower than calling for the assassination of people on national television and then trying to lie your way out of it. But Robertson was pushing for donations and nothing interferes with that.

In this story he reported on family that was “in debt”. Compared to most people they obviously weren’t actually that much in debt but the debt level was part of the hype to convince people to give him their cash.

In the “report” this family was supposedly “deep” in debt. And Robertson tells his viewers to watch this report to learn how they paid off all their debt in just three days! Sounds dramatic. But not really.

Day one the wife pledges a donation to Robertson. Three days later their attorney calls and tells them that a dispute they had was settled in their favor and they were given a settlement of $10,000. With the $10,0000 the family paid off their debts.

The lesson to be learned is that if you are in debt and having trouble paying your bills give your money to Robertson instead and “God will bless”.

A few things are obvious. First, the debt of this family was exaggerated. If one settlement of $10,000 paid off their bills they weren’t as far in debt as most families. Second there was no miracle. The settlement was clearly in process for a long time. The fact that they had an “attorney” indicates both of those. Poor people don’t have attorneys on call. And the fact that he was already working on the case means the funds were already in the process of coming their way long before they gave the multimillionaire Robertson some of their money.

But in Robertson’s world everything is the result of manipulation. If you give him money you are guaranteeing that you will get money back because it’s divine magic. If you pray diseases disappear because it’s divine magic. If things go bad in the world it’s the work of the devil and those “bankers” who run secret international conspiracies behind everyone’s back.

In Robertson’s world there is nothing that is the logical result of other things. All things are part of his magical thinking. Hurricanes hit specific parts of the globe with amazing regularity but in Robertson’s mind such incidents are God’s attempt to murder people because he doesn’t like how they behave.

If Robertson were right, which virtually never happens, it would mean that Jehovah and Jesus are murderers and monsters. But there is no god. God is the great Rorschach test. People project onto the “divine” their own personality. Vicious, bigoted, dithering old fools create a god that is vicious, bigoted and dithering.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Shame on the cops!

This blog reported on the arrest of anti-gay fundamentalist minister Lonnie Latham for trying to entice a male undercover police offier to engage in oral sex with the good Reverend. In that post I said: "In addition the more one digs into the issue the more apparent it is that the police were not trying to prevent prostitution but trying to entrap gay men."

Now we have this report from Associated Baptist Press saying: "A plainclothes officer investigating the complaints told police officials that, late on the evening of Jan. 3, Latham approached him at a nearby location and invited him back to another hotel--located near the Oklahoma Baptist Building--for oral sex. The pastor did not offer to exchange money for the act according to police, and thus was arrested for the lewdness charge rather than solicitation."

What utter rubbish! Now you know why the demeaning term "pigs" has been used to describe the thugs in blue. Latham is a hypocrite. But the cops are vicious. It is not illegal for two men to have sex anywhere in the US thanks to the wisdom of the Supreme Court. That upsets the authoritarian bigots in blue. So they come up with a bogus charge so that while the sex itself is not illegal the invitation to have sex is a crime! What rubbish. I hope the gay men and women of Oklahoma are armed. They can't trust these jackasses to protect them. In fact the real question is who will protect them from these uniformed idiots.

So Latham was arrested only for asking another man if he wanted to have sex! I would bet that if anyone investigates the "complaints" that the police claim to have about male prostitutes that the complaints will all be "anonymous" and no concrete evidence will exist that any member of the public had actually filed a complaint. They were not out to arrest prostitutes. They were out to arrest gay men for "lewdness" for merely asking someone if they wanted to have sex.

Not only was Latham arrested but the organized gang of criminals, known as the police, confiscated Latham's car as well. That is theft!

So here is how I see it. The cops kidnapped Latham since he committed no crime. They held him against his will and stole his care. They are nothing but typical criminals who deserve absolutely no respect.

Admitted watching authoritarians in the police force squaring off against bigoted Baptists does make it hard to decide what side to support. But when it is clear that Latham, no matter how despicable his theology, did not violate anyone's rights then the actions of the police are utterly below contempt.

Latham has resigned his position. But the cops are the ones who really ought to resign.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Jesus spreads AIDS

Religion is a curse that inflicts the gullible, the insane and the evil. There is no more clear cut example of the viciousness of this massive con game than the so-called “faith healers” that inflict segments of fundamentalist Christianity. The English paper, the Guardian, has an expose on the “The curse of the miracle healers.”

Now, I’ve witnessed these con men up close and personal. I’ve known the gullible and the insane that fill the pews of their churches, tent revivals and “crusades.” I remember one woman “testifying” about how the “Lord healed me. I had a cold and prayed to Doctor Jesus and three days later I was healed.” The congregation waved their arms in the air in ecstatic emotion, mumbled in tongues and attributed the cure to divine intervention. Never mind that three days later most colds are healed. Nonsense! In that case relatively harmless nonsense.

The congregation, which in non-PC circles, would be called “white trash” was uneducated, often unemployed, and migrants from the hills of the South. But I’ve seen people harmed by such doctrines as well. The rubbish they preach is that if you have a small “grain of faith God will move mountains.” “Nothing is too hard for Jesus.” You can not fail if you believe in God is typical rubbish from the congregation of the gullible. It’s not even remotely true.

Now in Nigeria these doctrines are killing people and helping spread AIDs. As the Guardian notes: “Believers are told they will be exhibiting a lack of faith if they continue with their antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) or if they take a HIV test to confirm their healing.” The paper tells the story of Moses Garba Dashe.

Dashe was a top level bureaucrat who had been told that God had healed him. He stopped taking his ARVs to prove his faith. Of course he got sick. Worse yet it turned out that during the time he stopped taking the drugs the virus became resistant to the treatment. His daughter was also infected. She was also “cured”. She went into a coma and died from the cure.

I remember watching a documentary that followed a group of “born-again” white Christians from South Africa who travelled to Nigeria to attend the great “healing crusades” of the evangelists there who attract tens of thousands of people. Christian groups in South Africa arranged the trips to help show the power of God.

We followed the lives of three people. One was a young man who was a well known rugby player. His Afrikaner family were devout fundamentalists. I can’t remember what afflicted him but it was serious and it showed. It was rapid as well. One week he was a muscular famous athlete and then another he was in a wheelchair begging some divine entity to spare his life.

Another man took his young son who had a heart defect that would kill him without surgery. South Africa was famous for pioneering heart surgery techniques but under the African National Congress government the hospitals had been destroyed. Surgery became harder to obtain and he was desperate. He believed Jesus could heal this boy.

The third individual was a young man who was infected with HIV. The more serious the disease the more willing people are to have “faith”. As Dashe said hold out a knife to a drowning man and he will clutch it.

The “faith healer” had claimed an ability to raise the dead. Nothing was impossible because God was working through him. He would have the sick line up and walk around picking which ones that God was wanting to heal. The ill were to carry signs stating their problem. Of course that made it easier for the con man of God to avoid the cases that would embarrass him immediately. Better to pick disease that one can’t see.

The camera caught the anguish on the rugby player’s face. His family pressed around him their eyes pleading with the “evangelist” to look in their direction. Briefly he did. You could see the anticipation and smiles just below the surface ready to explode. He read the sign and quickly moved on. Tears came down the cheeks of the ignored. But church leaders assured them that God worked in mysterious ways and that they should come back the next day. And they did. And the day after and the day after. All that week they waited and prayed and hoped and went back to their hotel disappointed.

God never chose to visit them. The young rugby player returned to South Africa and died shortly thereafter.

The other two victims of the God con were “blessed” by God who sent his minister to them. They had illnesses that were not immediately apparent. He laid hands on them and prayed and got all emotional. They cried and praised God for the healing they received.

The young boy had x-rays which showed the heart problem still existed. The prayers and promises of God were useless. The man with AIDs announced that he knew that God had clearly healed him. Within minutes of the “cure” he was telling the cameras that he was healed and not only that but he was convinced that God had cured him of being gay as well and he was immediately finding women sexually attractive.

Back in South Africa blood tests confirmed he was still infected. No cure had taken place.

I almost forget. There was one other young man who sought healing there and claimed to find it. He stuttered and it caused him great heartache. He was prayed for and pronounced cured. Weeks later he was interviewed for the documentary. He said that God was continuing to heal him. “P-p-p-p-p-p-raise J-J-J esus” he stuttered out on film.

I remember well going to a with a family I knew and cared about to a faith healing crusade. The woman who was my friend was taking her father who had problems with his leg and needed a cane to get around. The evangelist had the ill line up so he could slap them on the head, scream irrational utterances into their ears and then proclaim them healed “in the name of Jesus.”

As this man hobbled up he was the most sincere of believers. He just knew that God could heal him. The evangelist screamed theological obscenities about God’s healing power and slapped the man on the head, hoping it would encourage him to swoon under the power of the Holy Ghost. It didn’t.

“God’s man” then grabbed the cane out of the old man’s hand and flung it across the stage shouting out: “Jesus says you don’t need that anymore.” The congregation was doing holy dancers, waving their hands and weeping in joy. The evangelist ordered the man to hobble around the auditorium. He did. He always could but was difficult.

There was no miracle in walking without the cane. It assisted him but didn’t hold him up constantly. He hobbled. His family cried. He did too. When the “miracle crusade” was over he started to walk to the car but the problems were still there. He shyly walked to the cane lying on the ground against the wall and picked it up.

His family said nothing. Those congregation members still present who witnessed this pretended not to see it.

Maybe Dr. Jesus should be up on malpractice charges!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

God wants you on your knees

Rev. Lonnie Latham is a leading light in the Christian Taliban. He is a member of the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that bastion of fundamentalism. The Southern Baptist Convention split from northern Baptists because the “liberal” northerners refused to recognize the divine sanction for slavery. The Baptist convention at the time said that one could not be a Baptist missionary and own other human beings as property. The God-fearing, Bible-Believers from the South said they would have no place with such devilish doctrines and split off to found a church justified primarily on it’s endorsement of slavery. The hallmark of being a Southern Baptist is a requirement of being at least 50 years behind the times.

Latham is the pastor of the 700 member South Tulsa Baptist Church. And he is one of the typical antigay pastors that inflict that demented denomination. He has stated that homosexuals can become heterosexual if “they accept Jesus Christ as their saviour and reject their sinful, destructive lifestyle.”

Hmmm? One problem is that the good Reverend was just arrested in Oklahoma outside the Habana Inn. The good men in blue had an undercover officer hanging around in an area supposedly known as a location for male prostitutes seeking clients. Rev. Latham says he was in the area “ministering”. The police say that Latham approached the officer and asked him to join the minister in his hotel room where at least one of them would be on his knees but apparently not for prayer. Rev. Latham says he was “set up” which must be disappointing if he wanted to merely hook up.

Now as much one may dislike Ayatollah Latham and his fanatical fundie friends in the Southern Baptist Convention you have to damn the cops in Oklahoma. First, it should not be a crime to ask someone if they want a blow job. But in Latham is being charged with offering to engage in an act of lewdness. I am sure Rev. Latham is frequently lewd, at least as i see it, but that is probably when he’s behind his pulpit pretending he speaks for the creator of the universe.

And Latham’s case shows the vile state of US law. Not only was he arrested but his care was “impounded” by a criminal gang called the police. Impounded means stolen. Under authoritarian asset forfeit laws because Latham was in his car when he asked the no doubt appropriately dressed police officer to join him for some oral hygiene the car is now considered a part of his criminal conspiracy and the police can steal it. Typical this organized crime gang in uniform later sell the stolen goods and use it to pad their budgets. One can never get enough doughnuts.

It is hard to feel sorry for Latham. I would be surprised if he was not a supporter of the very laws under which he was arrested. That doesn’t mean that the local police did not act in a despicable manner first, by sending out young cops pretending to be available for sexual favors and then arresting anyone tempted by their actions and secondly for the flagrant theft of the Reverend’s car. No doubt that cost his church a pretty sum. But theft is theft and if cop’s are dressed up as male prostitutes then they only thing they have a right to complain about is whether they were offered enough for their services. Despicable cops and equally despicable and hypocritical fundamentalist preacher.

The lovely photo of Rev. Latham is provided by the local police just because they are nice guys.

What news reports have missed is that the Haban Inn in Oklahoma City is a well known place for men seeking sex with other men. One art gallery in New York City put on an exhibition by photographer Art Miller which he called the “Habana Series”. The gallery said the photos were all taken at the Habana Inn over a period of 17 months. A gallery description of the photos said: ”In smaller towns where “gay” life is not as visible as in larger cities, men are forced to improvise. Most of these men would not identify as gay but their sexuality is understood among them. Many are married, church-going, red-state taxpayers who have found other men who express their sexuality in the same way.” It said the men at the Habana Inn “are the neighbors, co-workers, and fathers in George W. Bush’s America.” Apparently it could have added “Southern Baptist leaders” to the list.

In addition the more one digs into the issue the more apparent it is that the police were not out there trying to prevent prostitution but trying to entrap gay men. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “prostitution” rap is entirely bogus and Latham just thought he was picking up another man with no promise of cash involved. The Habana has several gay bars on the premises. One gay guide said: “Don’t plan on going to the Habana and getting some shut eye!”

The hotel prides itself on being a gay venue. It advertises on the web as being in the heart of Oklahoma City’s “gay district”. The gay resort has 175 rooms, 2 pool, 2 clubs, a piano bar, a restaurant and an adult shop called Jungle Red that caters to gay clientele. If Rev. Latham had a room in this hotel it was no honest mistake on his part.

So it would strike me that Latham is lying about his presence at the hotel. He couldn’t miss what this place was about. And it’s hard to believe that the police were in the parking lot “protecting” people from male prostitutes. If the prostitutes were there the clientele of the hotel were unlikely to find that a problem. Far more likely is that the cops were out harassing gays—something which is a tradition in the places like Oklahoma. Neither our Southern Baptist minister nor the police appear to be honest about things. But that’s par for the course.

Monday, January 02, 2006

George Bush's new career

Born-again Bush has to consider a new career. He's used to one where you lie to the public and live off of huge amounts of other people's money. In addition his current job is one where you promise people miracles which never actually materialize. The "customers' (audience, voters, etc) have to be quite unintelligent to accept someone like George as a leader. Now this pretty much leaves George with just one potential post-presidential career: TV evangelist! And apparently he's been practicing.


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