Monday, April 5, 2010

A quick note on Religion

While reading Melissa Harris-Lacewell's "A Right for the Life of the Living" in the April 5th edition of The Nation, I couldn't help but puzzle once again people's strange invocations of "God's will" or "God's plan" in horrible situations. Suppose for a moment that you believed that God was this all-powerful, all-knowing being, and that whatever happened on Earth was part of his divine plan, then you would think that whatever happened was a) meant to happen, and b) God's will, and finally c) an inevitable part of God's plan. Believing that, from a religious standpoint, it makes absolutely no sense to punish criminals (they were just carrying out God's will), treat disease (interfering with God's will), or work to undue any damage done in the world since it all happened for a reason.

I realize that some people, mourning the loss of a loved one, or trying to make sense of a tragedy too awful to comprehend feel the need to turn to some superstitious nonsense and say things like "at least they're with God now" but it saddens me to think of how many seemingly rational people can think like this and make decisions about important things while believing this fairytale lunacy. No offense to religious doctors, but if you think your patient's cancer was given to them by God how can you effectively work against it?

The Real Difference: Tea Baggers vs Anti-war Rallies

NOTE: I started writing this a week or so ago and forgot to pick it back up so I figured I should just post it now and finish it later.

In an article today from, the case is made that while there have been some nasty things shouted or written on posters by the Tea Party movement, it is no different than the nasty things that were said of President Bush during the anti-war protests leading up to and during the unnecessary Iraq war. While on the face of it that may seem true there are some striking differences that people should keep in mind when comparing the two.

When millions of people took to the streets AROUND THE WORLD in 2003 to oppose a US invasion of Iraq they did so not over trumped up charges of falsified birth certificates or allegations that "dubya" wanted to kill our grannies, but rather on the basis that the claims of WMDs were likely false or at least incorrect, and that going to war would result in killing millions of people (and thousands of Americans). Those have all been shown to be correct at this point, and were it not for the clever misinformation campaign led by Vice President Cheney to link Iraq/Al Queda/9-11 in public statements to confuse the public, we might not have had to go into Iraq.

The Tea Baggers, on the other hand, have as their end goal to lower the taxes on the rich bring back the usage of the N-word into the casual American vernacular. I would say that in a thoughtful society, a little more deference must be given to those trying to stop the unnecessary deaths of millions, against those in the highest income earners wanting to save a few bucks.

Another one of the Tea Baggers' claims is that President Obama is illegitimate and lying to the American people about his citizenship and his religion. While we here at PutridPundits think that religion is silly and whatever flavor of that silliness should never be the basis for support or opposition to a particular candidate, we do recognize how to the casual observer these claims might sound similar to those leveled against Bush after the contentious 2000 election. So yes, FOXNEWS would be correct in saying that both the anti-war protesters from the Bush era and the Tea Baggers today are accusing the President of lying and being illegitimate, but the substance behind those lies is important to investigate before saying they're all equal.

President Obama has been accused, way back during the campaign, of being a secret Muslim who was born in Kenya. Despite how ridiculous such allegations were, and despite releasing documents no white candidate for President has ever been so incessantly hounded to produce, there are still these fools shouting about Obama's mother secretly giving birth in Kenya and then Hawaii issuing a false birth certificate. Meanwhile, the accusations of Bush's illegitimacy stemmed from the contested Florida election in which recounting suspect ballots was prevented by George Bush's Florida campaign co-chair.
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