Some readers may recall a post from a little while back featuring Richard Dawkins appearing on MSNBC’s weekend “Up” program where he floated the provocative idea of taking politicians to task for some of their kooky religious beliefs… Well, guess what? It seems that someone did precisely that the other day at one of Mitt Romney’s “town hall” events…
Asked if it’s a sin for a white man to marry and procreate with a black woman, needless to say, being the gutless douchebag he is, Romney reacted to the question as if he’d just been tossed a red hot BBQ charcoal. “No” was his emphatic response before quickly turning to the other side of the crowd for a more scripted inquiry.
But wait, how can that be? Evidently, the God-inspired, yet indisputably racist proclamations of the Mormon religion’s “second prophet” (you know, following the grifter with the magic top hat) are currently null and void. That whole thing Brigham Young declared about “the penalty, under the law of God” as regards to whites conjugating with blacks being “death on the spot”… Well, not so much now, I guess.
I think we may well have a better insight into why Mitt Romney is, as one of his former rivals memorably said, such a “well-lubricated weathervane.” Seems Dawkins may have been onto something here after all when it comes to better understanding a political candidate’s mindset via their religious beliefs.
Richard Dawkins provocatively suggests that the superstitious religious beliefs of politicians should be more openly challenged. “You challenge a candidate about his beliefs about taxation, about military policy, and so on; why don’t you challenge his beliefs about what he thinks about the universe and the world?”
“As a voter, if I know that the person I’m contemplating voting for, however good his beliefs on taxation and so on may be… If I know that he privately believes that a 19th century man called Joseph Smith dug up some golden tablets, read them with the aid of a stone in a top hat and translated them out of some ancient language into not 19th century English, but 16th century English – that man was a fraud and a charlatan – and any modern politician who nails his colours to the mast of that particular religion is someone that I’m suspicious of voting for. I know those beliefs are private, but they’re crazy beliefs. And why should I vote for a man, however sensible his public beliefs may be, if his private beliefs are ridiculous and mad?”
It does seem a rather odd contradiction that most Americans feel the private, doctrinal religious beliefs of their political representatives are somehow sacrosanct and beyond skeptical analysis while at the same time demanding that they not only openly demonstrate and profess their religious convictions, but also translate selective aspects of their beliefs into public policy.
This short film by Alexandra Pelosi asks some regular folks in Mississippi why the poorest state in America is also the most conservative:
Pesky Facts: Mississippi has highest rate of child poverty (31.9 percent), highest rate of infant mortality (10.3 percent), highest rate of obesity (35.3 percent of total population), lowest median household income ($35,078), highest teen birth rate (71.9 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19) and highest overall rate of STDs.
Wearing a matching sweater vest, Foster Friess, the billionaire investor backing Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum’s frothy campaign to be Theocrat-in-Chief of the Free World, introduces his pet candidate at CPAC 2012:
After opening with a mildly amusing (albeit implausible) joke at the expense of Mitt Romney, Friess goes on to observe that rather than supporting hackneyed old political warhorses as the Republicans have too-often done in the recent past, Democrats have won presidential elections by bringing “fresh faces” like Carter and Clinton “from out nowhere”… A fair enough comment perhaps, but then he goes on to add, “they bring Oback Obama from beyond nowhere.”
So where exactly is “beyond nowhere”… Chicago, Hawaii – Kenya, perhaps? And how utterly puerile is it that this high-rolling billionaire doesn’t see fit to call the President of the United States by his proper name, but instead deliberately mangles it for comic effect?
Did you know that according to some folks, if you accept the scientific premise of climate change but happen to disagree with the fatuous and practically ineffective approaches to mitigating its effects by present means of harmful economic tinkering (mostly for political effect), you are now considered to be a “denier”?
I used to just laugh whenever conservatives derisively mocked environmentalists for being a quasi-religious movement, but perhaps in some respects they were on to something…
Seeing reasonable skeptics such as Bjørn Lomborg ostracized and treated as veritable heretics (aka “deniers”) lends significant credence to the argument that environmental fanatics aren’t essentially that much different in mindset from the hierarchy of the medieval Catholic church.
Following a series of hapless debate performances and a campaign trail littered with innumerable (albeit hilarious) gaffes that left him woefully polling in the range of his presumed IQ, Texas Governor Rick Perry decided today to pull the plug on his doomed bid to be the next Leader of the Free World.
Seeing as Perry made no secret of his belief that God had signalled support for his White House bid, should we now deduce that The Almighty Creator of the Universe was just messing with the Texas Governor?
Relax. You can now safely ignore all of the kooky predictions and hapless guesswork of zany media pundits about how events will play out in 2012 because The Lord God Almighty has just spoken personally to Pat Robertson and revealed His cunning plans for the New Year…
Apparently, a “maximum amount of stress and peril” will be involved. Oh goody.
When quizzed by Pat in the form of 20 questions about the specific nature of His impending tribulation, “God” confirmed that it wouldn’t be a crippling electromagnetic pulse, nor would it be a blast of cosmic or solar radiation, nor would be the product of a Mayan “galaxy alignment” or nuclear strikes by rogue Axis regimes, not an earthquake or volcano… also not a massive power failure. In fact, the winner is… “an economic collapse.”
Sheesh. Bit of a letdown after all those hypothetical Darth Vader schemes, wouldn’t you say?
Another great parody of Republican ad; this time, Rick Perry’s pathetic attempt to rile up homophobic Bible-thumpers:
You don’t need to be in the pew each Sunday to know that Rick Perry is an imbecile.
While it may be argued in the most technically extreme biological sense that “life begins at conception” as devoutly religious people maintain to be the case, it is a complete absurdity to contend that a fertilized egg (aka a zygote) should be regarded for legal purposes as having the status of “personhood”…
Even so, the likely approval of ballot Initiative 26 in Mississippi today will amend that hopelessly backward state’s Constitution to affirm the nonsensical fiction that zygotes are “persons” – presumably, with all the legal rights of fully-fledged human beings.
Les Riley, the director of Personhood Mississippi who launched the dopey “Yes on 26” drive, notes the significance of the amendment: “You know this will be the first time in history that a state has recognized the humanity of the unborn and their God-given right to life. It would make abortion illegal within our borders and would also challenge notions about abortion.” And birth control… but that’s another matter.
Also, someone from the “get the government out of my personal business” party should immediately start investigating why 30-70 percent of the newly minted Zygote People are going rogue and deviating from the miracle of life by routinely and wilfully committing “suicide” as they choose not to achieve uterine implantation!
Surprise Update: Against the odds, common sense prevailed and the loopy Initiative 26 was soundly defeated, thereby avoiding the public policy disaster that would have resulted otherwise.
Bill Maher’s rebuttal to the right-wing talking point that President Obama is a failure because he’s “in over his head”…
You can watch the entire show at this site.