The Award of the Day – Recipient #2

Today I am proud to present the 2nd Award of the Day to a local stand-out.  I have found this individual often demonstrates the depth of bias and intolerance we see on a national level but after reading her latest letter to the Editor in the Pocono Record (this too a local embarrassment), I didn’t have a second thought in deciding she was deserving of special place in what I expect will be an ever-growing list of people who actually deserve little respect or success in life.

Today’s award goes to a local pastor – one who has consistently demonstrated behavior and opinions that are directly aligned with the intent of the “Head in the Butt” award.  Previously bestowed on Rand Paul, Rev. Marilyn D. Smith has risen again to the occasion with her latest letter.  Unfortunately, this one isn’t really much different than most she writes.  Once again, more reason to embrace being an athiest.

Please take a quick read and I have no doubt you will agree with my decision to give her this prestigious honor.

Not only does Rev. Smith show her great love of everyone, one of the primary tenets of Christianity, she has demonstrated quite an ability to take care of her personal life as she has undoubtedly provided her offspring the same love and guidance she likely shows to the minions of idiots who sit in her church every week.  I am always amazed when someone takes information that shows what would seem to be a deficiency in some aspect of life (in this case parenting) and somehow makes it look as if they did something good.  I take this next paragraph from the website of Preaching Women.com, which highlights the life of Rev. Marilyn.

“This woman of God knows what it is to be  praying mother to see the promises of God fulfilled in each and every one of her promised seed.  Pastor Marilyn found herself crying out to God for the lives of her own children.  Today, Pastor Marilyn and Pastor Charles is blessed to have seven children, some of whom have tremendous testimonies of deliverance from drugs and alcohol.  The same anointing of God has fallen upon their children and four grandchildren.”

Way to go Marilyn – nice job adding some quality people to the world!  I have to wonder if being a jerk and a half-wit is also a choice.

Given the percentages, in having seven children, I also wonder which one of them is probably gay.

Think about it – hate and intolerance at its best

It has been awhile since I found the time to actually get back out here and do a bit of my usual rant.  With Ricky out of the Republican race I’ve actually been a little less incensed at some of the rhetoric and crap spewing from Mitt.  I had thought that people would begin to see him for what he is and what he stands for but it is becoming increasingly evident that will likely not suffice given the ongoing demonstration of limited intelligence of the vast majority of the American public.  And I’m also reminded that I thought there was no way in hell that Georgy Bush would get elected for a second term – I am reminded of a quote by one of the authors I read extensively in my youth –

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity – Robert A. Heinlein

And even more relevant today –

But back to my current thought on what is turning out to be an area of social consequence that has become increasingly disturbing – both by the views held and the laws passed.  I listen to President Obama finally state the obvious (to many of us) about viewing those in our society are gay as equals across the board.  I watch another southern state (are we seeing a pattern here?  I know where I don’t want to ever live) pass an anti-gay bill.   I then watch Mitt do a commencement speech at Liberty University, founded by those in the religious right.  Might be me but this wasn’t a university that I’ve ever seen as one of the tops in the country but there are many educational institutions which are not among the best that provide students a good education.  The difference here is that I can’t see how this is a well-rounded education – but my opinion only.  In any case, my point is that the item in Mitt’s speech – re-affirming his belief that marriage is only valid between a man and a woman – is one that most thinking people have seen past.  Telling this view to this crowd took no gumption and required no validation beyond the automatic head nodding and hand clapping through the crowd.  He is no Michael Bloomberg who has a set of cajones easily demonstrated by delivering a speech at the University of North Carolina where he directly countered the recently passed law on marriage in the state.  Definitely a man of conviction.  Not Mitt – this again shows Mitt to be a man who basically tells any crowd what they want to hear – is that flip flopping as many accuse him or is it really more a case of a man who really doesn’t have a real thought in his head – he is really the human (and barely so) version of a chameleon.  Is this really what our country needs at this time?  We are used to the general public as essentially cattle being herded at the whims of the leaders they follow but not as often the other way around.  Even Bush attempted to lead – as feeble as it was.  The difference is that Bush was just pretty dumb – I don’t believe Mitt is dumb – he is just clueless and inept.  Again, quite the qualities we need in a potential leader.

One can only hope the time between now and November really shows Mitt for who he is. I’m guessing it will be increasingly difficult as the Obama camp picks the strategic topics that need a firm stance.  I see the deer in the headlights look becoming increasingly popular in Mitt’s speeches.

Now – what audience am I speaking with today?

But the more important point here is the continued view of gays as second class citizens – and that is probably giving many of these anti-gay people more credit than they are due.  The fact that they profess to be so religious is laughable – I ask anyone – who do you know among those who profess to be so pious and living the life set by their religious dogma really lives that life?  Very few in my experience.  To be honest, I’m one of the few – and that is only made possible given my view of the world around me as an atheist.

But no matter your religion, your beliefs, how you think you lead your life, I have to wonder how one ever reaches the point where they can actually take the view that anyone else in our society is not worthy of respect and equal footing – especially when they contribute at equal levels with the rest of us.  You don’t need to like everyone or even want to have them live next door to you – that’s okay – I sure don’t.   But I’m not looking to take way their civil rights and liberties.  I’ve made the point before that it isn’t 1955 any more, women can vote and civil rights are a given (at least in our laws).  To treat gays differently is unacceptable in this day and age.  The older generation (another bit of slick marketing is their designation as “the greatest generation” by Tom Brokaw, a dumb shit at best – “the neediest generation” is more apropos) needs to take a lesson from our youth who are less likely to see race, color, sexual orientation as something that needs much extra thought.  But it not just the older people but more disturbing the number of baby boomers who profess such intolerance.   It is despicable and speaks volumes of the type of people we live with in this country.  Even more amazing is that not one of these people is more than 1 degree separated from someone who is gay.  In fact many of them walk that fine line themselves, so aptly demonstrated by many of the politicians and religious leaders whom have found themselves having to explain themselves – hence the degree of intensity.  Bottom line, the gay citizens many are so quick to push to the side are our sons and daughters, our aunts and uncles, our neighbors, our teachers, our police and firemen, etc., etc.  Get it? – it is really about people we love and care about when we look beyond the sexual aspect on which most anti-gay people perseverate.  How can you be so rigid and unfeeling?  My guess is that these are people with some severe (or at least moderately severe) sexual dysfunction or they wouldn’t be so threatened so quickly.  To my fellow baby boomers – what the hell happened to you that you forgot what the 60’s was about?  Different decade, pretty much the same issues.  Oh, now I remember, you were the ones sitting in your rooms with your head in a book all week and then on Friday and Saturday nights you went on your binge drinking and showed the beginnings of the asshole you would eventually grow into as you let the alcohol quickly dim your hangups and insecurities.

Apologies for the rambling nature of this – I’d like to think I’m usually a bit more structured and to the point.  However, this topic is one that hits home as my son is gay.  But beyond that I have had many friends and people I know who are gay – my best man in my wedding over 30 years ago was gay – and I knew it and didn’t really care.   Am I ever a bit biased? – not really given that despite my sometimes intolerance of others, it is typically not against an entire class of people.  I will admit that there are parts of any group – be it race, ethnicity, age, whatever – that bug me.  And I have no issue saying that stupid people are pretty much useless – no matter their color, religion, sexual orientation, whatever. What having a gay son has taught me is a much better understanding of what they tolerate every day – and how much intolerance can hurt and how difficult it can make life.  While both my kids (now adults) have demonstrated success so far and I am phenomenally proud of both of them – they are both pretty amazing in their own ways, I look back at the added burden my son dealt with going thru school and I hurt inside when I think of what he tolerated through all those years.

I’m ecstatic when I see his friends who are with him still and don’t see him any different from anyone else.  He, like any individual, is made up of more than the single sexual dimension so many are focused on.   I can only wish a slow and agonizing remainder of life to those who are so quick and easy to deny him his rights.  No doubt there are those who will read this (assuming anyone does), dismss it without a thought and continue to see my son as less than human – well to all of you I say “Sieg Heils”.  You are in great company.

One parting thought on Romney – if he truly was the high school bully he has been accused of being, that is bad enough.  Add the gay aspect to the bullying and it becomes a whole other issue.   We can forgive some past transgressions (well, to some extent) but at least own up to it when called out.  To play the “I don’t remember” card is less than credible – but then again, maybe Mitt has a bit more Ronald Reagan in him than was thought!

Santorum – back to the 50’s?

No matter how you look at it, the lack of insight as well as the hypocrisy that sits in the head (not sure a brain exists) of Rick Santorum is obvious and rather disturbing.  His latest attack on President Obama and those not part of the “right” again show the depth of not only his lack of connection with the real world but his total disregard for anything other than his shortsighted and anachronistic views of the world and where we are as a society and people in the 21st century.

First the lack of insight and hypocrisy (and I quote – taken from MSN) – “Santorum said, I’ve been pretty clear that the left in America has their own moral code in which they want to impose on this country. You can call it a theology. You can call it a moral code. You can call it a world view, but they have their own moral code that they want to impose on everybody else. While they insist and complain that somehow or another that people of Judeo Christian faith are intolerant of their new moral code that they want to create here. I’m just saying they the ones who are intolerant in imposing their will on in this case the Catholic church.””  Okay, what am I missing here?  It would seem that I could replace the work “left” in Santorum’s statement with the word “right” and other than the fact that it would no longer impose will on the Catholic Church and it would pretty much read to mirror the intent of those leaning to the right in our country to inject their views and rules into everything the rest of us do and how we live our lives.  Whether it be the Tea Party, Born-again Christians, the Catholic Church, etc., etc., the mantra is essentially “if you are not with me, you are against me” and we of dissimilar faith (or no faith at all) are now the target of their set of delusions.  In this case, if it was up to Santorum, no one would be using contraceptives (maybe other than an aspirin) and we would all be paying for even more of the Santorum offspring issues as a result of being too old to reproduce.

Tweedledick and Tweedledumb

I also find Santorum’s statements on the “Face the Nation” regarding the environment to be somewhat of a throwback view – one I would expect from someone stuck in the 50’s.

“I am talking about his world view, and the way he approaches problems in this country. I think they’re different than how most people do in America,” Santorum said in the broadcast interview.

The former Pennsylvania senator said Obama’s environmental policies promote ideas of “radical environmentalists,” who, Santorum argues, oppose greater use of the country’s natural resources because they believe “man is here to serve the Earth.” He said that was the reference he was making Saturday in his Ohio campaign appearance when he denounced a “phony theology.”

First off, nice Texas Two-Step on the Theology remark – at least have the balls to hold your ground.  That explanation doesn’t even make sense in try to tie “phony theology” to Obama’s take on environmental issues.  Second, good to see that in the world of Santorum, anyone who takes a view that says that the environment is important and that it is important to consider the impact of what we do as man on the earth is a radical environmentalist.  Of course there is no history or evidence that man ever disregards how what we do impacts the environment and the ability of the earth to deal with it.  Oh, that’s right, in the world of the Right, global warming is not real and is something that has no scientific basis.

So this is the one of the contenders for our next President.  Wow, wonder at what point we start to hear it is time that pants for women are outlawed and it’s skirts only – and at least two fingers below the knee.  Looks like The Honeymooners reruns – “To the moon, Alice” – oh wait, that’s Gingrich territory.

Considering the First Amendment

Okay – I don’t expect the career Republicans in the fray of battle to acknowledge it.  I really don’t expect the majority of the Republican base to understand it as most are lemmings looking for a cliff.  What I don’t understand is those in the media that do the interviews of the politicians and those thinking independents or core Democrats with a voice and the ability to question and challenge.  Not that anyone will change the minds of these people – but there is nothing wrong with making them look like the bigots and jerks they really are.  What am I missing in the defense of religious freedom that draws on the First Amendment and takes a position that the government is treading on religious freedom when it addresses issues such as contraception or gay rights that can be viewed from a perspective equally valid in non-religious terms?  Why is it that imparting or recognizing rights to those not of any particular religious denomination is any less valid than protecting the rights of those whose religion are central to their existence?  How is it that the decision by the Bush debacle to not fund stem cell research (that was based purely on religious beliefs) not seen as an issue by these same people who are having issues with birth control or gay rights?  I know the answer as does anyone that thinks and actually can chew gum and walk at the same time.

What is it that makes it so threatening to these on the right that someone is different, has different beliefs or holds other ideals to be more important.   I would submit that if you were truly of faith and belief, you felt it to your core and you actually followed the teaching of Jesus, we of little faith wouldn’t be seen as the enemy.  You wouldn’t feel the need to have us talk, walk, and look like you.

Interesting fact about Rick Santorum: his wife, Karen Santorum, had an abortion in 1996 during her 19th week of pregnancy Karen Santorum’s fetus caused an infection inside her and had to be removed to save her life. How can Rick Santorum oppose all abortion in all cases when terminating a pregnancy saved the life of his own wife? **

To be honest, I’m okay with the tax dollars of good catholics not funding birth control or abortion because, of course, no catholics use birth control or have abortions.  Equally so, I think, as a long standing atheist, I should have equal say in my Federal tax dollars (now into six figures) not funding anything that smells of organized religion – charities, schools, you name it.  Where do I sign up for that?  Yes – we can write our Senator and Congressperson but that won’t go anywhere because most of them have no balls.  At the end of the day, I would expect that my contribution to the Federal budget wouldn’t be funding the exorbitant medical costs of Rick Santorum’s last child (yes Rick, there is an appropriate time for birth control) – as I would expect given the Santorum’s as the religious poster family, the care is being provided in a Catholic hospital.  You see, it goes both ways.

**Update:  In the spirit of fairness and in anticipation of how the termination of the Santorum’s pregnancy in 1996 could be positioned, it would appear that the Santorum’s, given their pro-life stance, took a different route to terminating the pregnancy.  Rather than a direct abortion, they had the doctor induce the pregnancy using pitocin, which is used to induce labor.  They were aware that there was little (and I mean little) chance of survival of the baby at that age and it did die within two hours.  I have no doubt that Santorum (and pro-life supporters) will have every explanation of why this was not a “true” abortion but, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.