Married Women Abort for Secret Desire to Make Lesbians Equal

As a former Virginian, I’m all too aware of the asshatery that is Pat Robertson. I once lived a short distance from his colonial palace cum religious law school and occasionally saw some of his on-air “journalists” at the local Farm Fresh. I knew of him when Jim and Tammy Bakker were still producing a kids show starring gospel-spewing puppets (real puppets, not the marionettes that watch CBN). And I’ve followed his frightening career as he prayed away hurricanes and claimed the storms were God’s vengeance on Walt Disney World’s Gay Days.

His latest crusade against the Thundering Herd of Queerosity is a rip-roaring fantasy – aborting babies as a way to “level the playing field” for lesbians. He claims to speak directly with God on the celestial hotline daily, but this is more proof that God really should get a better PR man to service his temporal account.

As with all Robertsonian screeds, he fails in the simple logic his “God” bestowed on humans. Clearly the daily conversations with the Big Kahuna aren’t nearly often enough.

Ether of the Gods
In his latest jaunt into the non-secular ether – ether which is apparently copiously pumped into the CBN News set – he makes his case for how lesbians would be on a “level field” with straight women.

His level playing field theory is so weak because he is simply unable to step across the aisle to see that women are constitutionally supposed to be on a level playing field, much as the religious can’t be “demoted” because atheists think Christians aren’t worth of a half set of civil rights (I believe that’s the implicit 11th Commandment he’s following here).

Pinhead Pat also contends that, “If a woman is a lesbian, what advantage does she have over a married woman? Or what deficiency does she have?”

“Well, she can’t have children,” his animatronic co-host mews. Pat answers, “And so if these married women don’t have children, if they abort their babies, then that kind of puts them on a level playing field (with lesbians).

Pat buddy, it’s time for your birds and the bees talk. Let us break out our copy of Pat Has Two Mommies which we bought at the last Level Playing Field Bowl.

Your rambling analysis jumps to the conclusion that lesbians can’t have children – “Little Pat, pay attention! Both straight and lesbian women can have children. It happens every day. You really should get out more.”

Sapphic vs. Non-Sapphic Equality
And what’s up with this whole “abortion levels the playing field” concept? If a straight woman gets an abortion does she become a lesbian or a straight woman at 4th and 10 on the 20 yard line? If a lesbian aborts, does she become straight?

And, what’s on this “level playing field” anyway? Equal pay? The right to marry whoever she damn well pleases? Does it take an abortion to make the sapphic and non-sapphic equal in their right to get divorced?  And let’s not forget the gentlemen. If gay men get a geldingoscopy, do they turn straight, or is the other way around?

Just how many lesbians can dance on the tip of your pin head any way?

Pat, I know you’re terrified of many things in life, not the least of which are people who play for the other team. But dammit (Author’s note: The author was careful to adhere to the Third Commandment) Pat, if you’re going to love the sinner and hate the sin by hating both the sinner and the sin, get your story straight. Notwithstanding your belief in Creationism according to the Vlasic pickle stork, hire someone having a nodding acquaintance with the simple biology that deposited you here like a gay turd on our doorstep. It would be money well-spent. Unless, of course, God turns you into a lesbian to level the playing field.

Ouch! That WOULD be embarrassing, wouldn’t it?

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Soldier Fitness Tracker: How Would It Grade Pat Tillman?

DENIGRATION IS A FINE WAY TO TREAT A HERO - Many patriotic people stake a claim on Pat Tillman's heroism. However, it turns out he's an atheist (hero) in a foxhole denigrated, along with his family, by some Christians for his beliefs. Click here for more about his story >>

In joining the military, young troops give up some basic Constitutional rights given the civilian population. The vagaries of war sometimes require it. The military is not a democracy and that’s as it should be.

However, there are some rights they don’t and shouldn’t give up, including the right to worship or not worship as they see fit. A slew of recent events and complaints about the religious components of the Army’s mandatory Soldier Fitness Tracker (SFT) test show abuses that cannot stand.

I’m not a militant atheist. I’m not particularly troubled by most of the many Christian symbols and deeds that appear in clearly secular places. Whether you want to worship Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, or rocks and trees is none of my concern. I even say Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays on occasion.

In God Some of Us Don’t Trust

However, I strongly believe that one’s rights stop at the point where they infringe upon others’. Scribbling “In God We Trust” on a dollar doesn’t make it  worth less. It doesn’t infringe on my right to spend the dollar as I see fit. I prefer to see it as a label that identifies God’s cash when it goes into a collection plate or tithe, even though you’d think an omniscent being could figure it out on their own. No harm and no huge foul. More of a bum call actually, but nothing to get dangerously huffy over.

War is Hell, even if Hell is a religious construct. It’s a dark place that breaks bodies and minds and that’s why I’m not against SFT in principle. Everyone could use a little help on the battlefield. If God is your answer, who am I to deprive you of that comfort? If God isn’t, who are you to deprive me of that comfort?

My objection stems from non-Christians and non-theists being tested against a purely Christian scale. Not only are they deemed failures if they don’t answer questions “properly”, but they receive help clearly not right for them. In effect, they get no help at all. Worse yet, they’re compelled to see the chaplain about arrangements for being “born again” or attending Christian concerts.

The problem is less SFT than the measuring metrics used, how the Army interprets the results,  and whether or what kind of emotional support the non-Christians may need. There’s nothing in the test that can’t be remedied with more attention to the needs of all soldiers, not just the select few.

The Army is No Theocracy
As a group, it’s probably safe to say that the majority of those agreeing with such Christianization of the military are the same ones who prattle on about DADT victims being such grave dangers to “unit cohesion and morale”. Doesn’t it seem a soldier labeled a failure, told their beliefs are wrong, and deprived of support offered to Christian soldiers wouldn’t have such great morale and possibly feel alienated enough to damage unit cohesion? The Army may not be a democracy, but it’s not a theocracy either.

American Christians represent a far greater portion of the population than non-theists, polytheists, and non-christians combined. Yet, their constant hosannas are about their rights being lost to the Great Godless Hordes – even to the point that the new Alabama governor publicly suggests his relationship with Christian constituents is greater than his relationship with other Alabamans.

Christians’ insistent imposition of their beliefs on other Americans is exactly what drives the more militant Atheists to distraction. Christians have built a slippery slope not unlike the NRA‘s where many Atheists feel the need to fight every new slight as though it means the death of the Constitution and their inevitable excommunication as Americans. And we’re all – Christians and non-Christians alike – going for a long slide if it continues.

My Christian friends – this isn’t persecution of you, but by you.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Soldier Fitness Tracker: How Would It Grade Pat Tillman?

DENIGRATION IS A FINE WAY TO TREAT A HERO - Many patriotic people stake a claim on Pat Tillman's heroism. However, it turns out he's an atheist (hero) in a foxhole denigrated, along with his family, by some Christians for his beliefs. Click here for more about his story >>

In joining the military, young troops give up some basic Constitutional rights given the civilian population. The vagaries of war sometimes require it. The military is not a democracy and that’s as it should be.

However, there are some rights they don’t and shouldn’t give up, including the right to worship or not worship as they see fit. A slew of recent events and complaints about the religious components of the Army’s mandatory Soldier Fitness Tracker (SFT) test show abuses that cannot stand.

I’m not a militant atheist. I’m not particularly troubled by most of the many Christian symbols and deeds that appear in clearly secular places. Whether you want to worship Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, or rocks and trees is none of my concern. I even say Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays on occasion.

In God Some of Us Don’t Trust

However, I strongly believe that one’s rights stop at the point where they infringe upon others’. Scribbling “In God We Trust” on a dollar doesn’t make it  worth less. It doesn’t infringe on my right to spend the dollar as I see fit. I prefer to see it as a label that identifies God’s cash when it goes into a collection plate or tithe, even though you’d think an omniscent being could figure it out on their own. No harm and no huge foul. More of a bum call actually, but nothing to get dangerously huffy over.

War is Hell, even if Hell is a religious construct. It’s a dark place that breaks bodies and minds and that’s why I’m not against SFT in principle. Everyone could use a little help on the battlefield. If God is your answer, who am I to deprive you of that comfort? If God isn’t, who are you to deprive me of that comfort?

My objection stems from non-Christians and non-theists being tested against a purely Christian scale. Not only are they deemed failures if they don’t answer questions “properly”, but they receive help clearly not right for them. In effect, they get no help at all. Worse yet, they’re compelled to see the chaplain about arrangements for being “born again” or attending Christian concerts.

The problem is less SFT than the measuring metrics used, how the Army interprets the results,  and whether or what kind of emotional support the non-Christians may need. There’s nothing in the test that can’t be remedied with more attention to the needs of all soldiers, not just the select few.

The Army is No Theocracy
As a group, it’s probably safe to say that the majority of those agreeing with such Christianization of the military are the same ones who prattle on about DADT victims being such grave dangers to “unit cohesion and morale”. Doesn’t it seem a soldier labeled a failure, told their beliefs are wrong, and deprived of support offered to Christian soldiers wouldn’t have such great morale and possibly feel alienated enough to damage unit cohesion? The Army may not be a democracy, but it’s not a theocracy either.

American Christians represent a far greater portion of the population than non-theists, polytheists, and non-christians combined. Yet, their constant hosannas are about their rights being lost to the Great Godless Hordes – even to the point that the new Alabama governor publicly suggests his relationship with Christian constituents is greater than his relationship with other Alabamans.

Christians’ insistent imposition of their beliefs on other Americans is exactly what drives the more militant Atheists to distraction. Christians have built a slippery slope not unlike the NRA‘s where many Atheists feel the need to fight every new slight as though it means the death of the Constitution and their inevitable excommunication as Americans. And we’re all – Christians and non-Christians alike – going for a long slide if it continues.

My Christian friends – this isn’t persecution of you, but by you.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

The Hell With Atheists After the Foxholes

Many people say, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” As a practical matter this obviously isn’t the case, but the Army’s new Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program (CSFP) implies it should.

The mandatory program measures soldier fitness in a variety of dimensions to help them cope with the rigors of combat. It’s spiritual dimension has a wealth of information for believers. However, it  implies that only believers need or can be helped in this dimension. In short, non-theists need not apply.

There’s nothing wrong with measuring and grading this dimension. It is critical to overcoming battlefield trauma. Whatever gets you through the terrors of war is great. But grading and providing solely religious-based feedback can demoralize non-believers and deprive them of helpful information in much the same way DADT chose to simply ignore the presence of gays. Non-theists are similarly marginalized.

Clean Toilets or Go to Chruch?
And, this ignoring of other than religious – more often than not non-Christian points of view – is larger than this program.

As a young airman in basic training during the 1970s everyone was offered two choices each Sunday – attend church or stay in the barracks and clean toilets.

Hmm…clean toilets or escape the tedium of 24×7 training for an hour singing and laughing with friends? Which shall I choose?

To the Air Force’s credit, the services were non-denominational and mentioned God only once or twice per service. There were two prayers, both of which were generic enough to interpret in any way, including as a non-theist statement. Services were comprised of signing vaguely religious, up tempo, and “modern” songs. To escape cleaning toilets with a toothbrush most atheists saw it as a good trade.

Nods to religion for the rest of my Air Force career were limited to my dog tags – which you could label as atheist, any religion, or not applicable. I entered “Granitellism” a faux belief that race car driver Andy Granitelli was God because he could pick up a screwdriver covered in oil. It didn’t cause an eyebrow to flutter.

It seems there has been a steady movement backward since those days.

In addition to CSFP, the Air Force Academy has suffered a long-standing bias against all but Christians and despite several Pentagon attempts to change, it continues. Individual unit commanders sometimes cross the same line and chaplains – which in my day did more social work than God’s work – have upped the ante.

Service members sometimes refuse to attend nondenominational services conducted by Islamic chaplains or vice versa. The Navy has squabbled over building mosques on large bases. National cemeteries banned atheist and multi-theist symbols on graves until recently because they “offended” the religious.

Unreasonable Demands?
Generally speaking, non-thesists haven’t made unreasonable demands for accommodation just as gays haven’t. When services build chapels and mosques there isn’t a clamor for an atheist house for contemplation. Asking for a symbol on a veteran’s grave is hardly a big thing. But, the CSFP goes a step beyond.

By refusing to include non-theists in CSFP the Army denies help to those service members, even though they remained atheists while in the foxholes…arm to arm with straight, gay, and minority soldiers.

The military is all about releasing some individuality to serve a greater purpose, a non-religious purpose. The Army used to call this, “An Army of One”. It degrades the contributions of non-believers because they didn’t give up an individual right guaranteed by the Constitution, and at least nominally by military training.

It’s simply wrong for the military to tout individual rights during training while denying those rights when the bullets fly.

After all, bullets don’t have an opinion about God.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

American Exceptionalism is About Agreeing to Disagree

It’s fair to say US politics has gone way past the point of partisan and well into the realm of zealotry. Ideas are often flatly rejected before being proposed. We talk proposals to death, but it never seems to be enough. Votes turn into mini wars of attrition or no-holds barred campaigns with scorched earth policies at their center. And, losers – well, everyone’s a loser, but you know what I mean – launch hissy fits, retribution, repeal, Constitutional amendment, or just flip off the entire nation.

And then, when all else fails, the entire Grinchly, toxic package gets topped with a smelly bow of name calling and just plain goofy lies and charges.

If you believe America needs health care, you hate America. If you believe America should have a smaller government, you hate America. If you belive rich people should pay more taxes, you’re a commie. If you believe that Obama is the anti-Christ, he doesn’t just hate America, he morphs into a Kenyan Kommunist who isn’t even legally President. And if you fail to demonize your elected government you’re an evil terrorist.

Complexity Makes Our Heads Hurt
We live in an age of sprawling complexity, certainly too much complexity for any mere mortal to fully understand.  And, we tack on all sorts of contingencies and nit picks, no matter how applicable, to set up certain failure. Then, in true homo sapien fashion we run away from the smoking hole in the ground with all the grace and moral fortitude of a car chase star on America’s Dumbest Criminals.

It’s OK to criticize your government. That is democracy’s essence and your right (although people who don’t vote, but criticize the loudest do sometimes chap my ass). It’s OK to disagree. Sometimes your view carries the day, other times not. That doesn’t mean the victor rolls out of bed each morning rubbing their hands, growing some horns, and singing, “What can I do to fuck up my country today,” to the tune of the Internationale.

People say Americans don’t believe in the concept of American exceptionalism. I’m not sure that’s as true as just ignoring the concept as though it isn’t even there.

America’s exceptionalism has never been its moral stance in the world or its defense of the weak against the oppressive. It was never endowed by anyone’s God nor rabid patriotism. What made America exceptional was our ability to somehow recognize our differences, make decisions, and then move on. Unlike many countries, we were exceptional because we could eventually unify and not devolve into a stinking swamp of eternal misery as every faction except the common citizen spent decades trying to jerk everyone to their side.

Even Morons Get Good Ideas
No matter how big a moron is they’ll occasionally have a good idea. There’s no value arguing against a good idea solely because it came from someone you think is a moron. The value is to recognize the idea for what it is and pat the moron on the back with a word of thanks for actually doing something besides prattling on about how the moron may have denigrated your ideas in the past.

If you criticize an idea with particular vitriol and your opponent reminds you of it, don’t try to defend yourself by saying, “you guys did it first”. And, don’t change the subject by parsing every little nuance in your language. People will see that for what it is…crapweaseltry.

It’s OK to answer a charge that your opinion is one-sided with a reminder that it is an opinion (whether supported by facts or not). You’re not obliged to answer every idea with a corresponding counterbalance – though it’s nice when you can acknowledge it. But, regardless of your opinion of them or their idea, always treat them personally with respect.

Sometimes the best anyone can do is to agree to disagree and let it go at that.

Cross psoted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

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