Lauren Zuniga, To the Oklahoma Lawmakers: a poem
“If you want to write your Bible on my organs, then you’d better be there when I am down on my knees, pleading for relief from your morality”
And lest we miss ONE WORD of this, here is the transcript of the poem, from the Life V 2.0 blog: Activism in spoken word
One of the instigators of the most evil, fascist political movements we’ve seen in North America in decades (and of which we’re now seeing the devastating economic results, worldwide) has died.
Weyrich was one of three founders of the Moral Majority and later had a hand in creating the Christian Coalition.
Nuff said. If Weyrich was right about the existence of an afterlife, I suspect he is now in the middle of a Very Big Surprise.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46)
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:22,23)
RIH, Paul Weyrich.
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan marriage commissioner Orville Nichols thinks the government of Saskatchewan should allow him to refuse to perform marriages of two other citizens — even though the right of those two citizens to marry is the SECULAR law of the land and he is the representative of that SECULAR law.
In this article of November 25, 2008, he (through his lawyer) makes his argument:
Philip Fourie, Nichols’ lawyer, said the lawsuit demands the province give marriage commissioners the legal right to not perform same-sex marriages if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.
“This is clearly a horrible violation of Charter rights,” he said in a release Tuesday
“This problem can be easily fixed by simply allowing the commissioners a right to decline and pass on the ceremony request to another commissioner.”
Nope. Nuh uh. Noway, nohow.
By this same argument, a police officer can refuse to protect the safety of people he considers immoral, like prostitutes and junkies, because their lifestyle violates his religious beliefs and to protect them would be “condoning” how they live. By this argument, a surgeon in the ER can refuse to save the life of a gang member who has just been shot after he himself killed someone (eek! murder! a sin!).
Religious arguments cannot, can not, can NOT be used to justify a member of a secular profession refusing to follow the law of the land.
“The government promised to be different but they are not acting any differently at all on this issue,” he said.
“The pendulum has swung too far in favour of same-sex people and against people of faith.”
Nuh uh, buckaroo. That whining “we’re being picked on, waaaah!” argument just doesn’t fly.
This man is a representative of the SECULAR law of this country. He doesn’t want to represent the SECULAR law of his country, he is perfectly, perfectly free to align himself with a religious institution, and perform marriages of only those people he approves of.
And to say that treating every bloody citizen in the country equally is “against people of faith” is an outrage and a lie. I invite both him and his lawyer to read one of my essays about why anti-gay people cannot use secular law to discriminate religiously against fellow citizens: “Arguments against equal marriage: #2 Same-sex marriages harm the ‘sanctity’ of marriage.”
The law is secular explicitly for the PURPOSE of protecting everyone in this country – including Orville bloody Nichols — from having their rights violated by someone of faith, someone who might have some kind of power over him and who might think his deity wants him to prevent Nichols from doing something that is his right to do. The only reason Nichols doesn’t notice the benefits he dervies from secular law is because his faith is still the majority faith in this country.
But his faith, majority or not, still does not allow him to violate the law when he represents it in a secular capacity. He is perfectly free to perform all the marriages he approves of, as a minister or religious representative. The fact that he wants to extend his religious right in the secular realm demonstrates that he is either an idiot (the charitable interpretation) or that he’s whining because he can’t also be a tyrant. Which is, unfortunately, the more likely interpretation.
Newsflash! As described in this article from Gazette.com in Colorado, the right-wing religious organization Focus on the Family is eagerly, nay almost militantly, demanding that retailers make sure to link Jesus and greedy capitalism as a celebration of Jesus’s birthday.
On Thursday the Colorado Springs-based ministry’s political action arm launched its second-annual holiday campaign by posting an online shoppers guide with three categories: “Christmas-friendly” retailers, “Christmas-negligent” retailers and “Christmas-offensive” retailers.
The “friendly” retailers are so designated because they prominently use “Merry Christmas” and other Christmas-specific references in their catalogs and in-store promotions.
God forbid that Christianity should share the Big! Money! Making! Season! with other seasonal celebrations like Kwanzaa and Hannukah, or even New Year’s.
Nope. Focus on the Family wants Jesus, and Jesus alone, to be connected to the malls, the big box stores, the raucous music in every store, the rush to buy buy buy, to benefit from the advertising, the money-grubbing, the huge spending, the going into debt to give Great Big Presents to people. Jesus ain’t gonna share ONE PENNY of that glorious gold, that fabulously filthy lucre, that marvelous Mammon, not with nobody, nohow. Not if Focus on the Family has its way.
It must be so comforting to God to know that Focus on the Family is so solicitous of Jesus’s public image like this, huh?
One of the big, big financial backers of last week’s ballot Proposition to ban equal marriage in California was the Mormon church, which urged its members to send money to the campaign trying to strip these citizenship rights from their fellow citizens.
Not surprisingly, those citizens whose rights had finally been recognized after a long struggle, and now have been ripped away from them again with the support of this church, this bastion of the traditional one man-one woman marriage (and yes, that is sarcasm; read their history!), have gotten very upset. So they’ve started picketing Mormon temples in southern California.
And when they show up, the police shut the temple doors and prevent anyone from getting in — including Mormon couples arriving to have a Temple wedding that will make their marriage eternally sealed.
There’s an account of this activity in this article in L.A. Weekly: “Los Angeles Protests Stop Mormon Marriages.”
As the article says:
On Thursday, thousands of “No on 8” protesters, most of whom were probably unaware of the importance of a temple, shut down the Los Angeles Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood. For the entire day and into the night, the iconic building was surrounded by Los Angeles Police Department officers, who sealed off its perimeter so no one could enter or exit. “No on 8” supporters will demonstrate again in Westwood on Sunday.
One rather feels like yelling, “NOW YOU KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE, OPPRESSORS!”
This church should have its tax exempt status utterly ripped away from it for blatantly and deliberately pushing politics as an official body (a big no no, legally and constitutionally). And of all people, this church should know what it’s like to be persecuted because one’s beliefs and practices don’t follow the norms of the surrounding majority. And it’s a fact that plural marriage is still in Mormonism’s holy books, described as an eternal decree of God, however they pretend it isn’t there these days. (It’s still in my copy of Doctrines & Covenants, at least, and since they proclaim that God’s word is eternal, well…)
But when one sees this church (and others, of course, like the Southern Baptists) keeping their tax status even though they are essentially political institutions these days, and when you see the crashing, self-righteous, oppressive, tyrannical hypocrisy of a church like the Mormon church that strips citizenship rights from their own fellow-citizens — you have to feel vindicated when they finally get a taste of their own medicine. Maybe if they were still experiencing full-fledged persecution themselves, they’d be reminded that they do not have the right (as American citizens or under God) to persecute other citizens.
For info on filing an IRS 501(c)(3) complaint against the Mormon church for its unconstitutional political activity, see this blog. Information about a great book by an American lawyer, arguing that equal marriage is constitutional, can be found here. And of course, I once again recommend my essays on equal marriage in this blog, starting here.
I’m a tad late — but not quite! There’s a “Blog Against Theocracy” blogswarm ending today, which has been going on all week. The idea is, well, to write a blog entry against theocracy, send the URL of the post to that site, and have it posted after this week is over.
It just so happens that I know rather a bit about the theocrats’ intentions in North America. I’m not posting from the U.S., but from Canada. However, during the 80’s and early 90’s, living in Alberta, I saw a lot of details about the theocrats’ plans to take over both the American and the Canadian governments. We’re just a bit behind the Americans, but they’re working steadily on that goal up here, the same way it’s happened down there.
When I was a fundamentalist (which, incidentally, I AM NOT ANY MORE), I started as a big supporter of Jerry Falwell’s “Old Time Gospel Hour” broadcasts. Those programs on Sunday essentially served as my church services. I sent them money every month. And eventually, when Falwell (along with LaHaye and some others) got involved in founding the Moral Majority, I got literature from his organization, explaining exactly what these people planned to do, to take over the American government.
They were going to start at the grassroots and work up. They’d get their people into city councils. They’d start their own schools, or turn existing Christian schools toward training their students to be lawyers and lawmakers and nurses and teachers. They’d force out “moderate” and “liberal” members of their churches and take them over, turning them into political organizations. As they infiltrated these “lower echelons” of influence, they’d work their way up, and take over state governments and courtrooms, and work their way all the way to the White House and the Supreme Court. And at that point, their tentacles would be extended so far into every detail of ordinary life that nobody could stop them from turning the U.S. into an outright theocracy. They’d ban abortion, ban homosexuals, ban divorce, ban everything that they disagreed with. Because, you know, God told them to.
Nowhere in there did I EVER hear a commitment to freedom of choice, or the rights of the majority if the majority happened to disagree with what they planned for their country. No, the majority of people would simply Have To Obey — Or Else. God would be the King of America, and the people would have no say whatsoever. To hell with “democracy.”
Around the same time, the theocrats in Canada started plotting the same thing, and of course, I was an enthusiastic supporter. They used to point to the methods used in the U.S., and counsel their people in all the churches to start using these methods. Whatever the Americans were doing to try to take over the government, Canadian fundamentalists wanted to do too. Some of us even dreamed of the day when the provinces of Canada would be American states, and everyone would be united in one glorious Christian country. (That was a minority view; most Canadian fundies just wanted to be a Canadian Christian country, merely “guided” by their American superiors.)
For the last twenty years I’ve watched the fundies put their original plan into action: taking over school boards and city councils and other levels of government. I’ve tried and tried to tell people what they were doing, and nobody believed it. And suddenly, we’re stuck with what we’ve got today, and it’s very discouraging. Because at this point, you can’t solve the problem simply by (in the U.S.) electing a Democrat as president or (in Canada) electing a Liberal government. Because the tentacles ARE STILL THERE. They can suffer a temporary defeat and withdrawal in the visible spots, but the whole structure for controlling society is STILL THERE. So they’ll be back, and swifter than people might imagine.
It’s going to take work to root them out, but truly, that’s what it will take. If we don’t want to see institutionalized persecution of liberals and homosexuals and working women and scientists and so on, we will HAVE TO root the anti-democracy people out of every small school board trustee’s office, every mayoral chair, every law court and state government — unless they take a solemn vow (on the Bible, how about!) that they will adhere to democracy and NEVER try to force their beliefs down anyone’s throat again in an attempt to bypass that democracy.
In fact, what it’s going to take is a similar plan to what theirs originally was: plan to put open-minded liberal people in every school board, every city council and mayor’s chair, every state government, Congress, the Supreme Court, all the way to the White House. The problem is, in this era of “quick fixes,” nobody is going to want to spend 20 years doing it, the way they did.
I hope we’re not stuck. It may take outright institutionalized fascism before a revolution happens and the monsters are thrown out. I hope it doesn’t have to take that. But sometimes I’m not optimistic.