Archive for the ‘religious right’ Category

And while on the topic….

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Dissenters:

Dissenters opposed state interference in religious matters, and founded their own churches, educational establishments, and communities; some emigrated to the New World.

Nimrata, you are such a shame!

Nimrata, why are you ashamed of being Indian?

I look at this picture and you look like a Farangi (If I were using Cantonese, the word that comes to mind is “gweilo”).  Did they lighten your skin up? Did they Photoshop you to change your looks?

Sikhism is a noble religion.  Why did you give up the kirpan for guns?  The symbolism of the kirpan is much more productive than the ridiculous chant of “gun rights” that people mindlessly chant as a mantra in your neck of the woods.

Isn’t ahimsa a better principle to live by?

Not to mention, I have a thing for Indian Food and music.  Bollywood movies are over the top, but what the heck, they are fun. I seriously think you should choreograph your next speech as a Bollywood dance routine!

So, does your American Story mean that you have to renounce Indian Culture to fit in?  Does it mean that you have to hide how you look and assimilate into the culture?  Why can’t you be proud of your Sikh heritage?  Or do you associate that with corner shops rather than being a governor?

Remember Margaret Thatcher was a grocer’s daughter when you think such thoughts! Not to mention that your father was a doctor.

I don’t know, Nimrata, but this picture scares me quite a bit about the US.  Does one have to assimilate and lose their heritage to belong to that society?  Is historic amnesia part of the American nightmare?  Does one need to become a White, Christian to be a proper American?

Somehow, all that seems wrong.  The US is headed in the wrong direction–not that I really need to care about that myself.  The society I live in is working at living with its diversity and moving forward.

What I see in the US and from its media, shows that it is a society that is moving backward to a world that I don’t want to live in. I am glad to have left it.

You should say the Punjabi equivalent of “Jai Ho”, not “Can’t is not an Option”


I will add as a postscript that my copy of Flora Steel and Grace Gardiner’s The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook, which was a guide for British ladies living in Colonial India first published in 1888 on how to live in that society, just arrived today.  That seems rather fitting to add that bit of the Empire to end this post.  Maybe Nimrata is trying to be a Memsab!

Counterproductive politics

There is an interesting interview on today’s Newshour about the rise of the religious right in the US. One of the interviewees points out that the number of evangelical Christians in the US is declining due to its involvement in religion.

I’ve found that gunloon comments tend to reinforce my belief that the US needs gun control due to the fact that these people are not responsible and have no idea of what right the Second Amendment was intended on protecting. Add in that the institution of militia is pretty much an anachronism. In fact, the militia was irrelevant at the time of the Revolution (see Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations).

Anyway, we have already seen that the Heller-McDonald decisions have nor resulted in much in roads being made in the field of gun rights. And as the word of Revolution go “if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t going to make with anyone anyhow”.

Perhaps saying that a variant of “Political Power comes from the barrel of a gun” will backfire on them as badly as failing to heed that religion and politics should not be intertwined.

THE RETURN OF IRIS ROBINSON!

Well, now that Michelle Bachmann is running for the Head of State of the United States, you know the place is going to shite. Let’s hope the Tea Party cretins let the US default and the country will be like Ireland in more than one way. In that spirit, I bring you Ulster’s version of Michelle Bachmann–Iris Robinson!

Fortunately, Iris went down in flames over a year ago. Let’s hope Michelle provides the U S A with the same sort of fun before going to the political graveyard!

Till then, I hope some people find inspiration in this song. How close does Michelle Bachmann scan with Iris Robinson.

Here’s to you, Michelle Bachmann
Heaven Holds a place for those who pray…

Fundamentalist Christians and The Founding Fathers

I came across these courtesy of American Creation and the post How Religious Were the Founding Fathers?:


Unfortunately, both videos neglect the likes of John Witherspon and Patrick Henry who were religious types. But even the strongly religious believed that Government had no place in religion.

The Fear Monster Doesn’t like me because…

Lots of good reasons, but I like this young woman’s

I just wish her mouth was in sync with what she’s saying.  She looks like a bad 1960s Japanese cartoon.

And she”s cut off at the end of her speech.

Al Tirah! Fear Not!

When the heroes of biblical times despaired, God would speak to them. “Al Tirah! Fear Not!” God commanded. Good advice then, good advice now

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, Jedi Grand Master Yoda, known for his idiosyncratic object-subject-verb word order, shared this pearl of wisdom. “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

This year, anger, fear, contempt, cynicism, racial tension and religious discrimination have all bled into the country’s political and cultural fabric. Americans are despairing at the rise of John Birch Politics and figures like Glenn Beck; the hateful rhetoric and actions targeting Muslims, immigrants, gays, Obama and other political and philanthropic leaders; the severe economic challenges facing the country. They are despairing at the limitations of the leaders they elected to create change.

While this is a Jewish movement, I think that other Americans should listen to the message of Al Tirah! Fear Not! In fact, peoples of all faiths and nationalities need to remember this message.

The Empathy Monster is Americans at our best, guided by a powerful sense of responsibility and community.
Empathy beats fear when:

I seek solutions to problems, not scapegoats
I listen
I stand up to hate
I love my neighbor as much as I love myself
I remember that my ancestors were once discriminated against

Fight the Fear Monster!

http://www.altirahusa.com/
This campaign is complete with Fear and Empathy Monsters who are already engaged in a Facebook faceoff.

Give us a break, Michelle

This is for a right wing, Islamophobic, racist asshole who needs to take a good look in the mirror. If she thinks that her Christianity isn’t barbaric: she needs to seriously get her shit together.

This material shows actual crucifixion in the Philippines

Warning: these people are really being crucified with real nails.


Or maybe she feels that Jesus died for you, return the favour.

Sorry, but this isn’t a joke. These Phillipino men are being crucified and it happens every Easter.

See also: http://catholicresistence.blogspot.com/2006/08/malkin-nwo-and-ties-that-bind.html

Ritual and meaning in post Christian society… (via this fragile tent)

I found this to be an interesting post. This seems to apply very strongly to US society where the religious right is trying to make the US a “Christian Nation” rather than the secular one it was founded to be.

Ritual and meaning in post Christian society... Religion, according to sociologists like Durkheim, plays a vital role in society. It unites and solidifies our morality, our world view and facilitates social cohesion. According to Durkheim, religion is very real; it is an expression of society itself, and indeed, there is no society that does not have religion. Since Durkheim, there have been many discussions about the value of religion to society. Some have been critical, and seen organised re … Read More

via this fragile tent

Franklin Quote Updated

In his autobiography, published in 1791, Benjamin Franklin stated that he “did not disapprove” of a meeting place in Pennsylvania that was designed to accommodate preachers of all religions. Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

Updated

“even if the Grand Imam of Iran were to send a missionary to preach Islam to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

BTW, Thomas Jefferson defended religious freedom in America including those of Muslims. Jefferson explicitly mentioned Muslims when writing about the movement for religious freedom in Virginia. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote “[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom… was finally passed,… a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.’ The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.”

The Real ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Was on the 17th Floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower

The other non-story about Islam which is designed to raise peoples’ anger level, the “Ground-Zero” Mosque, has been pretty much shown to be a right wing media creation (and this). The outrage that Muslims would defile the memory of the WORLD Trade Centre by citizens of the US is such bullshit.

I emphasised the word WORLD in my previous sentence because that is exactly what the World Trade Centre was about: people from all countries and religions worked there.

And, surprise of surprises, even Muslims died on 9-11. I am putting a partial list of Muslim 9-11 victims at the end of this post.

But the real kicker is that the Real ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Was on the 17th Floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower!

The New York Times (10 September 2010) had an article about this prayer room and how Muslims were an accepted part of life at the World Trade Centre Complex.

Opponents of the Park51 project (AKA “Ground Zero Mosque”) say the presence of a Muslim center dishonors the victims of the Islamic extremists who flew two jets into the towers. Yet not only were Muslims peacefully worshiping in the twin towers long before the attacks, but even after the 1993 bombing of one tower by a Muslim radical, Ramzi Yousef, their religious observance generated no opposition

“We weren’t aliens,” Mr. Abdus-Salaam, 60, said in a telephone interview from Florida, where he moved in retirement. “We had a foothold there. You’d walk into the elevator in the morning and say, ‘Salaam aleikum,’ to one construction worker and five more guys in suits would answer, ‘Aleikum salaam.’ ”

According to the NYT, the prayer room was not the only example of Muslim religious practice in or near the trade center. About three dozen Muslim staff members of Windows on the World, the restaurant atop the north tower, used a stairwell between the 106th and 107th floors for their daily prayers.

“It is a shame, shame, shame,” Mr. Mamdouh, 49, said of the Park51 (“Ground Zero Mosque”) dispute. “Sometimes I wake up and think, this is not what I came to America for. I came here to build this country together. People are using this issue for their own agenda. It’s designed to keep the hate going.”

Given the vitriolic opposition now to the proposal to build a Muslim community center two blocks from ground zero, one might say something else has been destroyed: the realization that Muslim people and the Muslim religion were part of the life of the World Trade Center. If anything, the Park51 project is a perfect rememberance of the World Trade Center and its ability for people of all races, creeds, and colours to work together in one place. In addition, there were innocent Muslim victims of 9-11: let’s remember them and keep in mind that the majority of Muslims (or Christians) are not fundamentalist assholes. If anything, the protests by fundamentalist Christians are just as bad as the original attacks since they reenforce the Muslim World’s negative stereotypes of the US.

The World Trade Centre was a place for tolerance. Acts of intolerance made in the pretense of preserving the “Memory of 9-11” are total bullshit especially when you remember that the Real ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Was on the 17th Floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower!

Here is the Partial List of Muslim 9/11 Victims:

Note: This list is as yet incomplete and unconfirmed. It has been compiled from the Islamic Circle of North America, the Newsday victims database, and reports from other major news organizations. The victims’ ages, employers, or other personal information is included when available, along with links to further information or photos.

Samad Afridi
Ashraf Ahmad
Shabbir Ahmad (45 years old; Windows on the World; leaves wife and 3 children)
Umar Ahmad
Azam Ahsan
Ahmed Ali
Tariq Amanullah (40 years old; Fiduciary Trust Co.; ICNA website team member; leaves wife and 2 children)
Touri Bolourchi (69 years old; United Airlines #175; a retired nurse from Tehran)
Salauddin Ahmad Chaudhury
Abdul K. Chowdhury (30 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Mohammad S. Chowdhury (39 years old; Windows on the World; leaves wife and child born 2 days after the attack)
Jamal Legesse Desantis
Ramzi Attallah Douani (35 years old; Marsh & McLennan)
SaleemUllah Farooqi
Syed Fatha (54 years old; Pitney Bowes)
Osman Gani
Mohammad Hamdani (50 years old)
Salman Hamdani (NYPD Cadet)
Aisha Harris (21 years old; General Telecom)
Shakila Hoque (Marsh & McLennan)
Nabid Hossain
Shahzad Hussain
Talat Hussain
Mohammad Shah Jahan (Marsh & McLennan)
Yasmeen Jamal
Mohammed Jawarta (MAS security)
Arslan Khan Khakwani
Asim Khan
Ataullah Khan
Ayub Khan
Qasim Ali Khan
Sarah Khan (32 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Taimour Khan (29 years old; Karr Futures)
Yasmeen Khan
Zahida Khan
Badruddin Lakhani
Omar Malick
Nurul Hoque Miah (36 years old)
Mubarak Mohammad (23 years old)
Boyie Mohammed (Carr Futures)
Raza Mujtaba
Omar Namoos
Mujeb Qazi
Tarranum Rahim
Ehtesham U. Raja (28 years old)
Ameenia Rasool (33 years old)
Naveed Rehman
Yusuf Saad
Rahma Salie & unborn child (28 years old; American Airlines #11; wife of Michael Theodoridis; 7 months pregnant)
Shoman Samad
Asad Samir
Khalid Shahid (25 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald; engaged to be married in November)
Mohammed Shajahan (44 years old; Marsh & McLennan)
Naseema Simjee (Franklin Resources Inc.’s Fiduciary Trust)
Jamil Swaati
Sanober Syed
Robert Elias Talhami (40 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Michael Theodoridis (32 years old; American Airlines #11; husband of Rahma Salie)
W. Wahid

One more who would be a Tory in hindsight…

It’s not so much being a bad loser as much as knowing how things turned out from the War for American Independence that it really was an ill-conceived act.

There was one rebel whom I thought might still support the errors of his ways: Thomas Jefferson. My opinion has since changed since one has to remember that he was the author of The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which was one thing he was proudest at accomplishing:

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.

Jefferson (as well a James Madison) believed that Religion was something that must be left to the conviction and conscience of every person; and it is every person’s right man to exercise it as they may choose. And if we are talking rights, this is one of the unalienable rights of man.

Jefferson wrote in his autobiography that:

The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason and right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read, “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.

Unlike The Maryland Toleration Act, the Virginia Act provided for freedom of conscience for all creeds, not just those that were Christians.

The rights of conscience are beyond the just reach of any human power. They are given by God, and cannot be encroached upon by human authority, without a criminal disobedience of the precepts of natural and revealed religion. Additionally, It was the understanding of the dangers from ecclesiastical ambition, the bigotry of spiritual pride, and the intolerance of sects, as exemplified in by the historic divisions that it was deemed advisable to exclude from the national government all power to act upon the subject of religion and religious establishment.

I am of the opinion that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would be disgusted by the activities of the religious right. They would be even more outraged that the religious right dared to do so in the belief that they were following the priciples of either the Declaration of Independence or US Constitution.

As I like to say, why bother demanding independence when there already was an established church under the British regime?

Gimme me that old time religion!

I'll take my religious fanatic extra crispy!

Nothing like burning people who hold opposing religious viewpoints at the stake!

The only thing better is to force people to go to Church.

Still More Mormon!

I guess I was so turned on by the idea of wild, polygamous sex in the afterlife with Debbie Fields and Marie Osmond where they do things that would make Juli Ashton blanche that I forgot to post this video:

Of course, if all that is true, then this would have had the amusing aspect of making Glenn Beck (and other Mormons) blasphemers under the Maryland Toleration Act, also known as the Act Concerning Religion, in 1649. Despite the name, the act provided that:

or deny our Saviour Jesus Christ to bee the sonne of God, or shall deny the holy Trinity the ffather sonne and holy Ghost, or the Godhead of any of the said Three psons of the Trinity or the Vnity of this Godhead, or shall use or utter any reproachfull Speeches, words or language concerning the said Holy Trinity, or any of the said three psons thereof, shalbe punished with death and confiscation or forfeiture of all his or her lands and goods to the Lord Proprietary and his heires,

What that means translated from all the 17th Century gibberish is that if you don’t believe in the Trinity: you’re dead.

Since Mormons believe that:

The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. “That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).

That would mean that Glenn Beck would have been burned at the stake. BTW, Did he miss how intolerant today’s Christians are to Mormons?

Be careful what you wish for Glenn!

You’d think that somebody who professes to be a Mormon would have his act together enough to know that there is a reason for the First Amendment saying “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. I mean–look at Mormon history.

Anyway, the Constitution was divinely inspired (according to the Mormons): so who’s Glenn to argue with that one?

Arguing with Idiots

Isn’t it amusing that Glenn Beck writes a book with this title, yet can demonstrate amazing ignorance.

For example, when Glenn Beck and his supporters attack the lower-Manhattan mosque and then he attacks Barack Obama’s Christianity, saying “it’s not Muslim, it’s not Christian” and describing it as “a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it”. That comes as the ultimate irony since Beck is a Mormon, a faith that some other Christians despise and discount while hurling the same criticism at Mormons that Beck makes against Obama!

For example, The Southern Baptist Convention has described Mormonism as “a cult,” a “polytheistic” faith, and theologically non-Christian. One can look online and come up with articles such as Cooper Abrams’ Are Mormons Christian?: The Bible and LDS Scriptures Prove Conclusively that Mormons Are not Biblical Christians.

The country needs to get back to the simplicity of the Bible. The reason our country is in bad shape is that ministers for the most part do not share the truth. Many endorse false gospels including Mormonism.

Better yet, check out this site! or this site where they ask:

The Mormon Church teaches a number of things that conflict with the Bible and are radically different from what Christians down through the centuries have believed. If the LDS Church denies the core teachings of Christianity, should it still be considered a “Christian” faith?

The Mormons have faced persecution for their faith, but Beck is a fairly recent convert (1999). Perhaps this is the reason he is ignorant of religious persecution of Mormons. Although, you would think he would have known about Mitt Romney.

And if Mormons aren’t Christians, then it makes Beck’s statements about bring the US back to Judaeo-Christian values an incredible absurdity: especially if one is aware that Islam is one of the Abrahamic religions.

Moreover the US is a SECULAR society as I continuously point out which is why Article VI has this:

“no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

And the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

As he stands in the District of Columbia, a Secular jurisdiction. But the District of Columbia is a part of Maryland and Virginia. The key motivation for the establishment of the Province of Maryland in 1634 was religious tolerance, especially for people of the Catholic faith. The Province of Maryland instituted the Maryland Toleration Act, also known as the Act Concerning Religion, in 1649. The act called for freedom of conscience for all Christians. Of course, those who didn’t believe in the trinity were liable to prosecution. Thus Jews, Unitarians, and other dissenters from trinitarian Christianity practised their religions at risk to their lives. Furthermore, any person who insulted the Virgin Mary, the apostles, or the evangelists could be whipped, jailed, or fined. Otherwise, trinitarian Christians’ right to worship was protected.

Mormonism does not believe in the Trinity in the same way that traditional Christianity does, which leads to the interesting question of whether Mormonism would have been protected under Maryland’s law! Wouldn’t it be amusing if Beck’s Mormonism would have led to his execution as a blasphemer!

On the other hand, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was a relative latecomer, but it brought into the public realm separation of church and state as well as freedom of conscience:

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.

While Maryland would like to be seen as a home for religious tolerance, it wasn’t that tolerant. Perhaps it is fitting that Beck held his rally in the historic boundaries of that jurisdiction. On the other hand, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom is much more pertinent to modern society than Maryland’s version of religious tolerance although historians argue that it helped inspire later legal protections for freedom of religion in the United States. Of course, one could also argue that the Maryland Act was promulgated by the purtian forces making it somewhat of an act of toleration.

If that is the case, then Beck preached religious intolerance and entanglement in personal affairs in the heart of the territories which led to religious tolerance and separation of Church and State! Even more amusing is if one believes that Mormons are not Christians, which seems to apply to even some former Mormons!

Beck’s historic ignorance of his own faith shows him to be a complete and total idiot. Or to quote ChristianNewsWire:

“Glenn Beck promotes a false gospel, however, many of his political ideas can help America. Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian values. Mormonism is not a Christian denomination but a cult of Christianity.”

Or Brannon Howse, a conservative writer and founder of Worldview Weekend, which organizes Christian conferences, who criticized evangelical participation in Beck’s Rally.

“The Apostle Paul warns Christians against uniting with unbelievers in spiritual endeavors in 2 Corinthians 6:14 where we read, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
“While I applaud and agree with many of Glenn Beck’s conservative and constitutional views, that does not give me or any other Bible-believing Christian justification to compromise Biblical truth by spiritually joining Beck…
Christians that want to be committed to Biblical truth cannot “put aside” the cross and Gospel of Jesus Christ nor the supremacy of Scripture by spiritually uniting with those that proclaim another Jesus, another gospel and declare the cross foolishness.”

But that’s what happens once you inject religion into politics. Debates about the right government policy degrade into debates over who is more Christian than the other, or whether they’re Christian at all. It’s remarkable how many times people have to relearn that lesson.