28 February 2012

Frank Gaffney Doesn't Understand Why People Call him a Bigot

Frank Gaffney, outraged that anyone thinks that he's a bigoted wingnut, thinks that we've got him all wrong.

In short, we find ourselves in what is, properly understood, the civil rights struggle of our time. Those who stand up for freedom against Shariah are quite literally protecting the rights of women, children, people of faith and other minorities sure to be abused by its misogynistic, intolerant and domineering doctrine. That means protecting, as well, Muslim-Americans who have come to this country to escape the long arm of Shariah law. In due course, though, Shariah’s repressive strictures would not simply be a threat to these communities. They would be a toxic blight upon all of us. 
Ironically, today, it is defenders of our freedoms who are being denounced as “racists,” “bigots” and “Islamophobes.” Such terms are, in truth, being used in much the same way and for precisely the same purpose as the Ku Klux Klan’s members reviled an earlier generation of civil rights activists for loving blacks: to defame, threaten and isolate their opponents. We cannot, and certainly must not, tolerate the Islamists’ intolerance.

*Pssst*  Frank!  Hey.  Gotta let you in on a little secret.  We're not calling you a bigot because you care about civil rights.  We're calling you a bigot because you think all Muslims who have any interest in practicing their faith are this generations fifth column.  I just figured I would let you know that before you make an ass of yourself...

...oh.

22 February 2012

Bryan Fischer Unironically Accuses a High School Student of being a Bully on his National Radio Program

I have to say, I'm getting a little tired of writing about Bryan Fischer and his deranged, barbaric, and frankly incompetent ravings.  But of late he seems to be providing the most outrageously ignorant and bigoted views out there.  Who's he unironically accusing of intolerance now?  Jessica Ahlquist, the Rhode Island high school Student who took her school to court to make it actually comply with the establishment clause.  Spoiler alert: his article is ignorant drivel.
This little atheist bully, with the help of the grammatically-challenged Freedom From Religion Foundation (the Constitution guarantees freedom “of” religion, not freedom “from” religion), got a prayer banner pulled off the wall of a Rhode Island high school, a banner that had not been bothering anybody since it was first put up in 1963.

The banner was, in fact, a gift to the school from its first graduating class. So much for history and tradition and honoring the generosity and thoughtfulness of earlier generations of students.

News flash for Jessica and the FFRF: the Constitution hasn’t changed since 1963.

This prayer banner was constitutionally fine then, and it is constitutionally fine now. The only thing that has changed is that hatred of Christianity has now been mainstreamed in the cultural elite, who want to remove all vestiges of the acknowledgement of God from the public arena.
Okay, from top to bottom, left to right:  Bryan Fischer accusing anyone of being a bully is perhaps one of the most Pot/Kettle/Black things I've read all week.  Unfortunately, he's really been dominating that category for the past few weeks.  Its especially hilarious considering that he's using his nationally syndicated column and radio program to slander a high school student.  That's like somebody walking down the street using his flame thrower to light people's porches on fire accusing somebody of arson.  

First, to say that it was never bothering anyone shows the absolute inability to appreciate anyone's other opinion but Fischer's own.  This shouldn't shock anyone, since ignorance and an outrageous sense of entitlement tend to be the selecting criteria for fundamentalist christian radio networks when they pick their hosts.  Just because nobody took the banner to court before doesn't mean it wasn't slapping anyone who wasn't a Protestant Christian in the face.  Not even counting atheists and agnostics, Jews, Muslims Catholics, and a myriad of other religions would have gone through that school, and that banner certainty wasn't written for them.

Second, you're pulling the tradition card?  REALLY?  You know, falling back on something because its a tradition doesn't immediately elevate it to the moral high ground.  I understand that Fischer is simple-minded enough not to get that, so let me make it clear with some examples.  Black-face used to be a tradition that people happily indulged in during different community theater events.  Does that suddenly make it tasteful and culturally acceptable?
 
Third, longevity isn't a constitutional test.  Just because something has stuck around doesn't mean its constitutional.  Take the sadly long-lived Jim Crow laws.  They existed for years, but they were a violation of the 14th Amendment.  This is no different.  All it took was somebody to have the courage to stand up and point out that it was unconstitutional.  Jessica Ahlquist had the courage to do that.  You had the cowardice to attack her from behind your radio microphone.

21 February 2012

Ignorance, Bigotry, and Arrogance? Thy Name is Reverend Bryan Griem.

I’m sure some of you have already read Reverend Bryan Griem’s comments about the Army’s spiritual fitness boondoggle. If not, please feel free to review them in this post on Free Thought Blogs.

There are a lot of incredibly arrogant, bigoted, and ignorant ideas in his response. But there are two in particular that were just so outrageous as to demand response.  This is going to be a long post, so here's the TL;DR response for my ADD-addled brethren.

19 February 2012

Dana Loesch Doesn't Quite Understand the Concept of Rape

As some of you might be aware, the State of Virginia is considering several ill-advised and draconian laws aimed at curtailing abortion.  One of these stunning pieces of legislative misogyny would consist of requiring women to undergo an ultrasound prior to the beginning of the procedure.  However, based on the law's requirement for a highly graphic level of detail, and based on the fact that most women seek abortions around the 12-week mark, which would require a vaginal ultrasound.  Without going into too much detail, this would require that a probe be inserted into a woman's vaginal canal and rooted around until a proper level of detail could be determined.  Despicable.

Dana Loesch, however, doesn't really see a problem with this.

17 February 2012

Obama Administration Admits that Applying DOMA to Military and Veterans Benefits Unconstitutional

From Talking Points Memo:

The Obama Justice Department has concluded that legislation banning same-sex couples from receiving military and veterans benefits violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment and will no longer defend the statute in court, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders on Friday.
“The legislative record of these provisions contains no rationale for providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples of veterans but not to legally married same-sex spouses of veterans,” Holder wrote. “Neither the Department of Defense nor the Department of Veterans Affairs identified any justifications for that distinction that would warrant treating these provisions differently from Section 3 of DOMA.”

15 February 2012

Don't ask Questions you Won't Like the Answer To...

Rhetorical question fail.

Eastman went on to mock the concept of marriage equality and challenge Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a swing vote in a possible Supreme Court case on marriage, saying that conservatives must ask him, "Do you want to be the critical vote that would destroy the institution that has been the bedrock of civil society since time immemorial.?"
I don't know about you, but I think I know how I would respond to that. It's not worth your time pointing out that civil society isn't about to collapse because same-sex couples are getting married. Its also not worth point out that societies throughout history have had wildly differing views of what marriage is.  These people are two bigoted, stupid, or both to grasp what you're saying, regardless of how colorful the hand puppets you draft as aids are.  No, I have a far better response.

"YEP!"

Bryan Fischer, Reality, File for Divorce

It's always nice to know that there are things you can count on in America.  Unfortunately, one of them is the Religious Right prattling on about things that they're completely ignorant about.  In this case we're taking a break from science, homosexuality, and marriage and we're talking about the United States military.  Specifically, we're talking about the recent decision to open up more combat roles to women.  Bryan Fischer, a guy who is almost creepily obsessed with what folks do in their bedrooms, doesn't like it one bit, and he's not letting his utter ignorance on the subject to get in the way.

14 February 2012

Mormon Church Forced to Apologize for Baptizing Simon Wiesenthal's Holocaust Victim Parents

Hey, remember that fun tradition in the Mormon Church,  the one where they just go ahead and baptize your dead relatives?  Yeah...

Simon Wiesenthal's parents should not have been posthumously baptized, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has acknowledged. And on Monday, an official with the church apologized. 
The uproar began last week when it was discovered that a member of the Mormon Church had submitted for posthumous baptism the names of Wiesenthal's parents, and that the couple, Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal, were baptized by proxy last month.

Don't you Hate it when your Social Club gets Targeted for Something Minor?

You know, like wanting to kill police officers and launch an insurrection against the government?
The trial for seven Hutaree members opened Monday in Detroit; an attorney for the militia's leader, David Stone, Sr. told jurors the group was mostly a "social club", according to the New York Times (paywall).
Yeah!  We're a social club!  We have punch and pie socials, organize pot lucks, and practice how to react to contract and execute a squad attack!  Totally normal!  We're kind of like the local inter-mural soccer league, only with a fanatic hate of a democratically elected government of our fellow citizens!

That's one of those rare and wonderful legal defenses that left me in hysterics.  Until I realized that they represent a real and enduring threat to the United States and its citizens, far more than the bulk of Islamic terrorist organizations.

Fox Pundit: If You're a Woman in the Military, "Expect" to be Raped

I'll flat out say it: the military has a serious problem with sexual harassment and sexual assault.  Positive steps have been taken to rectify the problem, but instances of sexual assault are still disturbingly high.  Ultimately, this problem won't be solved until sexual assault is all but wiped out Department of Defense-wide.  Its perhaps an even more disturbing act that one service member can take advantage of the culture of trust and comradeship and do something so utterly and indisputably evil.  It not only degrades the victim, but completely destroys that culture, one that's so essential to readiness.  I would like to think this is an ethical value that isn't just a military one, but a social one as well.

...which is why, of course, I was stunned to see Fox News "contributor" Liz Rotta posit that women who decide to put country above self should expect to be raped.

13 February 2012

Did you Know that Lesbianism Causes Breast Cancer? No?

...good. That means you're not an idiot. You know, like Bryan Fisher, who in one of his latest articles posits that lesbians are at an increased risk for breast cancer. What evidence is there for that, you ask? Shut up. That's what.

Peter LaBarbera and Patrick Wooden Upset that it's Unacceptable for People to be Bloody-Minded Savages

Typically while CPAC is underway the internet is awash in hilarious levels of conservative delusions, like Fox News secretly being controlled by right-wing boogieman George Soros.  But so often we forget about the parade of delusion and barbarity that's simultaneously vomiting onto the airwaves.  Take Peter LaBarbera's show.

Wait, we should use the Catholic Church as a model for birth control? Seriously?

I was perusing Facebook the other day, and a colleague of mine posted what might be one of the more ridiculous articles to come out of this birth control debate. The author here not only decided that the requirement for religious organizations to act like any other employer went too far, but that the mere EXISTENCE of contraception was a problem. Spoiler alert: It's an absolutely asinine article.