Brad Smith (jesus_h_biscuit) wrote,
Brad Smith

Welcome To Friday, Jude Style


Bobby Frank Cherry Dead At 74
[Atlanta Journal Constitution/CNN]

His daughter, Karen Sunderland, said the family would take Cherry's body back to Texas for burial. Sobbing, she said she had planned to come to Alabama for a visit today.

"He was a good man," she said.

Fuck you, Karen - he was good at murdering little girls in church, that's all he was good at. Well, that and being a faithful Klansmen. I hope that there really IS a hell, and that at this very moment he's being assraped by Hitler in drag with the contraption from Se7en.

A theocracy won't forgive our trespasses
[Atlanta Journal Constitution]
Opinion Column, by JAY BOOKMAN

We Americans are actually debating in the public square not which policy is the most practical or most wise, or which leader is the more competent, but which is the most Christian. We have taken religion — the highest expression of human thought and spirit — and we have cheapened it by using it as a weapon to attack and belittle those with whom we disagree.

Religious leaders are even daring to instruct us in how to vote, and in some cases are suggesting that those who dare to vote contrary to their leaders' wishes risk their soul and standing with God.

This is America?

We know better than this. Or at least we used to. We used to understand that government and religion function best when they function independently, when the only link between them is the indirect link of human beings acting out their private faith through public service. We used to understand that if religion takes a direct role in government, government must inevitably take a direct role in religion, and that the long-standing wall between them was built for the protection of both institutions.

But I guess those are some of the traditional American values now under attack by the dominant political and cultural elite, the Christian right. Yes, that group still likes to depict itself as the most victimized group in American public life, but that's a mere pose, a sham designed to stroke its members' egos and satisfy their need to feel persecuted. That same group, after all, is also beating its chest, proclaiming itself as the nation's most powerful political group to which even the president and Congress must now pay homage. Logically, both self-images cannot be true.

It's too bad, really, because in a rough sense we already know how this story ends. We've seen it so many times before. There is no case in recorded human history, regardless of era or culture, in which religion and government have been intertwined without eventually compromising basic human freedoms. Inevitably, every time, that relationship gets out of control and people get hurt.

Despite what the political and cultural elite try to tell us, though, there's still hope. The values that have made this country great and nurtured a strong religious tradition still have some power among the people. According to a nationwide poll taken in August by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, for example, 65 percent of Americans still say it is inappropriate for churches and religious leaders to endorse candidates. And 69 percent say it is wrong for political campaigns to request church membership lists, as President Bush's campaign did.

A substantial majority — 64 percent — say it would be improper for Catholic leaders to deny Communion to Catholic politicians who take positions contrary to church teaching. In fact, of all the groups polled, that practice was condemned most strongly by Catholics themselves, with 72 percent saying it was improper.

Unfortunately, those remnants of common sense may not survive what's coming. In his second term, President Bush has promised a significant expansion of his faith-based initiative, which envisions giving lucrative tax-funded grants to churches and other religious institutions so they can spread their faith in the name of social improvement. That's exactly the kind of thing that our Founding Fathers tried to prevent with the First Amendment, but once President Bush appoints a few more activist judges to the Supreme Court to reinterpret the Constitution his way, that kind of traditional thinking won't matter.

And money will be the true tie that binds. Once we've got politicians dangling million-dollar grants in front of cooperative ministers, and ministers free to pledge their flock's support to politicians who send money their way, oh what a lovely mess it's gonna be.

Of course, some may still believe that religious leaders will somehow be immune to the corrupting influence of power and money, but if so, they haven't paid much attention to history or the headlines.

Or to the Bible either, for that matter.

• Jay Bookman is the deputy editorial page editor. His column appears Thursdays and Mondays.

Congress passes $8.18 Trillion Billion Gazillion debt limit hike

Party-line vote sends measure to Bush for signature

With the government facing imminent default because it has depleted its authority to borrow money, the debt limit bill would pump up the federal borrowing cap to $8.18 trillion. That is 70 percent the size of the entire U.S. economy, and more than $2.4 trillion higher than the debt Bush inherited upon taking office in 2001.

Catholic bishops signal commitment to abuse reforms

"Most skeptics felt that given the chance and given the time, the bishops would just keep taking steps backward until we were back where we were 10 years ago," Archibald said. "This indicates a ray of hope that they are taking this more seriously."

Indeed, I think things will be MUCH better once the Vatican hands down the decree to replace their former strategy of sweeping this issue under the carpet with their new and improved strategy of sweeping it under the rug.

Addiction to porn destroying lives, Senate told

Internet pornography is corrupting children and hooking adults into an addiction that threatens their jobs and families, a panel of anti-porn advocates told a hearing organized Thursday by Senator Sam Brownback, chairman of the Commerce subcommittee on science.

Mary Anne Layden, co-director of a sexual trauma program at the University of Pennsylvania, said pornography’s effect on the brain mirrors addiction to heroin or crack cocaine. She told of one patient, a business executive, who arrived at his office at 9 a.m. each day, logged onto Internet porn sites, and didn’t log off until 5 p.m.

::does another line of*, allows Avery to run after the dog with a steak knife::

WAAAAH!! I have NO self control, so I'm blaming the porn! ::tug tug tug::

If you visit this site at work and it results in your being fired for viewing a porn site at work, know now that you deserve to get fired and that I warned you.

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