The flip side of this is when people do the wrong thing. That's when people like me REALLY get the ass. The symptom being nothing more than standard hypocrisy, when you get down to it, really. Being both a homo and an athiest, a 'hatred double coupon' if you will, I'm especially irritated with homophobia and religion-based intolerance. Not that that's really any kind of revelation or anything, at least not to anyone who knows me and/or anyone that has read this blog for more than five minutes. I have the responsibility to myself and others to be a good person and not seek rewards for that as any incentive for continuance. I don't need the promise of reward of everlasting life in Heaven for living a good life on Earth. This is just one of the better things about being Godless. A few others are the guilt/shame-free aspects of living and being responsible for only yourself, not being quite as easily offended and/or uptight, we don't believe there is any such thing as sin and therefore have never sinned a day in our lives, we get to judge freely and indiscriminately with no fear of retribution, and we almost NEVER get smote.
Perhaps this will glean a bit of light on why I'm pissed off when I read about pharmacists who are now going to be allowed to hide behind religion and refuse to sell select forms of birth control. Why, given the recent board ruling, should this be limited to the morning-after pill, what about condoms, the good ol' Catholic Kryptonite? I mean, once you kick the door in, what regulations will there be on limiting this? The only sound answer is to not allow this kind of moralistic imposition on others when it is your chosen profession. Nowhere is a pharmacist taught to override a physician's orders, the notion of this is completely ludicrous. Catching an error is one thing, but this is certainly not that. These sorts of pronouncements are precisely what I have such a huge issue with, it's more than same sex marriage for me. It's very insidious and I resent the charge that I'm overreacting. AlterNet posted an excellent article that I linked to in an earlier post citing the Tyranny of the Christian Right and the very real threat of Christian Nationalism.
The largest and most powerful mass movement in the nation -- evangelical Christianity -- has set out to destroy secular society.There's also the newsreport from the African online newspaper Mail & Guardian on the US blocking a deal on fighting AIDS, which is rooted in - you guessed it - the Bush Administration pandering, under heavy influence by the Christian right, blocking key proposals for a new United Nations package to combat HIV/AIDS worldwide over the next five years because of its opposition to the distribution of condoms and needle exchanges and references to prostitutes, drug addicts and homosexuals. Try not to swallow your own tongue when you read it. Apparently to the "Intelligent Design/Creationist" crowd thinks that helping your fellow man means leaving the same people Jesus hung out with to die a slow, horrible, agonizing death. Nice. Speaking on the ID bobbleheads, there was an excellent article I might have already linked to in the Toronto Star on Science -vs- Intelligent Design.
Whenever I talk about the growing power of the evangelical right with friends, they always ask the same question: What can we do? Usually I reply with a joke: Keep a bag packed and your passport current.
I don't really mean it, but my anxiety is genuine. It's one thing to have a government that shows contempt for civil liberties; America has survived such men before. It's quite another to have a mass movement -- the largest and most powerful mass movement in the nation -- rise up in opposition to the rights of its fellow citizens. The Constitution protects minorities, but that protection is not absolute; with a sufficiently sympathetic or apathetic majority, a tightly organized faction can get around it.
The mass movement I've described aims to supplant Enlightenment rationalism with what it calls the "Christian worldview." The phrase is based on the conviction that true Christianity must govern every aspect of public and private life, and that all -- government, science, history and culture -- must be understood according to the dictates of scripture. There are biblically correct positions on every issue, from gay marriage to income tax rates, and only those with the right worldview can discern them. This is Christianity as a total ideology -- I call it Christian nationalism. It's an ideology adhered to by millions of Americans, some of whom are very powerful. It's what drives a great many of the fights over religion, science, sex and pluralism now dividing communities all over the country.
I am not suggesting that religious tyranny is imminent in the United States. Our democracy is eroding and some of our rights are disappearing, but for most people, including those most opposed to the Christian nationalist agenda, life will most likely go on pretty much as normal for the foreseeable future. Thus for those who value secular society, apprehending the threat of Christian nationalism is tricky. It's like being a lobster in a pot, with the water heating up so slowly that you don't notice the moment at which it starts to kill you.
If current trends continue, we will see ever-increasing division and acrimony in our politics. That's partly because, as Christian nationalism spreads, secularism is spreading as well, while moderate Christianity is in decline. According to the City University of New York Graduate Center's comprehensive American religious identification survey, the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians has actually fallen in recent years, from 86 percent in 1990 to 77 percent in 2001. The survey found that the largest growth, in both absolute and percentage terms, was among those who don't subscribe to any religion. Their numbers more than doubled, from 14.3 million in1990, when they constituted 8 percent of the population, to 29.4 million in 2001, when they made up 14 percent.
On to the issue of same sex marriage, the Rude Pundit has yet another kick ass post up called Gay Marriage Makes God Sweaty. John Aravosis posted to AmericaBlog on what happens when Conservatives take a hard look at what is going on with politics in the name of God when Frank Lautenberg came to his senses in a 2004 Senate debate and said "I've come to an unfortunate conclusion about why we're doing this amendment. Gay-bashing, plain and simple. That's what this is about." Not to be swayed by the voice of reason, rabid homophobe and asshole extraordinnaire Rick Santorum took the podium immediately after and threw out this gem: "You can say I'm a hater. But I would argue I'm a lover. I'm a lover of traditional families and children who deserve the right to have a mother and a father." Yes, fucknut - you are a hater, and a fucking stupid one at that. I'm not even AS mad about the issue of marriage inequality (don't get me wrong, it makes me mad enough to taste my own blood and bile when I think about it for longer than 10 seconds) as I am about the willingness these people have to consider themselves loving and kind - yet they allow their own children to suffer via their own ignorance. Another case in point, abstinence as a sole means of sex education. Truthdig has an article on this subject under the clever moniker "Abstaining from Sex Education Politics" that everyone should take a look at, not that it contains much information that wasn't already suspected.
To end this where I originally meant to start, actually, I want you all to read A Nation Under God By John Sugg. elcid89 posted it before, and it was one of the most infuriating things I have read in ages. Roy Moore, the psychotic bastard that just got his ass spanked in the Alabama Primary is part of the story. He's a piece of work, that one.