The most ridiculous meme to come out of the right wing recently is that the Constitution supports the right to ruin other people’s lives because of one’s narrow grasp on reality coming from one fairly narrow view of one very specific religion. Those of us that don’t want to adhere to their delusions are persecuting them! No matter how many times these people couch their bigotry, suspension of belief in science, and greed agenda in their religious beliefs, most of us know that it’s simply an agenda of narrow minded hatred that demands conformity from all. The sad thing is that one political party in a two party state has been completely railroaded by these religious extremists who confuse the establishment clause of our Constitution with their right to ramrod everything they label the correct”religion” down every one else’s throat.
One of the worst examples of blatant pandering to this crowd comes from this speech by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who professes to be a Catholic, has a degree in biology from a good school, and seems to wander one day from the message of not being the stupid party to being its main spokesperson. Why does Politico give this loser–who has no chance at ever being President and will never hold another elected office in Louisiana because we all royally disapprove of him–a voice? Which Billionaire Asshat has paid for the virtual column space? Bobby Jindal is obviously going for the Bachmann contingent in Iowa’s weird republican caucuses. He’s picked up Sarah Palin’s War on Christmas book and read straight from it.
In a Thursday night speech at Ronald Reagan’s presidential library, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will warn of a “silent war” on religious liberty in America and urge states to pass laws designed to block overreach by the Obama administration.
The 4,500-word address, shared first with POLITICO, touches on several hot-button issues, including same-sex marriage and contraception. Jindal, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate trying to woo social conservatives, argues that liberals will use the mantra of anti-discrimination to force people to violate their religious beliefs.
“The American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war,” Jindal will say at the Simi Valley, Calif., event. “It threatens the fabric of our communities, the health of our public square and the endurance of our constitutional governance.”
“This war is waged in our courts and in the halls of political power,” he adds, according to the prepared remarks. “It is pursued with grim and relentless determination by a group of like-minded elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized and circumscribed.”
The 42-year-old governor calls the upcoming Supreme Court decision on whether government can force Hobby Lobby craft stores to cover contraception through their health insurance plans just one of the battles being fought over religious liberty.
Citing a piece of failed legislation in Illinois, Jindal suggests that liberals will eventually try to pass laws designed to pressure churches to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies against their will. He also will blast the New Mexico Supreme Court for ruling last August that a wedding photography business violated the state’s Human Rights Act by refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony.
“This is the next stage of the assault, and it is only beginning,” Jindal plans to say. “Today, an overwhelming majority of those who belong to a religious denomination in America — that’s more than half the country — are members of organizations that affirm the traditional definition of marriage. All of those denominations will be targeted in large and small degrees in the coming years.”
This is pure nonsense and is obviously Jindal’s bid to get attention in the Iowa Caucuses. No one is doing anything to any one inside their churches. This so reminds me of watching the screaming mimis in front of schools being forced to segregate. None of us should have to endure their craziness in public spaces. PERIOD. No one should be treated like a second class citizen because some one selectively pulls a few lines out of a seriously edited, reedited, and badly translated bit of iron age fiction then screams it’s my right to do whatever I want to because BIBLE! That’s just so astoundingly unAmerican it’s not even funny. In that case, I’ll just suggest we all stand out there with stones in our hands and assert our right to stone them for wearing the wrong hair style, eating shellfish and pigs, and sporting polyblend clothing. It’s our gawdamned religious rights!!!
Unfortunately, Jindal’s delusions are the new crazy republican legislative push. Kansas continues to be at the epicenter of insanity and hatred. Opposing marriage equality by way of screaming religious freedom is the new refuge of the narrow minded. It was the same refuge used to justify slavery and stop interracial mixing and marrying back in the day. It’s also being used on women who overwhelmingly use birth control. A few folks think all women should live within the bounds of their weird ethos. This group that seems to have no idea that forcing you religious beliefs on birth control or abortion on your employees or your neighbors is the religious bigotry. These religious views should not get to trump every one else’s ethos.
Virtually all secularists and even the vast majority of American Catholics see no problem with the use of artificial birth control, so the issue doesn’t generate much sympathy in the public at large. Then there’s the fact that the Obama administration created a contraception exemption for churches and at least some other religiously based organizations. Isn’t that good enough?
Apparently it isn’t for the numerous groups that have filed suit in the matter. And sorry, but their concerns can’t just be waved away by linking to a column by Linda Greenhouse that expresses contemptuous condescension for the plaintiffs in one of the cases (an order of nuns called the Little Sisters of the Poor). The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, but Greenhouse thinks the suit is ridiculous; therefore, the justices have been brainwashed by a seductive “story.” That’s really all there is to her argument.
As Lyle Denniston explains in a helpful post at SCOTUSblog, the issues raised by the case — and by the other mandate-related cases before the court this term — are real, though they will inevitably appear to be trivial to those who regularly view religious truth claims as trivial.
As for gay marriage and anti-discrimination, Chotiner appears not to recognize that his own flippant views — which are very widely held among secular liberals — pose a very real threat to the religious freedom of millions of his fellow citizens. As countless liberals have done before him, Chotiner breezily equates those believers who once appealed to Scripture in defense of racism and those who currently reject gay marriage. The first position has been socially, morally, and legally marginalized with no negative consequences for faith, Chotiner asserts, and the same will soon be true about the second. So what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that strictures against homosexuality are rooted far more deeply in the Judeo-Christian tradition than racism ever was. Yes, slavery is found throughout the Scriptures and comes in for criticism only, at best, by implication. But race-based slavery — and the racism that made it possible and continues to infect ideas and institutions throughout the West to this day — receives no explicit endorsement from the Bible.
Which isn’t to say that those seeking to justify race-based slavery or racism couldn’t, and didn’t, twist biblical passages to make them provide such justification. But the Hebrew Bible and New Testament clearly do not teach (either explicitly or implicitly) that buying, owning, and selling African slaves is next to godliness.
Denying services to same-sex couples may soon become legal in Kansas.
House Bill 2453 explicitly protects religious individuals, groups and businesses that refuse services to same-sex couples, particularly those looking to tie the knot.
It passed the state’s Republican-dominated House on Wednesdaywith a vote of 72-49, and has gone to the Senate for a vote.
Such a law may seem unnecessary in a state where same-sex marriage is banned, but some Kansas lawmakers think different.
They want to prevent religious individuals and organizations from getting sued, or otherwise punished, for not providing goods or services to gay couples — or for not recognizing their marriages or committed relationship as valid.
This includes employees of the state.
The law claims to protect the rights of religious people, but gender rights advocates such as Equality Kansas are dismayed.
“Kansans across the state are rightly appalled that legislators are spending their efforts to pass yet another piece of legislation that seeks to enshrine discrimination against gay and lesbian people into law,” state chairwoman Sandra Meade said.
“HB 2453 is a blatant attempt to maintain second-class citizen status for taxpaying gay and lesbian Kansans.”
Despite the blowback, its chances of passing seem pretty good.
Republicans dominate the state’s Senate and Gov. Sam Brownback is a conservative Christian known for taking a public stand against same-sex marriage.
Brownback has already praised the bill in an interview with a local newspaper.
“Americans have constitutional rights, among them the right to exercise their religious beliefs and the right for every human life to be treated with respect and dignity,” he told The Topeka Capital-Journal.
Yes. If you offend some one’s religious “sensibilities” in Kansas, it is perfectly alright for them to persecute you, deny you service, and basically turn you into third class citizen. How can any of this be remotely legal let alone put into law? How can your employers religion or the religion of the Subway franchise owner on the corner trump your right to avoid their prescriptions and proscriptions?
Let’s start, though, with the argument most people have focused on during the run-up to the contraceptive-mandate cases—that being for-profit corporations, the challengers cannot assert a “free exercise” claim at all. It’s a strong argument, but one that takes more subtlety to assert than most published comments seem to display.
That’s because it is routine to say that free exercise is an individual right, and that “corporations are not people.” But in this context, the argument is flawed at the outset. Free exercise is actually primarily a group right, extended to religious bodies, in corporate form or other wise. The term “free exercise” in fact originally referred to a right held only by groups. It dates back at least to the 17th Century, and is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the right or permission to celebrate the observances (of a religion)”—that is, a privilege granted by monarchs to specific faiths to hold their services in public.
Religion, Emile Durkheim wrote, is primarily a set of “beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them.” Most religious “exercise” can’t be done alone. One of the earliest—and most embarrassing—cases brought under the Free Exercise Clause was entitled Late Corporation of the Presiding Bishop v. United States, which upheld an Act of Congress dissolving the Mormon Church and seizing all its property ($3,000,000 in 1887 dollars). The Mormons argued that punishing their church for polygamous beliefs violated the First Amendment, but the Court ridiculed the idea. “No doubt the Thugs of India imagined that their belief in the right of assassination was a religious belief,” the justices briskly reasoned, “but their thinking so did not make it so.”
Can anyone imagine this case coming out the same way in 2014, on the grounds that a corporation has no religious rights? Or that the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ parent company, The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc., has no rights except the individual rights of its members?
The important distinction here, of course, is that Hobby Lobby and the other challengers are for-profit corporations. The Mormon Church, like a lot of religious bodies, is a religious corporation. And despite the disinformation floating around about the Little Sisters of the Poor case, religious corporations have a very firm exemption to the contraceptive mandate. Would the Court want to rewrite the statute—and possibly make corporate law into a teeming mess of exemptions and inquisitions?
There’s a way out, of course; and that is to rely on precedents like Lee and say that the “for profit issue” doesn’t need to be decided, because in any case the government’s interest in uniform application of the mandate trumps whatever burden it may place on any secular employer, corporation or not. If Congress disagrees, it knows how to write a limited exemption to the mandate, the way it did for Edwin Lee. That would be the best all around; the Tenth Circuit opinion upholding Hobby Lobby’s claims is such a wretched piece of work that a sane justice might not want to touch it, much less affirm it.
Just last year, the Princeton economist Angus Deaton, in his book “The Great Escape,” demonstrated that the enlargement of well-being in at least the northern half of the planet during the past couple of centuries is discontinuous with all previous times. The daily miseries of the Age of Faith scarcely exist in our Western Age of Fatuity. The horrors of normal life in times past, enumerated, are now almost inconceivable: women died in agony in childbirth, and their babies died, too; operations were performed without anesthesia. (The novelist Fanny Burney, recounting her surgery for a breast tumor: “I began a scream that lasted unremittingly during the whole time of the incision. . . . I felt the knife rackling against the breast bone, scraping it while I remained in torture.”) If God became the opiate of the many, it was because so many were in need of a drug.
As incomes go up, steeples come down. Matisse’s “Red Studio” may represent the room the artist retreats to after the churches close—but it is also a pleasant place to pass the time, with an Oriental carpet and central heating and space to work. Happiness arrives and God gets gone. “Happiness!” the Super-Naturalist cries. “Surely not just the animal happiness of more stuff!” But by happiness we need mean only less of pain. You don’t really have to pursue happiness; it is a subtractive quality. Anyone who has had a bad headache or a kidney stone or a toothache, and then hasn’t had it, knows what happiness is. The world had a toothache and a headache and a kidney stone for millennia. Not having them any longer is a very nice feeling. On much of the planet, we need no longer hold an invisible hand or bite an invisible bullet to get by.
Yet the wondering never quite comes to an end. Relatively peaceful and prosperous societies, we can establish, tend to have a declining belief in a deity. But did we first give up on God and so become calm and rich? Or did we become calm and rich, and so give up on God?
Here’s yet another attempt at trying to free up religious practice while making certain only the right religion gets it’s due. This is a law offered up in Georgia.
A prime example is the proposed Senate Bill 283, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton.
The bill, if passed, would allow local school systems that chose to do so to “educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations and allow students and school system staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, including … ‘Merry Christmas’; … ‘Happy Hanukkah’; and … ‘Happy holidays.’”
Senate Bill 283 also would allow “scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations, including a menorah or a Christmas image, such as a nativity scene or Christmas tree” to be displayed on school property, as long as the display “includes a scene or symbol of … more than one religion; or … one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol.”
Such displays could be put in place under the condition that they “shall not include a message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief.”
Of course, Dugan’s bill owes as much to political considerations as to any particular concern that he or other lawmakers might have with regard to any inadequacy in public-school instruction on “winter celebrations.” It’s clear that the sole purpose of the bill is to allow Republican lawmakers, who comprise a majority of General Assembly members, to go back home claiming to have struck a blow against the alleged “war on Christmas” as part of their re-election bids.
If you’ll pardon the expression, though, the devil is in the details here. Let’s suppose the bill does become law. A couple of issues, which might be attractive to any litigiously minded heathen like the ACLU, or any number of godless liberals who might imprudently insist on an exact interpretation of a state law, immediately present themselves.
First, of course, is the broad phrase ‘traditional winter celebrations.’ In ancient times, it was traditional to celebrate the winter solstice, sometimes in debauched fashion. If, as the argument might go, students are to be educated about Christmas, should they not also be taught about other, arguably more problematic, winter observances?
There’s also the language in the bill prohibiting holiday displays from including “a message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief.” Clearly, the intent here is to ensure that overtly religious phrases — “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” immediately springs to mind — don’t intrude into the public arena.
It would, however, certainly be possible to argue that even the presence of a holiday symbol — say, a Nativity scene — in a school display is “a message that encourages adherence to a particular religion.”
This kind’ve crap is even filtering down to the city level where Baton Rouge City Council refuses to symbolically support removing a blatantly unConstitutional sodomy law off its books. What is worse, is that police are still using the damn thing.
On Wednesday, the Metro Council voted on what was intended to be a symbolic gesture of support for a legislative proposal by state Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, to remove the anti-sodomy laws from the books.
Such laws were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003, but the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office cited the state’s law in recent years when it arrested more than a dozen gay men in sting operations for consenting to sex. The District Attorney’s Office refused to prosecute the cases.
Ahead of the vote, groups such as the Louisiana Family Forum and the Baptist Association of Southern Baton Rouge expressed their strong opposition to the measure.
The Family Forum emailed residents urging them to voice their disapproval to the council, which prompted a flood of emails against the resolution.
However, some prominent local groups expressed disappointment Thursday with the Metro Council’s action, saying the council was continuing to project an image that Baton Rouge is intolerant toward gays and lesbians.
The Metro Council is “out of sync with the rest of the community,” according to John Davies, president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, adding recent surveys show local and statewide residents are generally supportive of gay and lesbian rights.
There’s always been backlashes to progress and modernity. History is full of such examples and many of them are wrapped up in religious mantels. What is so amazing to me is how extremist pols seem to have crept into the halls of power in such unimaginable ways with such horrible legislation. The Republican Party seems to have sold its soul to extremists. Little wonder that so few people these days actually self-identify as Republican.
Forty-two percent of Americans, on average, identified as political independents in 2013, the highest Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Republican identification fell to 25%, the lowest over that time span. At 31%, Democratic identification is unchanged from the last four years but down from 36% in 2008.
Let’s just hope that more and more people know what this minority party has in store for us all.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
I so badly want to write on your blog, Bob, or at NOLA.com about your op ed because it sounds so, well, reasonable. However, I’m going to do it here where I am totally surrounded by my friends. Yup, you’re reasonable, my friend, like most democrats I know. Y’all will compromise on just about anything because y’all so reasonable. I’ve got the President in mind when I say that one, actually, let alone most of the senators and congressmen in the democratic caucus. I’m a political independent, Because y’all tend to be so reasonable,
I don’t really mind that my oldest daughter grew up to be a democrat and that she married one. However, I would completely totally freak if either daughter registered republican or brought one home to me. I say this with the caveat that up until the Clinton years, I was a republican and I ran for office in Nebraska as a republican. You may be reasonable, but today’s republicans are not. There is no compromise with them. There is no one reasonable left in the party unless you count the people that don’t believe the dogma but enable it any way to either get re-elected or to have their businesses get preferential tax treatment and subsidies. I don’t want these folks in my home or near my daughters.
So you ask “Would you be troubled if your son married a Republican? What if your daughter married a Democrat?” and I’m answering you here because I don’t want to sully up the nola.com site or your blog site. My answer will be trolled beyond anything reasonable people can imagine and it won’t be by my fellow independents or your democrats. You can read my response here where I am surrounded by loving friends who will agree with me and will give you their own stories as Latinas, feminists, GLBTs, atheists or religious and racial minorities, and people that are not only reasonable but will stand up for what’s right.
According to a 2010 national survey, 40 percent of us would be “upset” with such a marriage. That’s worrisome, but almost as interesting as the historical trend. In 1960, when a pollster asked a similar question, only 5 percent said they would be “displeased” if a child married into the opposite party.
Doesn’t it feel some days that the entire, polarized country is obsessed with politics, down to the political affiliation of our children’s spouses?
I may have agreed that you were oh, so reasonable if I haven’t witnessed so much disrespect coming from the Republican Party towards women, gays, racial minorities and non-christians. I have the perspective of having been republican, having ran for office as a republican, and being basically drummed out of the republican party for being pro-choice and having “marched in the streets with lesbians” in support of an anniversary of women’s voting rights like it was some kind of immoral act.
As a matter of fact, I just had this conversation at a friend’s house last month. I met a woman who had a son undergoing gender reassignment surgery. I was telling her that one of my best friend’s nephews was having the same surgery and was a doctoral candidate at UC Berkley in the AI robotics program. We both laughed and said it could be worse, they could’ve become born again and republicans. I thought about it and decided that’s about the only thing that would cause me never to speak to either of my children. The idea of having a Michelle Bachmann as a daughter or a Ted Cruz, or a David Vitter or a Steve Scalise any where near my daughters let alone married to them would cause me to worry about their safety and their sanity.
Let’s check legislation proposed by today’s Republicans.
A veteran state lawmaker is pushing legislation that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays — and maybe even women and Jews — as long as they were acting on sincerely held religious beliefs.
SB 1062 would allow those sued in civil cases to claim that they have a legal right to decide not to provide their services to any individual or group because it would “substantially burden” their freedom of religion. That specifically means doing something that the person feels is contrary to their religious teachings.
Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, said the measure is aimed specifically at preventing what happened in New Mexico where courts there said a gay couple could sue a wedding photographer who turned away their request to take pictures at their nuptials. He said that should not be allowed to happen here.
But Yarbrough said his legislation could also be interpreted broader than that, allowing motel operators with vacant rooms to refuse to rent to gays.
Potentially more significant, Yarbrough acknowledged there may be individuals who have religious beliefs about unmarried women, or even employing people who do not share their same beliefs.
On the morning of December 11th, Gretchen Whitmer, the charismatic 42-year-old minority leader of the Michigan Senate, stood before her colleagues in the Statehouse in Lansing, and told them something she’d told almost no one before. “Over 20 years ago, I was a victim of rape,” she said. “And thank God it didn’t result in a pregnancy, because I can’t imagine going through what I went through and then having to consider what to do about an unwanted pregnancy from an attacker.”
No one in the gallery said a word. Instead, with just hours to go before it broke for Christmas recess, Michigan’s overwhelmingly male, Republican-dominated Legislature, having held no hearings nor even a substantive debate, voted to pass one of the most punishing pieces of anti-abortion legislation anywhere in the country: the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act, which would ban abortion coverage, even in cases of rape or incest, from virtually every health-insurance policy issued in the state. Women and their employers wanting this coverage will instead have to purchase a separate rider – often described as “rape insurance.” Whitmer, a Democrat known as a fierce advocate for women’s issues, described the new law as “by far one of the most misogynistic proposals I’ve seen in the Michigan Legislature.”
And it’s not just Michigan. Eight other states now have laws preventing abortion coverage under comprehensive private insurance plans – only one of them, Utah, makes an exception for rape. And 24 states, including such traditionally blue states as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, ban some forms of abortion coverage from policies purchased through the new health exchanges. While cutting insurance coverage of abortion in disparate states might seem to be a separate issue from the larger assault on reproductive rights, it is in fact part of a highly coordinated and so far chillingly successful nationwide campaign, often funded by the same people who fund the Tea Party, to make it harder and harder for women to terminate unwanted pregnancies, and also to limit their access to many forms of contraception.
Here’s a great list of what right wing, christianist republicans say about women and their bodies. They believe it’s perfectly acceptable to deem women property of the state and endanger their lives.
1. Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is a “terrorist” because she filibustered an anti-choice bill.
2. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
3. Who needs abortion when victims of sexual assault can just get “cleaned out” by a rape kit?
4. Women shouldn’t terminate pregnancies resulting from rape because it’s what God intended.
5. Women shouldn’t complain about forced transvaginal ultrasounds, because they’ve already had sex.
6. “If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted.”
8. Abortion rights caused the Sandy Hook massacre.
9. Ban abortions because of masturbating fetuses.
10. Abortion is just like the Holocaust.
I would worry about the safety of my daughters because of this: Virginia GOP candidate: Spousal rape isn’t a crime if she is ‘wearing a nightie’.
“I do not know how you could validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape, when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie and so forth,” Black says. “There’s not injuries, there’s no separation or anything.”
Did I mention that my oldest is actually an ob/gyn and she went to practice some place where these folks aren’t second guessing her medical expertise? You’ll excuse me if I say that with their guns, their onward christian soldiers zealotry, and their anger/meanness that I believe that the only thing safe around these people might be a clump of cells called a zygote.
Then, there’s the laws they want enacted to teach specific creation mythology as science. Oh, and we taxpayers get to foot the bills for christianist madrassas.
When public-school students enrolled in Texas’ largest charter program open their biology workbooks, they will read that the fossil record is “sketchy.” That evolution is “dogma” and an “unproved theory” with no experimental basis. They will be told that leading scientists dispute the mechanisms of evolution and the age of the Earth. These are all lies.
The more than 17,000 students in the Responsive Education Solutions charter system will learn in their history classes that some residents of the Philippines were “pagans in various levels of civilization.” They’ll read in a history textbook that feminism forced women to turn to the government as a “surrogate husband.”
Responsive Ed has a secular veneer and is funded by public money, but it has been connected from its inception to the creationist movement and to far-right fundamentalists who seek to undermine the separation of church and state.
The opening line of the workbook section declares, “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.”
Infiltrating and subverting the charter-school movement has allowed Responsive Ed to carry out its religious agenda—and it is succeeding. Operating more than 65 campuses in Texas, Arkansas, and Indiana, Responsive Ed receives more than $82 million in taxpayer money annually, and it is expanding, with 20 more Texas campuses opening in 2014.
Charter schools may be run independently, but they are still public schools, and through an open records request, I was able to obtain a set of Responsive Ed’s biology “Knowledge Units,” workbooks that Responsive Ed students must complete to pass biology. These workbooks both overtly and underhandedly discredit evidence-based science and allow creationism into public-school classrooms.
I’m a political independent but frankly, if my daughters came home spouting this stuff or with some man in tow that thought it was okay, I frankly would see if they need to be institutionalized and thoroughly checked by a psychiatrist. Fortunately, my son-in-law is a nice registered Democrat and Hindu. My other potential son-in-law is also a democrat and is as agnostic as they get. My son in law is a doctor and my youngest’s SO has degrees in biological engineering so both of them are reality based.
However, I could go on and on and on about the climate change denial, the treatment of the poor in this country, the unemployed, and just about any one else who isn’t a big political donor to the Republican party and ask you to rethink your treatise. The leader of GOPround just quit because he couldn’t take the bigotry any more.
Jimmy LaSalvia co-founded political action group GOProud to prove to America that the Republican Party is a safe home for gay conservatives. But he no longer believes his own arguments. On Monday, he announced on his blog that he could no longer take his own party’s refusal to stand up to bigotry: he was leaving the Republican Party and had registered as an Independent. “I am every bit as conservative as I’ve always been, but I just can’t bring myself to carry the Republican label any longer,” he wrote.
His condemnation of the GOP was even stronger when he explained his decision to TIME on Wednesday. The Republican brand, he says, is so tarnished that he no longer believes it is salvageable. “I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to pull the plug on the patient. It’s been brain-dead for a long, long time.”
In a wide-ranging interview with TIME, included before in an abbreviated form, LaSalvia explains the journey that led him to abandon the party ship:
TIME: You are someone who once had lots of hopes for the GOP. What happened?
LASALVIA: I have been my whole life the ultimate team player. I was ‘The Gay for Mitt’ last year. I think that what I did should cause the leadership in the Republican Party to ask themselves, How bad must it be if we’ve even lost Jimmy?
I spent my career working to create an atmosphere in the conservative movement where gay conservatives can be open and honest and live their lives and work within the conservative movement. I wanted it to be a place where straight conservatives could publicly support gay Americans and even eventually come to support civil marriage for gay couples. I feel like I have accomplished that. I had hoped that would be enough to melt the anti-gay bigotry that runs through the ranks of some in the Republican Party. I’ve come to realize that it is not, and that the leadership of the party tolerates bigotry, not just antigay bigotry, but anti-Muslim, any people who are not like us it seems like, because they are afraid of losing that sliver of their base who are anti-gay. And the truth is they are turning off millions more Americans by kowtowing to a group that frankly is losing and who most Americans think are wrong.
The entire party has become a safe haven and magnet for neoconfederates and bigots. Jimmy just came to the realization about 20 years later than me. I am sure there are some folks that seem like reasonable people. But try telling your conservative “friend” you’ve decided that you’re not a christian anymore and see what happens. Reasonable people do not tolerate and enable unreasonable and mean ideas, actions, and speech. My elderly father is the only Republican I allow near me any more and he just about does me in when he spouts all those Fox lies and Republican talking points that are about as far from the truth as they can be. Some times what he says horrifies me but he’s 90.
Our current democratic president and nearly all of his policies are just about as Nixonian as one can get. He’s pushing the new trade agreements. The Affordable Health Care Act was the republican response–called Chaffecare or Dolecare at the time–and the individual mandate is the cost demanded by private insurers for taking on people with pre-existing conditions like ovaries, HIV, or cancer. His budget and the level of government spending represents draconian cuts. His national security programs are still pretty extreme. Yet, every Republican sees him as a socialist. It’s total balderdash and racism!
Here’s a nice South Carolina Republican Senator advocating gun violence to get his views enacted.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s top-polling primary challenger, state Sen. Lee Bright, stood on the steps of the South Carolina statehouse (Confederate flags proudly displayed behind him) and said:
“If the Tenth Amendment won’t protect the Second, we might have to use the Second to protect the Tenth.”
Lee Bright’s insinuation being, if you don’t let South Carolina do as they want then South Carolinians will take up arms against you.
Let’s face it. It doesn’t take long for the congress and the U.S. Senate to come in and say, ‘Y’know what? These states are a lot of trouble. They’re gettin’ in the way. They’re organizing these people. They’re having these rallies. They got, you know, they got, some of them are even talking about militias. I mean, we gotta do something about this. So let’s just go ahead and dissolve them.
Today’s republicans and today’s republican party are no where near even Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan who had some pretty outrageous things to say in their day. They would hate Nixon, Ford, Eisenhower, and they dis Lincoln. All you have to do is talk to a Rand Paul follower and you’ll hear nothing but criticism of Lincoln. I don’t even have time to describe how absolutely crazy they are about regulation, the Federal Reserve Bank, balanced budget amendments, and policies that should be fairly noncontroversial that would get people back to work again.
Yes, Bob, I would absolutely say yes to your question: DEMOCRAT? REPUBLICAN? ARE WE REALLY ALL THAT DIFFERENT?
I wouldn’t let people like these near my home, let alone near my daughters. I wouldn’t even let Senator David Vitter near my home or near my daughters. Would you?
If you don’t believe me, ask another person who used to be a big reasonable republican party insider and is another economist. That would be Reagan advisor Bruce Bartlett. Hit him up on his facebook page or just watch his thread. He calls them all wankers now. Frankly, I’ve got worse words for them after my experiences trying to be pro-choice, pro-era, and pro-equal wages for equal work back in the day.
Anyway, that’s my rant illustriously peppered with republican rally signs. You know those great people that did things like boo at gay soldiers and believe in secession, they’re as reasonable as you so I’m sure I’m gonna hear from them here. That way, I wont sully your website.
Sunday Reads: Anti-Vaccine Hysteria brought to you by Jenny McCarthy, Pretty Illustrations by Hedvig Collin, and Medieval Dwarf Characterizations by Your Preconceived IdeasPosted: January 5, 2014
Oh, I cannot wait to get to the link on Medieval Dwarfs…but until that time comes, here are some stories for you on this fucking* cold ass Sunday Morning!
(*Just FYI, we passed freaking cold ass on Friday night.)
Today’s post will feature artwork by illustrator Hedvig Collin. When I look at her work, I think of Jessie Wilcox…and other women artist/illustrators at the time.
Hedvig Collin was educated at the Drawing and Industrial Art School for Women in preparation for the Royal Academy School for Women , where she studied in 1903 – 1907 . She continued her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts decoration school in 1 909 – 1910 and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris . In 1915 she studied freskoteknik on Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin . She had from 1904 repeated studies in France , she performed in the 1920s and 1930s, traveling to Italy , Greece , Poland , Germany , Czechoslovakia and England . In the period 1922 – 1925 and again during the second World War she was in the United States .
Hedvig Collin painted most portraits and landscapes , but was also an illustrator of children’s books; 1 916 – 1922 she published several illustrated children’s song books, for example. Our Children’s Songs (1916), and the Children’s Picture Book (1922).
While looking for information about Collins, I could not find anything on an “English” website, so the only sources are in Dutch or German. This one here has lots of postcard images, which many of the images in the post are from: Google Translate-Hedvig Collin 1880-1964 by Per Sorensen
Parents: Photographer Alfred Collin and Ottilia f Bloch.
Hedvig Collin was unmarried.
She was a painter, illustrator, journalist and author.
Hedvig Collin was educated at drawing and industrial arts school for women and later graduated from the Academy of Arts, where she studied from 1903 to 1909. Later she took extra education in Paris.
Hedvig Collin traveled extensively throughout Europe and the U.S., and she drew a large number of illustrations – both Danish and foreign publications. However, it was illustrations for children’s books, which became her biggest mark – no one has she been able to put themselves in the children’s place and make illustrations for children. From 1916-1922, she published each year, along with colleagues, the very well known, illustrated children’s song books. She has also made many children portraits.
Her postcard production also bear the imprint of children and fairy tales, and you can clearly see the French inspiration in her work. See for example the “Lady with the Little Dog,” which is very similar to Gerda Wegner line.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures…let’s get this show started!
Seems like Fukushima is well on its way to becoming another something more than a metaphor for the phrase “Fucked up.” When things are Fukushima’d up…it is beyond anything FUBAR could ever comprehend. ‘Duct tape, wire nets’ were used to mend Fukushima water tanks – worker — RT News
The 48 year old Japanese man said that workers were sent to various places in Fukushima, including an area called H3 with high radiation levels.
In one of those cases in October 2012, Uechi was given a task to cover five or six storage tanks without lids in the “E” area close to H3 as it was raining, the Japanese paper reported. When he climbed to the top of the 10-meter-high tank Uechi found white adhesive tape covering an opening of about 30 centimeters. After using a blade to remove the tape he applied a sealing agent on the opening and fit a steel lid fastening it with bolts. According to instructions he was to use four bolts, though the lid had eight bolt holes.
According to the employee, his colleagues later told him that the use of adhesive tape was a usual practice to deal with the problem of sealing in radioactive water.
Among other makeshift cost-cutting measures was the use of second-hand materials. Uechi also said that wire nets were used instead of reinforcing bars during the placement of concrete for storage tank foundations. In addition, waterproof sheets were applied along the joints inside flange-type cylindrical tanks to save on the sealing agent used to join metal sheets of the storage tanks. Rain and snow had washed away the anti-corrosive agent applied around clamping bolts, reducing the sealing effect, Uechi added. According to the Fukushima worker, many of the tanks were later found to be leaking contaminated water.
Now, granted…that is from RT.com, and it goes without saying that there could be some bias on the reporting of a Russian nuclear disaster compared to a foreign one…but read the rest of the “stopgap” measures at the link.
NBA All-Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson, and Vin Baker. Craig Hodges, Doug Christie and Charles D. Smith are on the team, as well. They will play against a top North Korean Senior National team on Jan. 8, marking Kim Jong Un’s birthday.
I have no idea who these NBA stars are, but this is really a stupid move on their part.
And if we are talking stupid, I put a link to this yesterday in the comments, but it deserves front page status: New Report Says: Jenny McCarthy’s Son May Not Have Had Autism After All – Hollywood Life
After years of speaking out about her son’s autism — and against childhood immunizations — Jenny McCarthy is reversing her position.
After years of speaking publicly about her belief that MMR shots (immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella) caused her son to suffer from autism, Jenny McCarthy now faces the reality that her 7-year-old son Evan — who no longer shows any signs of autism — may likely have lived with completely different illness.
A new article in Time magazine — which Jenny was interviewed for — suggests Evan suffers from Landau-Kleffner syndrome, “a rare childhood neurological disorder that can also result in speech impairment and possible long-term neurological damage.”
I know I am jumping around today, but…check this out: Woman Attorney Launches Saudi Arabia’s First All-Lady Law Firm
Just a few months after Saudi Arabia allowed women to serve in court, the first licensed woman attorney Bayan Mahmoud Al-Zahran has just opened the first female law firm, dedicated to representing women and bringing women’s rights issues into the courts. YES.
Women have continually been neglected by the court system for a number of reasons, including simply not being taken seriously by male lawyers. Women’s issues concerning conflicts like inheritance, domestic violence, marriage, and you know, that whole driving thing are often simply dismissed. Also, while more women are joining the workforce, the country has yet to catch up in terms of legal support for working women.
Clearly Al-Zahran has her work cut out for her four-woman team, but as reported at Arab News, she’s ready for the challenge:
“I believe women lawyers can contribute a lot to the legal system. This law firm will make a difference in the history of court cases and female disputes in the Kingdom. I am very hopeful and thank everyone who supported me in taking this historical step.”
Did you see the latest on the men’s rights front? Men’s rights activists call for rape ‘accuse-a-thon’ to smear sex assault victims advocate | The Raw Story
A men’s rights group is encouraging its followers to falsely accuse a sexual assault victims advocate of rape in a stunt intended to undermine the veracity of all rape accusations.
Paul Elam, founder of the website A Voice For Men, hosted an online discussion Wednesday with his site’s editor-in-chief, John Hembling, and feminist critic Karen Straughn to discuss their plan to harass executive director of the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton.
“I have looked at a number of cases where people have reported alien abductions were they were prodded and poked and had different orifices in their bodies explored by aliens in spaceships, and a common theme among these is that it turns out, in most of these cases, it was Karen Smith,” Elam said. “It wasn’t aliens.”
The men’s rights movement has been angry at Smith since at least this summer, when she helped promote the “Don’t Be That Guy” rape prevention campaign that inspired imitators in other cities and a counter campaign blaming women for their own sexual assaults.
Men’s rights activists also conspired to shut down a website that allowed the anonymous reporting of sexual assaults by flooding the system with false complaints.
How about this, all this news about Colorado, and the amount of money the state will get from Marijuana sales tax…What about Vegas, ‘marriage capital of the world,’ left at the altar on gay weddings | Al Jazeera America
Because of a state constitutional ban, Nevada’s wedding industry loses untold millions while other states make it legal.
Here is two stories on commercial flying…
Yeah, they mention a plant pathogen. I don’t know…
Did you know that commercial flights began in my hometown of Tampa Florida?
Millions of people step aboard airplanes each day, complaining about the lack of legroom and overhead space but almost taking for granted that they can travel thousands of miles in just a few hours.
Wednesday marks the 100th anniversary of the first commercial flight: a 23-minute hop across Florida’s Tampa Bay. The St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line was subsidized by St. Petersburg officials who wanted more winter tourists in their city. The alternative: an 11-hour train ride from Tampa.
Pilot Tony Jannus had room for just one passenger, who sat next to him in the open cockpit. Three months later — when tourism season ended — so did the subsidy. The airline had carried 1,204 passengers but would never fly again.
Remember that Nazi salute I mentioned last week? Here is an update: Concern Over an Increasingly Seen Gesture Grows in France – NYTimes.com
The rest of today’s links are fun stuff…or “special interest.”
There is a special coming up on PBS: ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ details birth of forensic science in US | Culture | McClatchy DC
I love the title of this Medieval guidebook: Advice Concerning Pregnancy and Health in Late Medieval Europe: Peasant Women’s Wisdom in The Distaff Gospels
This paper explores an area which has proven difficult for scholars to penetrate: women’s popular wisdom concerning medical matters in the later medieval period. Contextualized within an examination of medieval medical texts both by and about women, our discussion focuses on a later 15th-century French work, The Distaff Gospels. This text, published recently in English for the first time since 1510, consists of more than 200 pieces of advice or “gospels,” ostensibly conveyed to one another by a group of women who met together during the long winter evenings to spin. A significant portion of the advice might be considered “medical” in nature; it is grouped into two broad categories: pregnancy and health. We conclude that although our text is male mediated, it provides a reliable and valuable guide to peasant women’s medical lore during this period.
Another medieval paper for you: Anorexia and the Holiness of Saint Catherine of Siena
In the medieval period, the control, renunciation, and torture of the body were understood not so much as a rejection of the physical, but as a way of achieving the divine. Gradually, the manifestations of this renunciation of the body came to apply peculiarly to women, for whom this state may be defined as “holy anorexia,” identified by the following features.
The Female Body as an Expression of Sexuality. The body of the woman was seen as an expression of sexuality, curvaceous with prominent breasts, and was thought to be the product of the woman herself, whereas the male body was formed by God. This supposition was confirmed by the extremely changeable nature of the female body, particularly in terms of control. Thus, the female easily slipped into a trance, into levitation, into catatonic states, leading rapidly to asceticism or anorexia. She displayed spontaneous lactation and bleeding, manifestations that sometimes were accompanied by stigmata. Indeed, at least fifteen medieval saints bled at the moment they received the Eucharist. In contrast, of saints in other periods of history, only Padre Pio and San Francesco displayed stigmata that were preserved on their bodies after death. If we are to consider specifically anorexia as a characteristic of sanctity, we must examine the periods of 1200 and the end of 1500 when Theresa of Avila (a Spanish saint who joined with a mystic force and spirit to reform Catholicism, resulting in the reinvigoration of all religious orders) began frequently to use twigs of olives to induce vomiting and completely empty her stomach. In this way she was able to truly take into herself the Host, which became her unique source of sustenance. From an investigation of the conduct of 170 Italian medieval saints by Rudolph Bell, fully one half of them exhibited symptoms of anorexia.
More at the link…lots more.
The next medieval link has a special place in my heart…The Hole: Problems in Medieval Dwarfology
When trying to understand Old Norse dwarfs, one problem is knowing too much. Almost everyone comes to the old texts with some preconceived idea of dwarfs, if not from The Lord of the Rings, then from romances, folktales and modern novels, all presenting their own consistent image of dwarfs. However, although later representations of dwarfs may have some relevance to medieval dwarfs, in this study I will try to limit myself to what can be discerned from medieval sources. That is not really possible: I, like everyone else, have known since childhood what a dwarf is. And yet I think the attempt may have some merit, in spite of being bound to fail in the most rigorous sense.
What I will attempt here is to pay close attention to the nature of the sources and what they reveal, or, as if often the case, do not reveal. Mythological scholarship is characterized by inclusiveness, a tendency to collect information en masse, sometimes with little discussion of the nature of the sources. When it comes to Old Norse dwarfs, it might be helpful to distinguish between three types of sources, in which their nature and function may take various forms. While there is perhaps not a case to be made for dramatically contrasting views in the Middle Ages, it is unwise to assume that all medieval sources agree on the nature, character and function of dwarfs.
You have to sign up on the site to download that article, or look for it here: HoleArvMedDwa.
Bill Nye is going to kick some Creationist ass: Bill Nye to visit Creation Museum for evolution debate | AccessNorthGa
A new exhibit in Brookyn: Susan Sontag was right: War photography can anesthetize – Salon.com
And lastly, one hot mama: The Tina Turner Blog On Twitter Is Pretty Much Everything
There are few things we love as much as Tina Turner, so you can imagine how ecstatic we were when we came across the Tina Turner Blog on Twitter. The account tweets up-to-the-minute news, videos and most importantly, awesome throwback photos of the singer. And we have to say, this lady has serious style.
Well, if that doesn’t get you…what about these legs?
I’ve spent some time in Monroe, Louisiana. About ten years ago, I had to teach all over the state. I am just glad I spent some time in some other cities before getting sent to the Monroe area or I’d have never left the confines of Orleans parish again. Monroe is a place I’d rather not visit again. My first thought on wandering around was “Where are all the black people hiding?” Then, I wondered why they were obviously not around their white neighbors. That was before I read and found out that the KKK are live and kicking in that region of the state. I also begin hearing personal experiences like this one. A coworker and office mate of mine at the time–a young black woman of about 25–had gone to university up there. She told me that she learned that she couldn’t walk through the white frat section of the campus because she kept getting spit on. This was like the year 2000 so, we’re not talking way back in the day.
When I learned Duck Dynasty was being filmed in Monroe, I figured that you weren’t going to see a lot of black people in the show and that it was going to be yet another one of those reality shows where the rest of the world gets to learn about the backwater cultures of the South. These Hollywood reality shows like to entertain their city friends with the likes of our backwater rubes. They make them cute, fuzzy, eccentric, and gosh darn lovable. I’m not sure if you watched Swamp people or Axe Man or any number of other shows where they trot out our old white guys that hang in the woods, but it’s pretty formulaic. The problem is that the shows are pretty well edited and controlled. You can see, however, that whenever these Duck Dynasty guys go to the country club, the backwoods, or the kids’ schools, there are really no black people in the picture. Again, that’s my take away from every visit to Monroe. They are freaking insular up there. But then, just like no one noticed the tales of “happy darkies in the cotton fields” told by Phil Robertson until later today, no one has noticed the distinct lack of diversity or reality in the show. Well, maybe their core audience has and that’s why they like it. I guess it all was okay until Phill opened his big fat mouth and pointed out–like a bayou version of snowflake snookie–that gawd made women’s vaginas for men and gay men must be crazy and sinful to not take advantage of that.
Like all reality shows, Duck Dynasty is probably heavily edited. But, it’s a big old media world out there. The Duck Dynasty Paw Paw got interviewed sans handlers by GQ. His Monroe roots are now exposed. His Southern Baptist tirades don’t look so homespun any more. He’s not just a cuddly, curmudgeon who has a thing for killing what ever moves like Ned outta South Park. Phil Robertson is outta the closet now alot like Paula Dean got outted a while back. Wither the cash cow er duck?
There’s several things that have kind’ve intrigued me about this ever unfolding story. The first is that the response to the homophobic comments are being played out a lot more than his appalling racist and sexist comments. Women are vaginas. All the black folk he grew up with were straight out of that old southern stereotype of the happy Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima brand. Ah, they were so happy and singing during them Jim Crow Days. Robertson had no apparent realization black folks were rightfully scared for their lives back then so they just put on that damn smile to protect themselves. They also are hard to find among white folks in Monroe today so I’m thinking there’s still some of that going on up there and they know it.
As is clear in the profile in GQ, A&E has tried to walk a fine line between portraying the Robertsons as religious Christians without spotlighting the parts of their beliefs that have the potential to cause precisely the kind of firestorm that resulted yesterday. “There are more things Phil would like to say—’controversial’ things, as he puts it to me—that don’t make the cut,” Magary writes. This dilemma of wanting part of a reality television cast member’s personality, but only the parts that will make you money, is one that faced CBS’s Big Brother this year, too, after discovering that the ways in which a number of their controversial and colorful cast members were controversial and colorful was that they were enormously ignorant racists.
I absolutely understand the desire to make money off of either evangelical Christianity or American backwardness, which has increasingly been one of the staples of reality television. There is clearly a market for an underserved audience of religious Christians who would like to see themselves reflected in popular media more frequently. And there is clearly a market for being horrified by other people’s behavior. But it is exceptionally difficult, in a reality television context, to separate out and wall off the part of someone’s personality that is attractive and media-friendly from the parts that are less palatable to a mass audience. If you’re writing fiction for television, those attributes can get shaved off by the collective process of the writers’ room. But if you are, yourself, a reality television product, especially if you feel like you’re being suppressed or misrepresented, those parts of your personality and beliefs will inevitably out. Sometimes, the surprises are pleasant, as was the case on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, where a family offered up as backwards and repellent proved to be tolerant, loving, and charming. But that is not often the case.
For the most part, reality television producers and the networks that air their work, have decided that these outbursts are worth the risk of continuing to sell highly specific personalities, precisely because the cycle of suspension, response, and temporary profit loss are so well-established at this point that it can probably be worked into a budget. I can’t imagine anyone at A&E is surprised that someone like Phil Robertson, who bills himself as a Bible-believing evangelical, believes that you can “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” or that he would say something like “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” The question was probably when, not if.
And when that when arrived, A&E had a well road-tested formula to use in its response, provided by the folks at GLAAD. GLAAD is the most effective media advocacy organization that I know of, on two levels: first, its ability to swiftly identify and condemn anti-LGBT speech and to get results, and second, in its deep, comprehensive, and intersectional research on the depiction of LGBT characters and figures in media. When Robertson’s remarks broke, Wilson Cruz of GLAAD responded quickly with a statement that hit on an incredible number of ideas in a clear, efficient way.
“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” he said. “He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans — and Americans — who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors, who now need to re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.” It was a condemnation that positioned GLAAD as a more sophisticated and compassionate arbiter of Christian values than Robertson, drew a connection between culture and legal protection, and offered a reminder that GLAAD has plenty of experience influencing media sponsors.
And A&E knew immediately what it had to do to respond to GLAAD: Robertson was suspended for an indefinite period of time, a punishment that doesn’t just promise long-running financial losses to him, but because it has no end point, can’t be immediately decried as too short or too long. It’s action that effectively ends the news cycle, as far as A&E’s need to take action and appear responsive are concerned.
It’s also worth noting that because of GLAAD’s swift intervention, much of the media coverage has focused more on Robertson’s anti-gay remarks than his comments about African Americans and the Civil Rights movement, which weren’t worked into the narrative of the profile, but appeared as a pull quote in the online version of the piece. While Robertson’s views on homosexuality are presented as consistent with his religious beliefs, his remarks about African-Americans are actually more politically extreme, aimed at undermining the validity of the safety net.
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field,” Robertson said. “They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
That’s a vision of the American South and American racial history that’s in keeping with Paula Deen’s alleged plantation nostalgia. It’s an attempt to substitute Robertson’s own memories of his interactions with African American laborers, whose behavior around him may well have been influenced by his relative privilege as a white man, even a poor one, for the larger history of organizing against and resistance to the economically and racially ruinous consequences of the Jim Crow system. It’s a kind of narrative that’s aimed at retroactively manufacturing black consent for policies aimed at maintaining white supremacy.
The other equally appalling thing is that the right wing is playing this as some kind of first amendment rights issue. Since when do Republicans think employees get to ignore the wishes of their corporate overlords? Where was the outrage over Alec Baldwin or Martin Brashear? Robertson is now the right wing martyr for oppressed christians who are just expressing their traditional values and have a first amendment right to do so that we all just have to respect. WTF?
I woke to reading that my asshole governor had jumped in on that. My guess is he’s trying to get on the radar of the Republican base again for his endless wetdreams of being President. Did he actually read what this guy said about black people or was he just thinking the homophobic remarks would be the place he could pander those Iowan evangelical votes?
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Thursday criticized the “politically correct crowd” following the suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson over comments he made about homosexuality and religion in a recent interview with GQ magazine.
“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with,” Jindal said in a statement released by his office. “I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.”
A&E, which airs “Duck Dynasty,” put Robertson on indefinite suspension from the show on Wednesday because of a controversial interview with GQ, in which, he commented on his inability to comprehend homosexuality or societies “without Jesus.”
“That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical,” Robertson told Drew Magery in GQ.
When Magery asked him to define “sin,” Robertson responded, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
In another part of the interview, Robertson equated Shintoism and Islam with Nazism.
So, see? There’s a little bit more out there than just the horrid comments about homosexuality. There’s the comments on blacks, women, and nonchristians. It’s a smorgasbord of bigotry! And, my governor is defending his right to say all of it as an employee of a corporation that probably wants viewership from black people, women, and folks that are not christian. Why wouldn’t they fire his redneck ass? He probably is going to cost them as much money as he brought in over the last year if not more.
But, the bigger questions is what’s going to happen with all that Duck Dynasty merchandise that’s all over the place now? Are there enough bigoted rednecks in the country to keep the franchise going? Maybe the franchise should just consider moving to a slot before the Huckabee show and advertise on the likes of Hannity and Rush.
Well, there probably is enough of them in Northern Louisiana and Texas. Here’s the latest bit of ring wing furor or is that fuhrer?
Other conservatives are now weighing in as well, including the Family Research Council and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)
Here’s Cruz’s comment: “If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson. Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job. In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him, but the mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree.”
Update 3:47 p.m.: The National Organization for Marriage has launched a petitiondemanding that A&E reinstate Robertson and apologize for suspending him.
Let me just remind you that the Family Research Council is a bona fide hate group.
So, I thought I could just let this entire thing pass with comments down thread, but I couldn’t. I would just like you to know that almost every one I know south of the I-12–that would be the creole/cajun part of Louisiana–is talking about seceding from the state again.
Oh, look, it’s a photo of two blowhards!
I am just hoping we get rid of those Hollywood tax credits and that the reality show folks will go pick on some one else’s backwards hicks for awhile.