Friday Reads: Radical Religious Fundamentalists are at it again!

Good Day Sky Dancers!

Consider what the Taliban are doing to Afghanistan as they try to re-establish a radical view of Islam again in Afghanistan.  President Biden mentioned how few there were of these folks when compared to the hundreds of thousands of well-armed Afghan Soldiers.  However, the Taliban say they control most of Afghanistan now.  That’s what a minority of white US Christians want here and they continue to press legislature forward.  It’s a different kind of invasion since it’s the rights of everyone else including mainstream Christians and there’s no guns involved yet.

Now just as the Taliban of Afghanistan are not the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus, what we face here in this country are not mainstream or a majority in the USA. They are not your nice sweet Episcopalian Grandmother. Never, ever estimate a radical, fundamentalist wing of any religion.  They eventually wind up practicing persecution and women are always on the top of the list as well as the GLBT community. The US brand of White Christian Nationalism is ferocious as ever even as their numbers have shrunk.

This is from WAPO: “The rapid decline of White evangelical America? New data suggests a bigger decrease than previously understood — including in the GOP.  We discussed this a bit yesterday down the thread.  It’s worth the read because they’re sure not going quietly.

If there was an epitome of Donald Trump’s hostile and often puzzling takeover of the Republican Party, it might have been his alliance with evangelical Christians. The thrice-married playboy who until relatively recently supported abortion rights became their champion. He did so despite demonstrating remarkably little familiarity with the Bible. The uneasy alliance culminated in Trump flashing the Good Book as a political prop in Lafayette Square last summer.

But new data suggests that whatever pull evangelicals have in American politics, it’s declining pretty significantly.

The Public Religion Research Institute released a detailed study Thursday on Americans’ religious affiliations. Perhaps the most striking finding is on White evangelical Christians.

While this group made up 23 percent of the population in 2006 — shortly after “values voters” were analyzed to have delivered George W. Bush his reelection — that number is now down to 14.5 percent, according to the data.

Most Southern and rural states still have a large number of very vocal White Christian Nationalists. Take Texas, please!

We’ve all been aware of their fear of minorities voting.  The focus yesterday was how the voting rights law–slowly being dismantled by the Robert’s Court–has created more openings for laws suppression access to the ballot. This is a basic constitutional right. Even more basic and constitutional is the right to not be oppressed by someone else’s view of a religion and not to have it enacted in law at the expense of women and the GLBT community.

First, I woke up to this outrage by JJ from No More Mister Nice Blog:  “HOW ABOUT DON’T KNOCK ON MY DOOR?”.  Republican plague rats/Variant Manufactories are screaming this and “My Body. My Choice” about the vaccine. Yet, look what’s cooking in Texas besides new variants and ways to kill your neighbor?  Texas Congress Plague Rat Crenshaw is the pseudo- libertarian with the hypocritical stance on things he feels all patriarchal about.

This is truly shocking.  Yes, JJ!  How did we miss this?  After all, it was in the New York Times. Here’s the headline “Citizens, Not the State, Will Enforce New Abortion Law in Texas. The measure bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. And it effectively deputizes ordinary citizens to sue people involved in the process.”

People across the country may soon be able to sue abortion clinics, doctors and anyone helping a woman get an abortion in Texas, under a new state law that contains a legal innovation with broad implications for the American court system.

The provision passed the Texas State Legislature this spring as part of a bill that bans abortion after a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat, usually at about six weeks of pregnancy. Many states have passed such bans, but the law in Texas is different.

Ordinarily, enforcement would be up to government officials, and if clinics wanted to challenge the law’s constitutionality, they would sue those officials in making their case. But the law in Texas prohibits officials from enforcing it. Instead, it takes the opposite approach, effectively deputizing ordinary citizens — including from outside Texas — to sue clinics and others who violate the law. It awards them at least $10,000 per illegal abortion if they are successful.

“It’s completely inverting the legal system,” said Stephen Vladeck, a constitutional law professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “It says the state is not going to be the one to enforce this law. Your neighbors are.”

Back to the snark of No More Mister Nice Blog and this thread by Amanda Marcotte.

And, I missed this ad on the 4th of July by the now infamous christofascist crusaders Hobby Lobby.  Here’s a bit on that from Scott Horton’s Facebook page.  I caught it today just as JJ’s email had me on high alert.

A Christianist denunciation of democracy and democratic institutions: Hobby Lobby’s full-page ads argue that only Christians, as defined by Hobby Lobby (that is to say, white Evangelicals) are worthy to serve as political leaders of America, though the existence of others may be tolerated for the time being. The Hobby Lobby political agenda matched that of the Trump-led GOP, and is remarkably like the Republic of Gilead described in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The key point to keep in mind, however, is this: Hobby Lobby absolutely repudiates the notion that the people of the United States, speaking at the ballot box, are free to choose their leaders according to their own criteria.

None of this is the stuff I remember as someone raised a Presbyterian and spent a good amount of her adult life as a social justice-loving Methodist Sunday School Teacher.  This is from Newsweek: “Hobby Lobby Faces Backlash Over Newspaper Ad Calling for Christian-Run Government.”

Arts and crafts giant Hobby Lobby faced a backlash after it ran a full-page advertisement on July 4 in several newspapers across the U.S. that appeared to call for a Christian-run government.

The advert, which Hobby Lobby ran in newspapers on Independence Day, was titled “One Nation Under God,” and included the Bible verse “Blessed is the Nation whose God is the lord,” as the company also posted about its campaign on its social media pages.

Hobby Lobby quoted former presidents who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 in its campaign, including George Washington, but the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) reported that the company had altered the quotes without providing the full context.

Included in the advert, Hobby Lobby claimed to quote former President John Adams saying: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.

“Our Constitution was made only for religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Frightened yet?   This sums it up for me now that I’m a religious minority.

Let’s go back to the Anti-Vaxxer freedom screed and read something by Charlies Sykes from The Bulwark.  “A Depraved Indifference To Human Life. The right’s performative anti-vax demagoguery”.

I admit that I’m struggling to come up with an analogy that would shed some light on the sheer insanity of this moment.

Try to imagine, for example, a campaign to mock attempts to improve airline safety in the wake of a crash that killed hundreds. Or try to envision a political class that would ridicule and undermine engineers who were trying to shore up the foundations of condominiums in Florida in the days after a horrific building collapse there.

None of that, however, even comes close to the genuine depravity of the current burst of performative anti-vax demagoguery we are seeing right now.

Four million people worldwide have died from COVID-19. That includes more than 600,000 Americans.

The delta variant is exploding and the infection rates are rising — and nearly all of the new hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.

In Missouri, where vaccination rates have lagged, “the Springfield area has been hit so hard that one hospital had to borrow ventilators over the Fourth of July weekend and begged on social media for help from respiratory therapists.”

I feel like going all Spock on you by saying “Logic dictates that the good of the many outweighs the needs of the one.”  But hey, let’s watch these same people scream I’m very much a communist or some such nonsense.  Isn’t that basically what the biblical Jesus did at the end of his life or did my Presbyterian Ministers fail me?  This dangerous political performance art has, is, and will continue to kill people including small children and babies that are not yet approved for the vaccine. BB’s covered this so well that we all know better.

Anyway, we have a lot to keep our eyes on.   Look at the special agenda for the Texas lege.  It’s a right-wing tribute to conspiracy theories and anti-democratic/republic governance.  They’re after RU45 again saying it’s abortion-inducing which it’s not.

So, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. I’m just enjoying the falling rain and silence here where I can ask myself what’s so funny about peace, love. and understanding?  Can’t we all just live and let live?

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

18 Comments on “Friday Reads: Radical Religious Fundamentalists are at it again!”

  1. dakinikat says:

    We’re celebrating our hometown hero Zalia today!!! She’s got a future ahead of her! Have a great weekend!

    • NW Luna says:

  2. dakinikat says:

    Hey JJ look what I find when my friend won this competition!!!

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. NW Luna says:

  6. quixote says:

    I thought neighbors spying on neighbors was the appalling thing about Chinese Communists. ??

    There’s just no bottom with these people.

    And then, it’s just a minor footnote in the forest of hideous human rights violations, but at 6 weeks it’s barely possible to know you’re pregnant.

    (Never forget: the medical terminology goes from date of last period. Plus 2 weeks: ovulation, possible to get pregnant. Plus 2 more weeks, first chance to notice missed period if one’s periods are perfectly regular. Plus another ten days or so before over-the-counter pregnancy tests start giving reliable results. = 6 weeks plus or minus a few days.)

    • dakinikat says:

      It’s not a heart beat at that point to because there’s no heart… only cells that rumble.

      • quixote says:

        Yeah. Contractile cells aren’t exactly a “heart.” At that rate we could be calling our intestines a “heart.”

    • djmm says:

      Texas has offices and sites for a lot of high tech companies, who like to move their people about and transfer folks here and there. If you are a young and talented individual (especially a woman), would you take a transfer to Texas right now? Not only the insane abortion law but the fact that now any idiot can open carry a gun with no license required? Not to mention (but I will), the efforts to further roll back voting rights. And not only the failure of the power grid last winter, but the failure to pass meaningful legislation to fix it.

      Similarly, Texas has outstanding universities, which might now find it hard to recruit teachers and students from out of state.

      Texas has fallen so far from where it was when Ann Richards was governor. There was so much hope for the future. I put the blame directly on Evangelical meddling in politics.

      Interestingly, most of the women I know who have had abortions are right-wing Evangelical women. Imagine their fury when they find out how hard it will be to get one. There might be a lot of young Evangelical men who find themselves fathers well before they intended.

    • NW Luna says:

      And very few women have ovulation and thus menses exactly 4 wks apart. Plus, you can still have some bleeding around the usual time of menses even if pregnant — not too unusual in the 1st couple of months of pregnancy. I wish all women had good information on how their bodies function and the normal range of variability.

  7. NW Luna says:

    Limiting access to school sports teams for transgender students

    Why do media say this? It’s simply protecting girls’ sports for girls. Even the Republican bills on this that I’ve seen don’t ban or limit access to school sports for kids who identify as trans. They can play on the team that matches their sex. Gender isn’t sex.

    Male athletes have advantages of height, strength, weight, bone density, heart and lung size over female athletes. Reducing testosterone does nothing to reduce those advantages. I thought it did until I looked at reputable studies. And we don’t see trans-identified boys wanting on the gymnastic team (a sport in which females often perform as well as or even better than males) — it’s track or field or weightlifting. The left has gotten so it doesn’t care about girls’ and women’s rights in this case.

    • NW Luna says:

    • darthvelma says:

      Men on the left have never cared about girls’ and women’s rights. They use our right to bodily autonomy as a cudgel to keep us voting for them but do nothing to actually protect that right when the right-wingers pass abortion laws like the one in Texas. I don’t hear anyone calling for boycotting states passing draconian abortion laws the way they do for these “anti-trans” laws. Looking at you California…

      I’ve always known men on the left don’t really have my back. Women’s issues are always at the back of the line. We’re always supposed to wait our turn because there are more important issues…and men will always have something, anything, that they consider more important than helping liberate women from the system that benefits men so so much.

      • quixote says:

        Exactly right. This whole thread.

        What’s surprised me (because I’m a slow learner) is that women aren’t even seen in this whole crapfest.

        We have to consider about how transwomen feel. They need to be included. And if you raise the questions, “Well, how do you think Kuinini Manumua feels about missing her chance at the Olympics because a 43 year-old with a broken arm decided to horn in? How do you think she feels about being excluded?” then there’s just crickets (in polite society).

        It’s as if you’d mentioned that you had spaghetti at your house three times last month. Nothing but complete utter total inconceivability of what you’re even talking about.

        It’s astounded me to realize that women really don’t exist in many people’s minds.

      • dakinikat says:

        Absolutely! We saw that distinctly with the Bernie Bros.