Nel's New Day

August 10, 2014

Conservatives Claim Moral High Ground But Ignore Bible, Constitution

God—and the U.S. Supreme Court—gave people the right to discriminate, according to Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Mike Kelly (R-PA). That’s why they’re pushing a bill, “The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2014,” allowing adoption and foster care centers to discriminate against same-sex couples. Nowhere does the language in the bill use references to LGBT people, and it is so vague that any organization can discriminate against anyone if its “sincerely held religious beliefs” are being infringed. The senators claim that the bill is meant to “ensure children can continue to get care from people of faith,” but the bill is intended to give special rights to religious organizations.

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who started a range war against the U.S. government, told a gathering last week that his vendetta was between good and evil. Providing him personal inspiration, God told Bundy, “This is your chance to straighten this thing up.” At least that’s what Bundy claims. He added that people rallied around him because they were “spiritually touched.” The “touched” might have been accurate. Bundy’s big concern at the gathering was that only about 100 people attended. He asked:

“Where is all of your college students? Where’s our young and where’s our old? Where’s our black and where’s our brown? Where are you people? Aren’t you interested in freedom and liberty?”

Although Mormon, Bundy is the perfect example of Tea Party believers. They claim that they want religion back into politics, but what they want is just their own religion represented throughout the country. Despite their claims that the movement is secular, it is religious, founded in spiritual revival and zealotry. Their devotional belief system mandates how people should live, how society should function, what is right and wrong, and who should—and shouldn’t—lead the country.

The basis of their system is a refusal to compromise. The Tea Partiers’ moral imperative is that they will shut down the government before bending on any legislation just as Samson pulled down the pillars of the temple. Their bellicose nature keeps them from reasonable disagreements about fiscal or foreign policies. Anyone who opposes their dogma in government, economics, race, and sex are infidels. Heretics are burned at the primaries.

The Antichrist of the Tea Party religion is the illegitimate Barack Obama must be opposed just like the lesser demons of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Tea Partiers blame them for any problems in the past six years. Washington, D.C. is the seat of corruption in the same way that Rome was before Christ. The solution for Tea Partiers is to undermine the government while pretending to repair it. To do this, Tea Partiers put forward the vision of Paradise from the white, male, Christian country after the Civil War with plantocracy in the South and plutocracy in the North. States rights put blacks in their place, and robber barons fought off the sinful labor laws, unions, and income tax. The cry of “take back America” means a return to the Gilded Age when immigrants, minorities, and women knew their subservient place to the ruling whites.

Without reading the U.S. Constitution, the Tea Partiers have proclaimed this document as its holy text and themselves as solely responsible for its interpretation. If literal readings serve their purpose, they follow the words exactly, cherry-picking text as they do in the Bible. An example is the omission of “a well regulated Militia” in the NRA’s printing of the Second Amendment at its headquarters and the rulings concerning the militia until the past 30 years.

A return to states’ rights got a big boost from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas when he stated that separation of church and state was never intended in the states. He claims that the only purpose of the Establishment Clause is to protect states from federal interference; it “does not protect any individual right.” His position goes back over 20 years to a SCOTUS case about whether states could have term limits on Congressional representatives. A 5-4 ruling determined that the state could not limit federal terms because the Constitution had no amendment allowing them to do this.

Thomas was on the losing side, and he wasn’t happy. “The ultimate source of the Constitution’s authority is the consent of the people of each individual state, not the consent of the undifferentiated people of the nation as a whole,” he wrote. If there was nothing in the constitution, then states had the power by default. That argument has failed for over 200 years, but Tea Partiers agree with Thomas. They cannot acknowledge that the constitution is an agreement among the citizens of the United States and not among 50 independent republics.

To increase acceptance of the U.S. Constitution among fundamentalist Christians, far-right political figures claim that the document comes from the Christian god. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) explained the process: “Jesus destroyed Satan so that we could be free and that is manifested in what is called the Constitution of the United States. God created this nation and God created the Constitution; it is written on biblical principles.” DeLay gave Texas politics to the GOP by putting Republicans into the Texas House with corporate money so that gerrymandering could keep Democrats out of the legislature.

A big victory for Tea Partiers, at least temporarily, was the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the family that owns Hobby Lobby, and the family is not finished. After starting to push its Christian curriculum into public schools, the Greens plan a Bible museum two blocks south of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the home of history, science, and art museums. Steve Green explained why:

“This nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught. There are lessons from the past that we can learn from, the dangers of ignorance of this book. We need to know it. If we don’t know it, our future is going to be very scary.”

The text of the Tea Partiers’ Bible is actually opposed to all of them who want small government. According to 2 Peter, 2:10-15, false prophets are those who “despise government.” These government-haters are “wells without water” and “clouds that are carried with a tempest”; they are those “to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever.” Verse 17 provides disgusting descriptions that I won’t include. God’s judgment of these government-haters “lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (Verse 3).

To those who condemn LGBT people, the Bible states:

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” – Romans 2:1

About abortion, God commanded women accused of adultery to drink an abortion-producing potion. Under Jewish law, the fetus is the same as “water” during the first 40 days. Abortion is always commanded when the mother’s life is endangered at any time during the pregnancy. The God who handed down Jewish law is the God of Christianity.

The Bible supports charity, loving your enemies, putting down your weapons, not judging others, welcoming the foreigner at the gates, putting others before yourself, not lording yourself over others, and not despising the government.

October 31, 2013

It’s Halloween–Be Afraid

Halloween came early this year with television showing scary movies for at least three weeks, and the Internet showing a fascination for bizarre costumes. The Catholic Church is reminiscing about exorcisms, and evangelicals oppose Halloween because it represents demons.

The basis of Halloween in 21st-century culture is fear, and evangelical Christians don’t need the television movies to be afraid. Leaders use far-fetched stories to foment this fear among the followers as a method of control. In that way, people vote against their own best interests. That’s why we hear about the conspiracy theory of fluoridated drinking water and brainwashing in public schools.

YouTube is a popular place for all sorts of horror tales such as Sharia law taking over the country. That’s why conservative legislators keep trying to pass laws preventing Islamic law in the United States while they pass oppressive Christian laws. Browsing the Internet, however, reveals new—to me—conspiracy theories, for example the “FEMA camps.

Supposedly the Federal Emergency Management Agency is building “concentration camps.” One visual purporting to be a camp in Wyoming is actually a North Korean detention center with changed headers, photo dates, and annotations. Another so-called camp Camp Grayling, a large National Guard training center in Michigan. The Beech Grove Amtrak facility for repairing railcars filmed 15 years ago is another footage that the wingnuts have used to prove these “camps.”

I had also missed the lizard people who are running the world. It appears that 12 million people believe that certain powerful people, such as George W. Bush and the British royals, are actually part of an alien race of shape-shifting lizard-people. That comes straight from onetime BBC reporter David Icke. Princess Diana confirmed this to one of her close friends, but, of course, she is no longer alive to tell us about it.

Most of the extremist conspiracy theories pass through Glenn Beck’s program, who created his version of Agenda 21, the purported plot to collectivize private property through the benign policy of “encouraging sustainability.” Beck expanded articles in his magazine, The Blaze, from early 2012 into a dystopian science fiction novel that exposes “the global scheme that has the potential to wipe out freedoms of all U.S. citizens.” Stanley Kurtz, another extremist, published an article in the National Review claiming that President Obama “intends to abolish” the suburbs and basing his argument on demographic shifts analyzed by Joel Kotkin.

Maybe the most far-fetched story—and that’s hard to do!—is the fear of the Illuminati. The super-secret society surfaced in Bavaria during the 18th century as an off-shoot of the Free Masons. Then, as now, people believe that the Illuminati are working for world domination through its penetration of governments, finance, science, business, and the entertainment industry. John 1 in the Bible discusses the coming of the Antichrist, who many people think is President Obama. Those fearful of the Illuminati have websites with mysterious symbols such as pyramids on paper money, Washington monuments, and other public places with the belief that knowing about these symbols remove their powers.

Far-right extremist objections to organizations such as the United Nations, European Union, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, G-20 Economic Group, the World Court, NATO, Council on Foreign Relations, World Council of Churches and various multinational corporations may have come from fear of the Illuminati. Ironically, there are far-right religious sects that believe in “dominionism” in their attempt to take over the religions of the world.

Illuminati conspiracy theories combine the best and worst of all others as they feature everything from demons to aliens. Clones, lost prophecies, invisible RFID chips, secret societies—all these appear in Illuminati stories. Your best video might be here, but Mak Jagger has put together more for your fearful delight.

Why do people believe in these conspiracies? Psychologists who explored the question defined a conspiracy theory as “a proposed plot by powerful people or organizations working together in secret to accomplish some (usually sinister) goal” that is “notoriously resistant to falsification … with new layers of conspiracy being added to rationalize each new piece of disconfirming evidence.”

Once you believe that “one massive, sinister conspiracy could be successfully executed in near-perfect secrecy, [it] suggests that many such plots are possible.” People who believe in one conspiracy find these to be “the default explanation for any given event—a unitary, closed-off worldview in which beliefs come together in a mutually supportive network known as a monological belief system.” Like potato chips, people can eat just one.

The same people who believe in many conspiracy theories also think authorities are fundamentally deceptive. Their distrust is so strong that they prefer alternative theories. The only requirement for believers is that officials disagree with them. As Alex Jones proclaimed in Conspiracy Rising: “No one is safe, do you understand that? Pure evil is running wild everywhere at the highest levels.”

Polling shows an amazing number of voters believe in these conspiracy theories:

  • 28 percent believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda are conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or a New World Order.
  • 13 percent think that President Obama is the Antichrist.
  • 37 percent think global warming is a hoax.
  • 28 percent of voters think Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11.

And these people pick the lawmakers who run our country! Now I’m afraid.

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