If you were paying attention, you may have noticed a shift in the orientation of the bills coming out of the Republican-controlled state legislatures in the past few months. As with the recently vetoed bill in Arizona, they increasingly use the term “religious freedom” to justify intolerance and bigotry. Much of this pandering on social issues is to give their voters a reason to support them at the polls, and continue to vote against their own interests. They were doing very well using the old “family values” ploy to do this for so many years, so one might wonder what’s behind this new framing.
The right has long used religious freedom to fight various aspects of Obama’s healthcare plan, make changes to the educational system, and justify the oppression of women. Now it is the go-to excuse for most issues. All of these measures are unconstitutional, regardless of the justification for them—every single one. Even the present Supreme Court has refused to allow any of these measures to remain law. In light of that, why do they keep bringing them up and passing them, and why do the voters keep supporting them? What do they have to gain? Continue reading
Atheism, New Atheism, and accommodationism
In the last post, I discussed my impressions of the current political situation in the United States. In this post, I will cover a bit of my own history, and how I, along with the entire atheist movement was influenced by the writings of Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, and Stenger, who became the vanguard of the “New Atheists.” I’ll talk a bit about the schism that has developed within the atheist movement that threatens what could be the only way out of the situation I discussed in the last post.
To begin with, before atheists and Humanists can do anything about anything, we first have to stop squabbling among ourselves, decide who we really are, what we really want, and how, exactly to go about it. The currently overwhelming opposition we’re facing, both from the religionists and the corporatists is directed, coherent, purposed, and focused. We must be the same, and we are nowhere near being there.
Indeed, we are far better off than we would have been prior to 2004 (the publication of “End of Faith,”) in that we are much better aware of our numbers, and are far more organized, but we are also deeply divided as to how we should deal with the religious, and like the Tea Party, we are squabbling over the wrong enemy. The various Tea Party groups disagree over how to attack the government, when the government isn’t the problem, just as we are squabbling over how to deal with the religious when the religious aren’t the problem! The real problem is the Corporatocracy that’s responsible for creating the divisions between most Americans in the first place. Continue reading
Towards a Theocratic Idiocracy
As most of you know, we left this area a year ago, and moved to a quiet little village in Mexico, on the North shore of Mexico’s largest lake, just 40 minutes south of Guadalajara. We live very simply, even in comparison with our fellow expats, as, unlike most of them, we have no vehicle and no TV. We walk everywhere we go, and our entertainment consists mostly of movies, and, during the season, live baseball streamed on the internet. We occasionally watch streamed news broadcasts from the states, and I keep-up with events by monitoring a steadily decreasing number of web sites.
The number of sites I monitor is decreasing for a couple of reasons: One, I am becoming less and less interested in what’s going on up there, and two, as more and more sites are acquired by larger and larger organizations, the truth of what’s happening in the country is becoming increasingly more obscured, and it was pretty damn obscure to begin with. Remove yourself from day-to-day immersion in the culture of the United States for a year, and the big picture becomes much clearer, even to the casual observer. Continue reading