Showing posts with label Wake Up America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wake Up America. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Good News Clubs Are Bad News For America
























Urgent: If you're short on time, skip my essay and go straight to the excellent video at the bottom of this post. I've written about this before, but this video is well worth watching - in a short, fast-paced documentary, Sophia's investigation makes the case far better than my verbosity ever could.

The Child Evangelism Fellowship is a Christian dominionist group which directly proselytizes to young children in public schools, often in defiance of the wishes of parents (see shocking video below as parent group tries, unsuccessfully, to protest). The vehicle through which the CEF gains access to your children, whether you want them to have access or not, is the Good News Club. You may have heard of them. They are not "good news". The Good News Club is an ideological and psychological attack on our children by the Christian right.

The CEF does not even hide the fact, anymore. Since they were handed an unconstitutional invitation to invade the neighborhood public school and tell your children that they are filthy, dirty sinners who deserve to die and burn in hell forever and ever, the CEF has been crowing about its ability to target your child preferably without your approval and especially if you are trying to raise your child with a different religious worldview. Yes, the CEF prefers - and relishes - the fact that they have been given government power to inflict psychological harm on your children without your consent. They delight in the fact that you are powerless to prevent them from spreading their "gospel" of hate, shame and fear:

“How’s it going at that school you were telling me about? The one where the principal was - you know - uncooperative?” a gray-haired gentleman in a plaid button-down shirt asks a younger friend in a white vest. 

“We slaughtered ’em!” the younger man replies. 

They both nod, satisfied. Throughout the convention, a phrase that I keep hearing is “kicking in the doors” — as in 

“We’re going to kick in the doors of every public school in the country!”  (excerpt from The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children).


Some parents may approve of these messages—but many, like Havener, find them antithetical to the values they want to instill in their own children. Because the club doesn’t reveal its hardline approach at the outset, it can end up converting children away from their parents’ beliefs. In fact, this is one of the Club’s explicit goals. At one CEF conference I attended, CEF leaders strategized about how to convert the children of Hispanic families. 

“Don’t discredit the Catholic church,” a head of CEF’s Spanish ministries named Claudia Calderon warned a room full of Good News Club instructors. “At least, not at the beginning.” Do Evengelical Kids Clubs Deserve Freedom of Speech in Public Schools? Katherine Stewart, The Atlantic, March 2012.

One would think that the public discussions of Jesus Camp, and the disturbing videos which came out about it, would have alerted concerned parents to the danger of letting religion have a free pass to indoctrinate their youngsters, but apparently not.  Religion is given a pass once more.  Actually, religion is not just given a pass but is still presumed to be, on the whole, a positive and good thing for children, even by parents who would be horrified if they knew the true intentions of religious proselytizers who have targeted their children for training as warriors for Jesus.

The number of Good News Clubs and their influence in schools and communities has been growing at an alarming rate.  A recent article in the Guardian by Katherine Stewart (author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children) has broken the story that the clubs, emboldened by the protection of a bad 2001 Supreme Court decision, are no longer bothering to even pretend that their real agenda is not proselytizing and grooming Christian warriors:

The CEF has been teaching the story of the Amalekites at least since 1973. In its earlier curriculum materials, CEF was euphemistic about the bloodshed, saying simply that "the Amalekites were completely defeated." In the most recent version of the curriculum, however, the group is quite eager to drive the message home to its elementary school students. The first thing the curriculum makes clear is that if God gives instructions to kill a group of people, you must kill every last one:

"You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left."

"That was pretty clear, wasn't it?" the manual tells the teachers to say to the kids.

The Slaughter of the Amalekites
Asking if Saul would "pass the test" of obedience, the text points to Saul's failure to annihilate every last Amalekite, posing the rhetorical question:

"If you are asked to do something, how much of it do you need to do before you can say, 'I did it!'?"

"If only Saul had been willing to seek God for strength to obey!" the lesson concludes.


Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads: 


"The Amalekites had heard about Israel's true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment." How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren,Katherine Stewart, The Guardian.

These Christian proselytizing vehicles won the right to insert themselves into public schools under the deceptive and insidious ruling (one of the few majority opinions authored by the conservative Clarence Thomas) in 2001. In that decision (Good News Club vs Milford Central School), the Supreme Court Justice disingenuously agreed with the CEF defense that the clubs were not religious in nature at all, but were merely clubs performing the laudable function of “teaching of morals and character development from a particular viewpoint”. Nothing to worry about there, right? But, wait. Here is the CEF viewpoint, straight from their "About Us" webpage:

Jesus Camps and Good News Clubs:
nothing but good, harmless fun!
"Child Evangelism Fellowship® (CEF®) is a Bible-centered, worldwide organization that is dedicated to seeing every child reached with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, discipled and established in a local church."

Many parents uncritically accept these clubs as being what their deliberately kid-friendly name implies: a club for harmless fun and a sense of belonging, in the spirit of the Good News Bears. These parents either do not realise or do not want to realise that the raison d'être of Good News Clubs is to convert children and turn them into Christian evangelicals.  These clubs are designed to pull in children under false pretenses (in many cases offering after-school care which is almost irresistible to parents who are struggling with poorly paid jobs and a lack of affordable child-care which is becoming a national crisis) and then convert them to fundamentalist Christianity. The benign-sounding name, the lure of a fun-sounding "club" and the fact that the children are often strongly encouraged to join by respected authorities (the schools) are all part of an insidious strategy to gain access to children without the truly informed consent of their parents and, obviously, of the children themselves. School acceptance of these clubs, mandated by the Supreme Court, means that both children and their parents are deceived into thinking that the secular, public schools endorse these religious clubs - and that there is no deeper agenda - which is one of the main reasons why the CEF fought so hard and so dishonestly to get them into public schools in the first place.

The Christian church has long used childhood indoctrination to ensure that obedient and thoroughly cowed legions of believers continue to swell their ranks, providing them with the power of numbers, financial wealth and, of course, warriors willing to die for their god/church/divinely appointed rulers. It has always been in the interest of those who hold power to have a large faith following, and religion has provided both the means and the ends.

"Knock down all doors, all the barriers,
to all 65,000 public elementary schools in America
 and take the Gospel to this open mission field now!
Not later, now!"

(CEF  national convention keynote speech, 2010)
There was empirical evidence behind the oft-quoted assertion of St. Francis Xavier (one of the first Jesuits, a Catholic order of priests famed as educators): "Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man (alternatively: "and I care not who has him thereafter"). The well-educated, observant and intelligent Jesuits had noticed that people who are thoroughly indoctrinated in religious dogma in early childhood retain those beliefs throughout life, while people in whom religious belief has not been inculcated early are more difficult to convert - and to control. They realized, though they did not have the language to describe it yet, that the psychological impact of early indoctrination - particularly indoctrination based upon fear and confusion - usually lasts a lifetime.

Young children have no defenses against deliberate indoctrination. When they are taught to fear a god through stories which illustrate the god's relentlessly violent and implacably unforgiving reaction - not to lying, stealing and murdering which the Biblical god often condones and even orders, but to disbelief and disobedience - they learn the lesson through fear and they learn it well.  The Biblical god is a terrifyingly powerful "awesome" god and the one "sin" He will never forgive is lack of belief. The children are primed first with the "fun" and then the stories are told, gradually leading to the point when the children are tearfully, fearfully professing "belief".

Research has shown that one of the most powerful human motivators is fear, and one of the most difficult psychological challenges to overcome is irrational fear, especially fear that has taken root in the mind at an early age. Religious proselytizers know this, and this is why they are so insistent upon childhood indoctrination. Children are vulnerable to lifelong damage from the powerful emotional appeal of fear and guilt-based religious proselytizing.  They cannot "unthink" terrible thoughts which have been planted in their minds early. They cannot "unfeel" the horror and the fear that is elicited in their psyches through early Bible instruction.

Religious eschatology - and the terrifying images it evokes - is nothing less than psychological abuse of children. Yet, not only are parents permitted to subject their own children to these horrors, but religious groups are being permitted to sneak their fundamentalist religious indoctrination into public and private schools where they can prey on other peoples' children as well. In fact, gaining access to the children of parents who would not voluntarily subject their children to this violent, misanthropic and destructive theology is precisely the purpose of the Good News Club.

What we don't want to know
may seriously harm the USA.
The CEF is an explicitly evangelical, explicitly fundamentalist, explicitly and unapologetically dominionist Christian group and by continuing to be willfully blind to their purpose, parents are participating in the indoctrination of their children into extremist religion, whether they want to admit it to themselves or not. It is vital that more people speak out about this strategy of the religious right. They have already insinuated themselves into thousands of public schools in the USA and around the world, and they do not intend to stop until they have converted every child.

Telling ourselves that one powerful religious group really cannot take over like that or kidding ourselves that the first amendment will protect people from religious tyranny is being willfully blind, deaf and dumb. As we have seen with the concurrent (and not merely coincidental) strategy of powerful groups to get issues affecting minorities' Constitutional rights onto ballots so that they can be put to a majority vote, the longterm objectives of the conservative right wing have been carefully and patiently planned. There is a real danger that the majority can use its power and clout to force their view on the minority until the power is so nearly total that complete annihilation of opposing viewpoints is achieved. The 2001 case heard by the SCOTUS is where the freedom from religion part should have been upheld – but the court has also been swayed by the power of the Christian majority.

Why is Katherine Stewart's nearly the only voice which has been raised publicly about this? Last year and again this year P Z Myers and Ophelia Benson blogged about it, as have I and some other bloggers, but why has this not been discussed in the mainstream media? It is a constitutional issue - a civil rights and religious freedom issue. Yet, the silence of the fourth estate is deafening.

This may be  one of those things where people who care about this country and who care about preserving religious freedom may have to make the effort to stand up for it, or risk losing it. The issue is now urgent. Please take half an hour to watch this thoroughly chilling video.

from ScottBurdick again: Sophia Investigates The Good News Club.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Feature - The March of Reason




























TGIF! If you are planning to watch a movie tonight, why not consider putting the film linked below on the schedule. It is entertaining, fast-paced and will definitely give you plenty to think and talk about with your family and friends. I've been actively following the rise of Christian fundamentalism in North America for over a decade, but I was still surprised and shocked by some of the revelations this documentary uncovers. It isn't speculation or fear-mongering. There is minimal editorializing: nearly every word in this film comes straight from the sources' mouths - whether the source is an atheist rally attendee, a Republican legislator, a famous scientist or a Christian fundamentalist. The words of Nate Phelps, estranged son of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church patriarch Fred Phelps, are particularly moving especially considering that as he spoke on the Washington mall that chilly afternoon, he knew he was being watched, judged and hated by the people who should have been closest to him - his own family.

On March 24, 2012, thousands of atheists, humanists, rationalists and social justice activists gathered on the mall in Washington DC for a first of its kind event: a Reason Rally. Estimates of the size of the Reason Rally crowd ranged from 20,000 to 30,000 people. Individuals traveled on their own time and on their own dime from all over the country to attend, to listen to rational speakers and to sound the alarm that the principle of separation of church and state is under attack.

The American Constitution is a precious treasure, the envy of the world. The First Amendment of the Constitution, which enshrines the separation between church and state, is the model for secular constitutions the world over and deserves to be imitated the world over. How sad it would be if in the birthplace of secular constitutions the very principle of secular constitutions were to be betrayed in a theocracy. But it's come close to that. Richard Dawkins, Biologist, Reason Rally speech, March 24, 2012.

Unlike the religiously-fueled, corporate-backed rally organized in the late summer of 2010 - where thousands of the approximately 85,000 attendees arrived by the busload, their travel organized and paid for by their churches - the Reason Rally was barely acknowledged by the mainstream media. Beck's scripted and stage-managed "grass roots" event enjoyed enormous media attention and prime time publicity on every major news outlet, while the Reason Rally - which actually was primarily a grass roots event - was largely ignored. Only after the event was over did a few media outlets belatedly mention that it had occurred at all. A few noted with surprise that as many as 30,000 godless Americans had gathered peacefully in one place (although they avoided actually giving publicity to any of the ideas the rally was trying to promote), while most simply stated that a rally had taken place and left it at that.

Fortunately, Scott Burdick was on hand filming, interviewing and working hard to preserve a record of this remarkable gathering. He then went home and began work on this documentary film project which would do justice not only to the rally itself, but which would help explain why this rally was so important.


American society is facing an urgently serious crisis. Radicalized Christianity is not simply a growing problem; it has been a growing problem for decades. Because of our cultural taboo against criticizing religion, Christianism has been mostly flying under the radar doing its organizing, proselytizing, infiltrating and undermining secular government and education while presenting the bland face of tradition to the world. Meanwhile, the moderate majority of Americans has been aiding and abetting religious extremism by refusing to consider that radicalization can happen at home as well as abroad.

We continued to believe that religion is mainly a beneficial part of society and that religious extremism is a very tiny fringe element of a mostly benign cultural treasure even as extreme conservatives began to trickle into higher and higher public offices. We persisted in lying to ourselves that the conservatives we voted for were fiscal conservatives who would not impose their religious beliefs on the public through the power of their elected posts. Then we stood by as these so-called fiscal conservatives began to pass bills spending wildly on corporate welfare and tax paydays for the wealthiest Americans (whose financial support they seem to universally enjoy) while restricting civil rights, limiting personal liberty (especially for women and minorities), scoffing at social justice and denying equal rights to many groups of citizens - all justified by their Christian faith.


Faith is a vice pretending to be a virtue, its lies and errors and frothy nonsense deluding us and distracting us from action. There's no salvation in wishful thinking, only inertia. Faith is the enemy of reason. It's the barren refuge of the vacuous, the fearful, the frauds, and the obstacles to accomplishment. P Z Myers, Biologist, Reason Rally speech, March 24, 2012.



The persistent belief that Christianity is a benign - even beneficial - force in society, coupled with the undeserved deference we all pay to religion, has been the key to preserving an environment in which insurgent, extremist Christian fundamentalism has flourished. We have allowed Christian conservatism to destabilize our political system, gut our social safety net and tear down the wall of separation between church and state. Acting through its political arm, the Republican party, the unholy alliance of corporatism and religion lobbied and succeeded in forcing measures through state legislatures and Congress which have increased ideological polarization in the country and widened the gap between rich and poor to a yawning chasm, while cementing in the public mind a false relationship between providing a social safety net and losing our personal liberty.

Christian conservatism has demonized anyone who dares to suggest that as a society we may have a duty to fulfill a social contract. By falsely equating the ideal of an American society where every man, woman and child can be guaranteed access to the tools to achieve a decent life with some sort of jack-booted nazi-socialist ideology, conservatives have succeeded in making social justice issues political kryptonite. They have demonized non-Christians (and especially non-theists) as the evil perpetrators of that imaginary ideology, forcing anyone hoping to run for public office to evince public religiosity lest he or she be tarred with the "godless, evil" brush, thus circumventing the 6th article of the Constitution which is supposed to protect candidates for public office from any religious test. They have stoked racial tensions and hammered on false linkages between race and crime, godlessness and evil, humanism and nihilism while denying the true link between gross inequality and all of social problems we face today. We are living through a civil cold war - brought about by the rampant social injustice and gross economic inequality which conservative policies have encouraged.

Atheists aren't angry because we're selfish, or bitter, or joyless. Atheists are angry because we have compassion. Atheists are angry because we have a sense of justice. Atheists are angry because we see millions of people being terribly harmed by religion, and our hearts go out to them, and we feel motivated to do something about it. Greta Christina, Writer, Reason Rally speech, March 24, 2012.



Christian fundamentalists despise America. They hate the ideals upon which the American republic was built. They dishonor the founding principles which protected this country from theocracy by establishing a secular government and barring any religion from wielding power over the civil rights of the people. They deny and try to rewrite the history of the revolution that sought to liberate this fledgling nation from the yoke of authoritarian religion thus enabling the closest thing to a truly free society ever known to humankind to be born. They have plotted and worked unceasingly to dismantle everything about America which made it a beacon of hope in the world - the Constitutional protections against authoritarianism - because everything America stands for conflicts with the authoritarian demands of their theocratic ambitions.

The greatest threat to the United States does not reside overseas. It lies in wait within our own borders, deep inside our most trusted communities.  The most determined and implacable enemy of American liberty, justice and equality is American Christian fundamentalism. We've been sleeping with the enemy for decades.
It is time to wake up, America!

I have concluded through careful, empirical analysis and much thought that somebody is looking out for me, keeping track of what I think about things, forgiving me when I do less than I ought, giving me strength to shoot for more than I think I'm capable of. I believe they know everything that I do and think and they still love me and I've concluded after careful consideration that this person keeping score is me. Mythbuster Adam Savage, Reason Rally speech, March 24, 2012.

Here is part one of The March of Reason.  I will be posting the other four parts as Friday features, but if you cannot wait to see them on this blog, the link to Scott Burdick's youtube site is below the film window. So far, only parts one and two have been uploaded there. I will be following his progress closely as he finishes the rest of the documentary and will post the remaining parts as Friday Features as they become available. Check back here to be sure not to miss them!


 

Documentary produced by Scott Burdick

Thanks to the Friendly Atheist for bringing attention to this excellent work!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

National Day of Reason




Religious people in the USA will be pushing the National Day of Prayer into your face all day today. Yes, there has actually been a day mandated by Congress for the establishment of (Christian) prayer in nearly every government legislature, offices, schools and businesses throughout the land because, you know, the prioritizing of religious privilege had not been quite blatant enough before. There is another designation for today - the Day of Reason - but unlike the National Day of Prayer, it hasn't been widely publicized on national media or trumpeted proudly by our elected representatives.

There have been a few notable exceptions to the general bowing and scraping before the intimidation of religious power and a couple of mayors even proclaimed a Day of Reason to balance the national day of prayer. Most elected officials, however, refused to risk their careers by daring to champion the foundational principle upon which this country was built - the recognition that the establishment of authoritarian religion as a basis for any society leads to discrimination, injustice and eventually violence and brutal oppression. Instead, nearly all tugged their virtual forelocks, bowed their heads and murmured spells and incantations to one of the skygods in a show of obsequious respect for the dominant, hypervigilant, easily-offended, dangerously powerful Christian evangelical movement.

Those politicians - like non-Christians and non-believers everywhere - recognise the terrible truth. Religious privilege is so total, so oppressive and so vicious that to even suggest that forcing it on the population in the form of faith-based laws and "social services" might cause real harm to some citizens while reducing every citizen's liberty results in hysterical blowback. Fox "news" wasted no time this morning drawing an imaginary line spuriously connecting the Day of Reason to the Holocaust.

Oh, those silly, angry atheists!
Even the mildest criticism of religion unleashes the vitriolic pushback from religionists - usually in the form of mockery (he's an "atheist" angry at God he claims doesn't exist! harhar), followed by the inevitable comparisons between non-believers and monsters of history*. Hyperbolic language like that is not harmless. That kind of demonization of people who do not share the dominant faith in any society has paved the way for progroms, Inquisitions, burnings, genocides and brutal persecution for all of human history. Unbelievers know it and believers know it, too. They deploy this type of language as both a threat and a promise: Shut up and submit to our god-given authority or you will be targeted for the punishment that we believe your kind of evil deserves.

The religious right has been working tirelessly for several decades to seize the kind of absolute political, economic and social power which they have been imperfectly prevented from grasping since the United States of America was formed, largely thanks to the wisdom of the founding fathers who inserted the Establishment clause into the Constitution. But, theocrats are patient.  After the social revolutions in the 1960's they experienced a resurgence in energy and an implacable determination to take over the country once and for all, rolling back the clock on civil rights (especially women's rights). The first and most important step in their strategy was to promote the false idea that "secularism" is a religion like Christianity - although naturally secularism is a godless (and therefore evil) religious cult. By drawing a false parallel between "faith" and "godless secularism", they laid the groundwork to polarize society into "good" and "bad" camps, where the price of accepting anything outside of religion as possibly good for society was to be put in the "bad" camp. And those in the "bad" camp, being compared to Hitler and all, might just be righteously punished at some point, amirite?

Just for the record...
Seriously, if you truly believe that a group in your community is really just like the Nazis, then isn't it your duty to neutralize them to prevent them from subjecting innocent people to atrocities? Isn't that the reasoning behind the notion of "just war"? In fact, this is the very rationale behind the murders of health workers who provide abortion services. The far right has moved on to demonizing atheists, humanists and non-Christians of every religious stripe, including people who may think they are Christians but who fail to pass the litmus test of the religious right (many are just not true Christians, don't you know). Religious fundamentalists try to attack all of these people under the umbrella of hated secularism but they fail to realize that secularism is favored by many moderate religionists since secularism is, you know, NOT a religion but a philosophy of how best to ensure a just and free society. Hence, the 'not a true Christian' label is applied followed by increasingly pointed attacks on moderate Christians who are just not Christian enough.

In the past decade, as the destructive power of the Christian theocratic movement finally began to be so obvious that even religious moderates could not fail to notice it, a group of atheists began to push back against religious hegemony. Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have all written famous (and infamous) books on the dangers of handing unfettered power over to religious believers. Their work started a movement which has grown slowly but surely - containing both non-theists and theists who share a grave concern for the future of this country if theocrats continue to ride the wave of unquestioned religious privilege to the highest seats of political power.

Last year, Richard Dawkins teamed up with another outspoken atheist - physicist Lawrence Krauss - to make a movie about this movement and the vitally important work it is trying to do. The movie's premiere this week in Toronto quickly brought out the usual attacks and insinuations that without religion, human beings are reduced to hopeless nihilism:

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss double down on disbelief, the Globe and Mail, April 30, 2013.

New film examines science vs. religion, CNN belief blog, April 29, 2013.

A better and more thoughtful interview came at GlobalNews (Canada): Dawkins, Krauss have faith in 'The Unbelievers',  John R. Kennedy, GlobalNews, April 29, 2013.

Here is the official trailer for The Unbelievers. You need to see this movie!




One final word. It's been true for all of history and is still true today. It doesn't matter what flavor of religion they practice, when they carry their religious beliefs to their logical conclusion, true believers are literally capable of anything:























*I refuse to link to any of the sites which demonize rational, reasonable human beings in this manner, but a simple google search for "evil, atheists" should reveal as much as you need to see to understand that this is a real problem.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Modern David and Goliath Story - Teenager Zack Kopplin Takes On The Christian Right






























When Zack Kopplin was in his sophomore year at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, in 2008, he started his fight against a new law called the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which has earned him fame and notoriety for being a notable advocate for science in defiance of this law's disguised attempt at introducing creationism into the classroom in Louisiana.*


For your Saturday Inspiration, may I present a modern day David vs Goliath story:

When Christian fundamentalists in the Louisiana legislature passed the Louisiana Science Education Act, it was a signal that the religious right had finally declared open war against reality-based public education. This law virtually guarantees that growing numbers of children will be deprived of education as the modern knowledge available through comprehensive educational curricula is replaced by medieval constraints on learning where all access to knowledge must be restricted to whatever can be Biblically referenced.   

Alarmed and angered by these developments, LA teenager Zack Kopplin pushed past his shyness and fear of retaliation to protest the law. Zack began by writing a research paper on the subject while still in high school. Since then, he has sought and gained the support of 78 nobel laureates in his effort to persuade the Louisiana legislature that the LSEA was not just a mistake, but potentially disastrous for Louisiana children and the future economic growth of the state. He was disappointed in that effort: the Louisiana legislature refused to repeal the law. To Zack's (and many others') horror, Tennessee soon followed Louisiana's example and passed a similar creationist bill of their own.

Zack's concerns are founded in chilling reality. Not only has the LSEA opened the door for creationism to be taught to unsuspecting children by dishonestly calling it "science", but the Louisiana legislature - with the blessing of Governor Bobby Jindal - has also passed bills for school voucher programs which funnel public tax dollars into religious schools which teach this overtly religious material. This blatant violation of the Constitutional prohibition against government endorsement of religion was made possible through a cleverly packaged bill purporting to support "academic freedom".

While science has been in the crosshairs of religious fundamentalists for decades, it is not the only school subject in danger. History is being rewritten in Texas (the source of the vast majority of textbooks used by all American schoolchildren), while Bible-based Mathematics (yes, Math!), Economics and  Literature, currently being taught inside the Christian homeschooling movement, are poised to be launched into the public school curricula as soon as Christian fundamentalists succeed in getting their agenda passed in state legislatures around the country. Louisiana is far from the only Republican-controlled state to be pushing through these anti-education measures, either. In addition to Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas (unofficially), four more states are considering legislation which will allow religious fundamentalists to do an end run around both the Constitution and reality-based educational standards.

Fresh legislation has been put forward in Colorado, Missouri and Montana. In Oklahoma, there are two bills before the state legislature that include potentially creationist language.
A watchdog group, the National Center for Science Education, said that the proposed laws were framed around the concept of "academic freedom". It argues that religious motives are disguised by the language of encouraging more open debate in school classrooms. However, the areas of the curriculum highlighted in the bills tend to focus on the teaching of evolution or other areas of science that clash with traditionally religious interpretations of the world.
Four US states considering laws that challenge the teaching of evolution, Paul Harris, The Guardian, January 31, 2013.

Why are religious fundamentalists so determined to inject religion into science curricula (and into public education, generally) anyway? What possible benefit can there be in denying reality and refusing to accept the scientific theories which enabled humankind to develop technologies and medical treatments which these same people presumably do not refuse to use? The answer is sadly banal. Christian fundamentalists are attempting to destroy secular public education for the same reason that religion has always opposed allowing the people access to real education: for the preservation of the religious elite's power and wealth.  

American Christianism - like all religions - is a symbiotic relationship: religious elites derive their power and wealth from legions of followers who look to pastors and preachers for leadership and who believe that the religion they promote is true. Church is big business. From the enormous, multi-million dollar mega-church corporations to the one-man storefront church business, there is a huge incentive for preachers and their organizations to do whatever they need to do to maintain their "moral authority" over their flocks and thus hold on to their power and wealth.

The allure of religion
For their part, Christian believers provide a steady flow of income and huge political power to their church leadership (in the form of the "Christian" vote) in exchange for a sense of order and purpose in life, moral guidance and perhaps most important of all (though seldom acknowledged as a separate reason) the sense that they are valued members of a powerful majority.  For many born-again believers, that sense of belonging to a powerful majority is one of the few comforts they have in an often bewildering, disempowering and depressing life. 

The foundation for this mutually beneficial relationship is the Christian belief system. The moral authority of the religious leadership depends upon general acceptance of - and willingness to profess belief in - the doctrines of the faith. It is this belief system which is the weak link in the power structure of the business of religion. When the supremacy of the belief system is challenged, the power of the leadership is threatened. 

The problem for both the fundamentalist leaders and their willing followers is this: Christian beliefs - like most religious belief systems - are founded in mythology and the supernatural so evidence-based reality is obviously a threat to that foundation. Reality-based education, the goal of good, secular schools, is a direct threat to religion because by teaching children empirically supported facts about the natural world and giving them the critical thinking skills to continue to seek the truth about the world and our place in it, it teaches them the skills they need to understand how religion manipulates and controls the culture and to see how that manipulation is often motivated by very worldly, selfish goals. 
The Christian right has long suspected
that colleges are their enemies.

Well-educated people may not lose their belief in gods, but they often move away from organized religion. As more and more educated people moved away from organized religion during the last century - and gained independence from religiously-mandated tithing, rules for living and political activism - the wealth, power and influence of the church began to decline. The religious elites realized that public education was their mortal enemy. In the 1970's, a group of influential evangelical Christian leaders joined forces and formulated a plan to "take back America" - and a major focus of that plan was to undermine the public education system which they saw as the most dangerously effective dispeller of religious mysticism.

It wasn't only religious leaders who wanted to maintain the illusion of religious Truth™, however. If that were the case, they would have failed miserably since they are a relatively small elite with nowhere near the number of votes they would need to control elections or influence legislatures. They needed an army of loyal followers willing to act against their own material interests to provide the financial backing and votes needed to support the fundamentalist Christian agenda. Incredibly, they were able to marshall just such an army of dedicated, ideologically-driven followers within a couple of decades. Why?

Why would millions of people vote against their own interests and support a leadership which is working to deprive them of rights and their children of education?  On some level they know the Bible-based worldview is flawed and that the anti-science movement is wrong. They know it - even if they refuse to acknowledge it - because they use science-based technology, medicine and reproductive technology every day. Yet they deny the truth and vote to deny the truth to their own children and their neighbors' children, too. 

It is tempting to chalk this up to stupidity or irrationality, but that is a mistake. Christians are no more stupid than any other Americans. They can understand the truth but they choose to ignore it. Religionists see that the power lies in going along with the fiction, and they see what happens to people who refuse to bow to religious power. People gravitate to power and they can see that in a democracy the power is with the majority, so many make a choice to join the majority. That is not stupidity, it is calculation. In a purely objective calculation - looking at the negative social consequences experienced by outspoken non-Christians, for example - it may actually be more stupid not to go along with the Christian majority.  

The charge that Christianists are "irrational" is probably without merit, too. We cannot know what people really believe in the privacy of their own thoughts, only what they profess to believe. We can, however, see that perfectly sensible people say and do objectively irrational things for very rational reasons.  For example, when people endure hazing rituals in order to be accepted into a highly desired group, it is clear that they do not "believe in" the irrational things they must say or do to win a place in the group, but it is equally clear that they are willing to do whatever it takes to be members because they do believe in the value of belonging to the group. Self-professed Bible-believing Christians may or may not believe that the Bible is literally the source of all truth and knowledge, but they definitely believe that belonging to the Christian religion is worth saying that they do. When you consider the harm that they know they would experience in their social, personal and professional lives should they refuse to submit to the pressure to profess the Christian faith, it is undeniable that in a very real sense it is more rational to go along with Christian fundamentalism than it is to fight against it.

So, while it is true that supporting the Christian Right's agenda is harmful to their own material interests, for many Christians the psychological benefits - they might call it their spiritual interests - of belonging to the church are more important. Church followers were, and still are, anxious to preserve the fictional foundation upon which their own position in a powerful majority is built.  They support lies in order to preserve their religious privilege. Feeling safe in a modern world full of cures and conveniences made possible by science, they cannot imagine losing those gains so very few followers of fundamentalist Christianity can see any downside to denying reality in this manner. They don't see that, having grown up with a decent education themselves, their religious "belief" is a choice, but for children who know nothing else but indoctrination (backed up by the fear of hellfire), there may be no psychologically safe "choice" possible. They only see the upside: the consolidation of their group's position of supremacy in American society: the continued normalization and forced public acceptance of false beliefs which supports their own psychological comfort and social position. 

Public apathy about the creep of religious fundamentalism into the public sphere will have a profound impact upon the future of this country. This is not a fringe movement which poses no threat to our reasonable, sensible little corner of the world. This is a powerful, well-organized and - until very recently - stealthy campaign to concentrate power into a few hands, using religion as the weapon to subdue and incapacitate the people. Nearly 50% of the population already professes to believe that the creation myth explains our existence and the Bible is literally the source of all knowledge. That number could jump to an overwhelming majority of future voters if an entire generation of schoolchildren is deprived of the ability to think critically or to understand the basic principles of math and science which underpin nearly all of modern technology and medicine.

A child devastated by the  
"good news" of Christian
indoctrination. (Jesus Camp)
The school voucher concept was the brainchild of religious extremists who were determined to completely dismantle the secular public school system and reduce all education in this country to a training ground of future foot soldiers for the conservative Christian elites. They have been working on this elsewhere in the world (in places where the public education systems are far less robust than in the USA) through their "mission" programs, too.  The United States was a tougher arena for the Christian war for supremacy, but little by little, the religionists have succeeded in chipping away at the Constitutional protections which once guaranteed that American children would have access to an education free of ulterior agendas. Laws like the ones that Zack Kopplin is fighting in Louisiana deprive children of a real education while indoctrinating them mercilessly with the mythology, eschatology and psychological terrorism of fundamentalist Christian theology. The Christian right intends to return Christendom - within a generation or two - to an appalling condition where a majority of the population will not understand the nature of reality and will be too cowed by theological terrorizing to ask any questions about it. 
"Give me a child until he is seven
and I will give you the man."

Coming soon to a school near you: Belief instead of knowledge. Feeling instead of thinking. Obedience instead of understanding. Acceptance instead of justice. Conformity instead of liberty. Fearful self-loathing instead of hopeful confidence. 

Unless America wakes up to put a stop to this madness, the result of these laws will be the perversion of every cherished American ideal. Christian fundamentalists have been working on this particular strategy to control American society for more than 30 years (before that, they tried other strategies which were not as successful). If this sounds alarmist to you, consider that these religious extremists are counting on that. They are counting on the moderate middle of America to dismiss those who are raising the alarm, while they continue their stealth campaign to destroy the foundation of religious liberty and establish a Christian theocracy in the USA. If we continue to ignore this situation and allow religious extremists to write, lobby for and pass laws which enshrine a particular religious ideology as the government-endorsed national ideology, the consequences for religious, political and intellectual freedom - not to mention technological and economic development - in this country will be disastrous.

Please read more on this topic and spread the word.  Below, you'll find some links worth checking out (even if you have no time to read, please take 5 minutes to watch the video linked at the bottom of this post):

*Meet Zack Kopplin: The Millenial Fighting Creationism in Louisiana (Q&A), Dillon Zhou, policymic, January 28, 2013.
How 19-year old activist Zack Kopplin is making life hell for Louisiana creationists, George Dvorsky, i09, January 16, 2013. Loch Ness Monster used to debunk evolution in state-funded school, Claudine Zap, June 25, 2012
Christian Fundamentalists teach US Children Loch Ness Monster is Real to Disprove Evolution, Lucy Sherriff, The Huffington Post UK, June 25, 2012.
New Creationist Bill in Colorado, Ed Brayton, Dispatches from the Culture Wars, January 27, 2013.
She Brainwashed Me With Science, Ed Brayton, FTB, January 24, 2013.
Another Clueless Legislator on Evolution, Brayton, January 26, 2013.
Texas Public Schools: Still Teaching Creationism, Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones, January 28, 2013.
Critics say Montana allows creationism in schools, Associated Press (OregonLive), January 25, 2013.
Loch Ness Monster seen as real dinosaur in biology books taught in Louisiana school, Eric Ortiz, NYDailyNews, June 26, 2012.
14 Wacky "Facts" Kids Will Learn in Louisiana's Voucher Schools, Deanna Pan, Mother Jones, August 7, 2012.




If you doubt that the school voucher idea is for anything other than to undermine secular, public education for American citizens, please take five minutes to view this video excerpt from the documentary, School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry and Bias.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Glimpse Behind The Bland Mask of Mitt Romney


Mitt Romney could not even contain his rage when he needed his best campaign face for the debates. 
What kind of Commander-in-Chief would he be in tense situations behind closed doors?













More interesting - and infinitely more worrying - was Romney's agitation over what he seemed to think was the implication that he was not a faithful, orthodox Mormon.

Voters concerned that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan might not be able to separate their religious beliefs from their duties as public servants will not be reassured by this video. Romney's uncharacteristic loss of self-control and his anger over being asked anything about his notoriously secretive church rightly rings alarm bells in many Americans' minds.

More interesting and infinitely more worrying was his agitation over what he seemed to think was the implication that he might not be a faithful, orthodox Mormon. The interviewer's questions were attempting to pinpoint how Romney arrived at his various (and variable) opinions on some issues, but Romney seemed fixated on interpreting everything as an attack on his own personal commitment to his religious faith.

Is Mitt Romney afraid of the Mormon Church?
“I have not done anything that in any way violates the principles of my church in that regard. I made other mistakes, but in not that regard...I don’t like coming on the air and having you go after my church,” Romney said. He added, “You’re trying to tell me that I’m not a faithful Mormon...I’m not running to talk about Mormonism,” 

His almost obsessive insistence on the sincerity of his Mormon faith - and the almost childish insistence that he had done nothing wrong in the eyes of his church - suggests an unhealthy level of anxiety around his religious identity - and perhaps even a fear of his church's hierarchy. Is it possible that Mitt Romney has a guilty conscience and is afraid not of the American people but of his own religious sect? Could it be that Romney has refused to reveal his tax history not only because he has contempt for the American people's right to know what kind of man he is, but because he fears what it would reveal to the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints? The rigid authoritarianism of the Mormon Church is similar to many other churches, but the secrecy, wealth and political reach of the LDS hierarchy is unprecedented even in the gods-soaked USA.

“In this instance, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity — the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing — to defer taxes for more than 15 years,” Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker explained. “At the same time he is benefitting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires.”
Estates lawyer Jonathan Blattmachr told Bloomberg that Romney’s trust benefits from the Mormon church’s exempt status because charities don’t pay capital gains taxes when they make a profit from the sale of assets.
“The main benefit from a charitable remainder trust is the renting from your favorite charity of its exemption from taxation,” Blattmachr said, adding that the charitable contribution “is just a throwaway” and the church would receive little if any financial benefit from the trust.
“I used to structure them so the value dedicated to charity was as close to zero as possible without being zero,” he pointed out.

Forget the United States of America
or even the Christian United States of America. 
How does the Mormon United States of America sound? 
Salt Lake City thinks that has kind of a nice ring to it! 
The downside of denying that the founders had very good reasons for creating a wall of separation between church and state, is that opportunistic groups will always try to use that denial as an opening through which to insert their own theocratic agendas into American society. Romney is running under the banner of the party which has been screaming that there is not/should not be any separation of church and state - largely to serve the theocratic ambitions of the Evangelical Protestant Christian movement - but if he is elected, things might not go quite as his party "base" may be expecting.

I am glad this video is going viral. I hope Mitt Romney's supporters are paying attention to it.

Mitt Romney Mormon Video Goes Viral, Katie Glueck, Politico, November 5, 2012.

“I became intense in confronting what he had said,” Romney said, according to a transcript from CBS. “And we went back and forth. Unbeknownst to me, he had a hidden camera on the console. So this then popped up on the Internet - as our exchange. And I was intense. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t out of control. But I was intense.”
A producer of the show told POLITICO that Romney made those remarks soon after being interviewed by Mickelson, but that the camera in question was in plain sight.
“The next day when that aired, I think it’s a fair word to say that it stung us,” said Ross Peterson, the producer for Mickelson’s show. “We felt that it was dishonest…the camera was absolutely in plain sight, feet from where he was sitting.”

Video revives debate over Mitt Romney's Mormon faith, Peter Wallsten and Jason Horowitz, The Washington Post, November 4, 2012.

The issue came up in the 2007 interview when Mickelson asked Romney why his past support for abortion rights had not violated Mormonism. The question prompted a visibly angry Romney to argue that the church prohibits abortions but does not bar members from supporting the rights of others to make their own choices.
Romney did not point out that he had contended with the political implications of the church’s abortion views in the past. A former aide to Romney from his time as a leader in the Boston church would later recall that Romney had visited Salt Lake City shortly before his 1994 Senate bid, polling in hand, to show members of the church hierarchy that it was impossible to win in Massachusetts without supporting abortion rights. At the time, Romney told the aide, Ron Scott, that he had “left a few bridges burning, or at least smoldering.”

"I was governor four years. I had a number of pieces of legislation that came to my desk that dealt with abortion, abstinence education, RU486 and so forth. I vetoed any bill if it was in favor of choice. I was entirely consistent in favor of "life". So it's not just my word here. Look at my record." Mitt Romney.






Friday, November 2, 2012

Barmy Bible Study - The Biblical Kind of Rape



























It's Wednesday Thursday Friday night! Time for Barmy Bible Study!

In light of recent public confusion about the rape thing and what the right-thinking Christian view on that whole thing should be, our text for tonight will be a selection of verses pertaining to this issue. Because the Biblical promises and exhortations for righteous rape are so numerous, I will only post a small sampling here. For extra credit, go and read more on the subject yourself. The Good Book™ is stuffed with stories of the Biblical kind of rape so you'll have no trouble finding plenty of references.

TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual assault; violence.

(Atheists and other haters of God's Holy Word skip down past the blue text)

Exodus 21:7-11 (Righteous treatment of female property)
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself,[b] he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

Judges 19: 20-28 (A rape is prevented)
20 Then the old man said, “Welcome! Let me take care of your needs. Just don’t spend the night in the city square.” 21 So he took the Levite to his house and fed the donkeys. After they washed, they ate and drank.22 While they were enjoying themselves, some worthless men from the city surrounded the house and pounded on the door. They told the old man, the owner of the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so that we can have sex with him.”23 The owner went out to them. He told them, “No, my friends! Please don’t do anything so evil! This man is a guest in my home. Don’t do such a godless thing! 24 Here, let me bring out my virgin daughter and this man’s concubine. Rape them, and do with them whatever you want. Just don’t do such a godless thing to this man.
Thank God! A legitimate rape was averted!
25 But the men refused to listen to him. So the Levite grabbed his concubine and forced her outside. They had sex with her and abused her all night until morning. They let her go when the sun was coming up. 26 At daybreak, the woman came to the door of the house where her husband was and collapsed. She was still there when it became light.27 Her husband got up in the morning, opened the doors of the house, and was about to leave. His wife (that is, his concubine) was lying at the door of the house with her hands on the doorstep. 28 The Levite said to her, “Get up! Let’s go!” But she did not answer. So he put her on the donkey and left for home.

2 Samuel 12:11-14 (David's punishment)
 Thus says the Lord: 'I will bring evil upon you out of your own house.  I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor.  He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.  You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'
 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord."  Nathan answered David: "The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die.  But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die."  


It isn't legitimate rape if a man has
paid fifty shekels for that girl!
That's Biblical rape - the godly kind!
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (Justice for stolen property)
“If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.

Judges 21:10-14 (God will provide)
Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives.  But there were not enough women for all of them.  The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel.  So the Israelite leaders asked, "How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead?  There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever.  But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God's curse."
 Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem.  They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, "Go and hide in the vineyards.  When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife!  And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, 'Please be understanding.  Let them have your daughters, for we didn't find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'"  So the men of Benjamin did as they were told.  They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance.  

Deuteronomy 22:23-24 (Justice for woman's sinfulness)
Why didn't she cry out?
Evil temptress! Stone her!
“If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor's wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

Zechariah 14:1-2
Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Deuteronomy 20:10-14 (Enemies who ask for it)
“When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. And if it responds to you peaceably and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you. But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lord your God has given you.

Judges 5:30
‘Have they not found and divided the spoil?— A womb or two for every man; spoil of dyed materials for Sisera, spoil of dyed materials embroidered, two pieces of dyed work embroidered for the neck as spoil?’

Study Questions for The Biblical Kind of Rape

1. Does God intend for rape to happen? If so, what would be Biblical rape?

2. Is there any such thing as "legitimate rape"?

3. What can we learn from God's rules about Biblical rape and how can we apply these lessons to modern Christian life?
Yes, exactly as God intended
What is the matter with
you silly feminists? 

Read your Bible, Ban!

Before these questions can be properly answered, we need a little background. Bible-believers understand that there is a foundational Truth™ upon which all of the Abrahamic religions are based. Everything written in the Bible about rape - and every "extreme" thing that Christian hardliners have been saying - makes perfect sense once this fundamental Biblical Truth is clearly understood. It is about time for every righteous person (and you too, ladies!) in the Christian United States of America to shout it out, loud and proud:

God's ultimate creation is MAN.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2.

The book of Genesis tells us with crystal clarity that God did not create two "equal" sexes at the beginning of time, contrary to the revisionist theology of liberal so-called Christians. God created man, who alone was given dominion over all the other creatures of the earth and over the land and the waters, too. Adam was the prototype for all mankind; the original - the only soul-breathed, fully human creation in our male God's image. All of the politically correct, feminazi-controlled language which insists on twisting God's Holy Word to pretend an unBiblical, inclusive equality obscures the Truth™. Feminist women and men (may God forgive them!) have caused enough confusion and it is time to put a stop to it. It's time to take back the language, too, America! God did not create "humankind"; He created "mankind". Man is God's only fully human creation and it is high time we stopped bowing to godless liberal pressure and pretending otherwise.

Thank you, God,
for not making me a woman!

(Men's daily prayer)
This is the Biblical Truth™ which Christians intend to restore to its proper place as the foundation of human society: Man is the ultimate, soul-breathed  godly creation while wombman woman is an afterthought. She is a flawed thing - not quite human and not quite animal - created to serve man's needs. The men who wrote the book of Genesis were unquivocal: God had no prior plans to create woman in her own right like the beasts of the land, the fishes in the sea and His pièce de résistance - man. She was merely pulled out of man - a fraction of the man, so to speak - a little bit like him but much less than he. Man is primary, the pinnacle of creation, moral and thoughtful, a living soul - the delight of the Almighty. Woman is derivative, an animal made from a spare body part, amoral and thoughtless, devoid of the god-breathed soul which entitles man to his amazingly god-like dominance over all of creation, including her - the afterthought of the God of man.

Before the fall, man was right with God. He ruled over all the creatures of the earth without cruelty or strife. That was before the mistake of woman. Woman - that afterthought probably best left uncreated - brought man down and they were expelled from Eden and condemned to die. No longer guaranteed eternal life, the man had to procreate so that his kind could live on after his death. For this, he was able to use the womb that God had provided, which is why for all of Bible-influenced history women have been ruthlessly limited to their biological reproductive function. Finally, the female helpmeet's role was defined! Sex was employed (reluctantly by man, lasciviously by woman) after the fall as a way for man to reproduce and carry on his line (while he awaits the day when God finally relents and restores him to eternal life). Bible-believers understand that the womb woman's duty is to be the vessel through which man brings his issue into the world. Look, don't blame Christians, this is God's Holy Word.
Tch tch! Is it any wonder people
don't believe he is a Christian?
Thus, a woman's sole purpose in life, according to God's Holy Word, is to conceive and bear children to men - sons to carry on his line and daughters to provide wombs for his sons to continue the line of man. Males are persons while females are empty vessels to be used by men to produce more persons. A woman is meant to suffer in childbearing; it is God's punishment on her for the sins of Eve. She must never have control over any man; she is the tool of man so that he can beget sons. Her daughters will also be the tools of men. She has no right to choose, to consent or to deny. Like a man's livestock and beasts of burden, her purpose is to serve man. Like the livestock, she has no thoughts or feelings that are worthy of notice; she is the property of her father until she becomes the property of her husband. As our own CHIC, Ann Romney, so succinctly put it: It's how it is.  This is simply the inerrant Biblical Truth. 

It isn't that Christians want it to be this way - indeed, in their human frailty, most men mistakenly believe in the humanity of women and many are deeply troubled by the Biblical god's insistence that females have no intrinsic worth. But we are a Christian nation! The Bible has tough parts that liberal men may not want to hear, but righteous Christians must insist that they listen. It is imperative that this humanist morality be rooted out and replaced with stronger, righteous Biblical morality, which is why getting Bible-based teaching into our schools and into our laws is the top priority of Christian fundamentalists.

When the Truth™ (according to the author of Genesis) is understood, the lessons about sex, rape and procreation in the Bible - and indeed, the teachings of all of the Abrahamic religions regarding relations between men and lower creation - make perfect sense. Armed with this knowledge, the sincere Bible believer can easily answer the study questions in tonight's Bible Study.

1. Does God intend rape to happen?

Listen up, Liberals: there was no mistake.
These godly men speak nothing but
the Truth™ of God's Holy Word
The short answer is yes. God allows - and sometimes even commands (2 Samuel) - men to force sexual intercourse onto unwilling women and to force pregnancy upon women without their consent. Because He loves man and recognizes the weak human morality which tends toward empathy for others, God would prefer to see mankind enjoy the dignity of loving, consensual unions with willing women. Indeed, that is the Christian ideal, but the provocative nature of fickle, flirtatious females sometimes gives some Christian men no choice but to force the issue.

But, that is not legitimate rape. It is Biblical rape. As explained above, women were created for the use of men - in particular, to be used by men so that men can have children. As human breeding livestock, women have no more right to consent to sexual relations or to pregnancy than a dog can consent to fetch or a hen can consent to lay eggs. Because they have wombs, women must be forced to exist in a perpetual state of readiness to accept precious gifts from God, even if those gifts come through the actions of men whom they may not know, nor love nor want to have children with. As noted above: what women want or feel or experience is of no consequence. This is about every man's right to reproduce. This is about human life!

Recently, the news has been full of reports about good Christian men in government under attack because they have dared to speak the Biblical Truth™. The Bible makes it clear that God does intend rapes - and pregnancies caused by rapes - to happen. It is all part of His Plan. This is uncontroversial among Bible-believers and indeed, it is plainly written in dozens of places throughout scripture. Willful denial of these facts does not erase the truth, it only confuses the masses. If people would only pay attention to what the Bible actually says and stop trying to make it all so politically correct, there would be far less confusion in this country. Hopefully, this Bible Study will help to dispel the confusion.
Yes, it is what God intended.
 Read your Bibles, heretics!
Think of Biblical rape as an umbrella term for all of the resourceful ways that God provides wombs wives and children for the less fortunate of mankind: the men who cannot find willing wombmates. A multitude of passages in the Bible clearly show that it does not matter how a man manages to take a wife - trickery, rape, abduction, slavery; everything is allowed (sometimes even ordered) by God - nor what methods of conception he uses to get his issue into the world. It doesn't matter whether he impregnates a woman through stranger rape, wartime rape, slave rape, incestuous rape or legally-purchased spousal rape or through trickery, sabotage, intimidation, or coercion - just so long as his right to reproduce using whatever womb woman he can thrust his penis into is protected by Biblical mandate.

Godly men can opt for the straightforward sale (eg. Exodus 21: 7-11) by the father of a breeder daughter to an eligible man (thirty shekels of silver was the going price in Moses' day). This usually requires that the man pass muster with the woman's owner father, since the mating will also impact the father's genetic line. A suitor found wanting by the prospective grandfather may be turned away. This situation might quite rightly enrage a rejected man, but luckily, the Bible has a solution...

To wit: the forced sale (Deuteronomy 22: 28-29) If a rejected suitor can manage to rape a female breeder, her father will then be forced to hand over his property to the rapist. The rapist must then, in addition to the usual price paid for a woman, pay a premium (fifty shekels of silver) to the father for the insult of having robbed him of the ability to choose a son-in-law. This form of Biblical rape is meant for the disadvantaged yet daring man. He may not have much luck securing a wife unless he steals one, so this form of Biblical rape provides the perfect solution to the less genetically-favored men in Bible-based societies. Praise God! He will always provide!

'A womb or two' - or more! - 
'for every man'.
That's the Biblical way!
When large numbers of "wives" are needed for restless armies of (ahem) vigorous young men, God has the solution: Biblical wartime rape (Deuteronomy 20: 10-14, Judges 21: 10-14). God orders His armies to murder all the people (in other words, all of the men) in some ill-favored place and carry off their livestock (including all the virgins) and chattels. Divvy up the spoils evenly among the godly young men, including the virgins, and voilà! Womb-shortage averted!

Yes, the women may be taken against their will and impregnated against their will, but that is not legitimate rape because God wills it. The Biblical God clearly sanctions rape as a method of conception for men who might otherwise be at risk of not having any offspring. Think about it: if given a choice, some women might refuse to have children. Some women might reject the sexual advances of perfectly nice guys. Already, some women actually demand that all women be given the power to control when and if they will become pregnant - literally threatening all men's right to reproduce! - and in some places, there are simply too few women to go around. Women must be prevented from holding reproductive power over men. We are talking about life here - the sanctity of a man's right to continue his genetic line. It is what women were created for and what a Bible-based America will insist upon. Read your Bible.

2. Is there any such thing as "legitimate rape"?

Yes, there is such a thing as legitimate rape.  When a male says he has been raped, that is legitimate rape. The seriousness of this heinous crime should be obvious to all and it is clearly forbidden by the Bible (Judges 19: 20-28). Terrible stories of the abuse of boys and young men by trusted religious and community figures are met with universal outrage and public demands for the arrest and severe punishment of the perpetrators are entirely appropriate. While centuries of Biblical rapes of millions of women and girls were of course unremarkable, the relatively rare instances of legitimate rape against (non-slave) males are quite rightly front page news. This is because it is virtually impossible to legitimately rape a woman, and of course Biblical rape is A-OK according to our Moral Guidebook, but the sexual assault of men and boys is a defilement, an abomination, an outrage against mankind.
Got that, Girl? 
Come on, you know you think I'm hot.
Now use that little ladybrain
and vote for me.
My sex appeal will shut that whole
thinking thing down.
3. What can we learn from God's rules about Biblical rape and how can we apply these lessons to modern Christian life?

The Bible makes it clear that women are entitled to absolutely no rights over their own bodies, over their lives or over their fertility. A woman's destiny is to be a mother, under the control of the father of her children. Every pregnancy is a gift from God, no matter how it occurred. A man is a person and the fruit of his seed is also a person. The vessel into which the man deposits the seed is not a person: it is a mere woman, sinful and fallen. These are the Biblical principles upon which godly men rely when they declare that abortion is murder, but denying an abortion to a woman who will die without one is not. Under no circumstances - not for rape (which never legitimately happens to females), nor incest (Genesis 19), nor to save a woman's life - should abortion ever be permitted. It is a crime against mankind. As soon as we restore its Biblical foundation, the Christian United States of America will re-criminalize all abortion without exceptions.

Likewise, female-controlled contraception is unBiblical and immoral. It is woman's role to conceive and bear children. She is a vessel, a breeder of men - but she is also untrustworthy, immoral, licentious and a liar. No woman should ever be permitted to indulge in lustful degeneracy and escape the consequences. She is incapable of moral behavior; she lacks normal human feelings toward life and will murder for convenience; she is a captive to her sexual urges and will sink into promiscuous dissipation which will destroy the American dream unless men regain control and restore order in society. In a Christian United States of America, female-controlled contraception will be banned and women returned to their rightful position of fearful submission to the will of man God (and man).

Our Christian nation must elect godly men who will enforce these Biblical precepts and restore this country to Bible-based righteousness. Finally, we have such men in the Republican party.Gov Mitt Romney (MA), Rep Paul Ryan (WI), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA), Sen Todd Akin (MO), Richard Mourdock (IN), Rep Steve King (IA), Rep.Joe Walsh (IL), Gov.Bob McDonnell (VA), Gov Mike Huckabee (NM), Gov Rick Perry (TX), Rep Frank Guinta (NH), Reince Preibus, Gov Jan Brewer (AZ), Gov Dennis Daugaard (SD), House Speaker John Boehner (OH), Sen Marco Rubio (FL), Gov Rick Scott (FL), Sen Rob Portman (OH), Gov Tim Pawlenty (MN), Sen John Thune (SD),  Rep Jim Buchy (OH) and literally hundreds of other state and federal respresentatives are leading the final charge in a war on women that has been brewing for more than thirty years.

These brave crusaders for a Bible-based Christian United States of America are not outliers: this is the Republican party today, on both the federal and state levels.  God's Own Party is strong, revitalized and - after the election - you betcha, they're ready to push women back where they belong - out of the workplace where they currently are stealing men's jobs (for less pay), out of the military and out of college - virtuously married (to a man only) unemployed and forced to bear as many children as possible. That's the Biblical way!

Praise God!

Class dismissed.