Friday, August 31, 2012

Shrug's Guide to the Presidential Election - The Evangelical Vote

If you're a Christian and you vote (I'm not, but I do), the upcoming general election is an opportunity for you to cast your vote where you claim your heart is.  The bullet points below are but a short list of substantiated actions against Christian faith taken by the Obama administration.

In a way, President Obama deserves credit for being open, dedicated, and consistent in the use of tactics to carry out his promise to "fundamentally change America".  Few Christians can claim being as dedicated by their deeds to the sustenance of their faith as President Obama is to marginalizing it.  Nor can they claim to be consistent in their approach to taking action to sustain the principals on which their faith is based.  That said, if you're a Christian and you vote, reading the first sentence of this article bears repeating.

I admit that an argument could be made that the rationality of Mitt Romney's Latter Day Saints faith is at least as questionable as President Obama's demonstrated lack of Christian faith.  The only fault I have against Romney in that regard is that he seems way too bright to have fallen for a story as ridiculous as The Book of Mormon.  That said, I couldn't care less about either of the candidates' imaginary friends.  What I do care about is each mans' demonstrated sense of charity, compassion, loyalty, and business acumen.  By that criteria, one candidate stands well above the other whether you pray to the God of Abraham, worship Ä’ostre, or sing to a rock on the third Wednesday of odd numbered months that don't end in Y.

Let the hate mail begin!  All of these can be proven.  I'm just too lazy to annotate the all references here.  If you doubt one, some, or all, reach out to me with the one(s) you don't believe and I'll reply with the details.
  • April 2008 - Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they cling to guns or religion and have an antipathy to people who aren't like them.
  • February 2009 - Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs, and fully implements the plan in February 2011.
  • April 2009 - When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus' name be covered when he is making his speech.
  • May 2009 - Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House.
  • April 2009 - Obama nominated three pro-abortion ambassadors to the Vatican; of course, the pro-life Vatican rejected all three.
  • October 19, 2010 - Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about the Creator when quoting the Declaration of Independence an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions.
  • November 2010 - Obama misquotes the National Motto, saying it is E pluribus unum rather than In God We Trust as established by federal law.
  • January 2011 - After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court.
  • February 2011 - Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress.
  • April 2011 - For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring.
  • August 2011 - The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception.
  • November 2011 - Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt's famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial.
  • November 2011 - Unlike previous presidents, Obama avoids any religious references in his Thanksgiving speech.
  • December 2011 - The Obama administration denigrates other countries' religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights.
  • January 2012 - The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis.
  • February 2012 - The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion.
  • June 2011 - The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery.
  • August 2011 - The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD; a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world (except America, now).
  • September 2011 - Air Force Chief of Staff prohibits commanders from notifying airmen of programs and services available to them from chaplains.
  • September 2011 - The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that "No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit."
  • November 2011 - The Air Force Academy rescinds support for Operation Christmas Child, a program to send holiday gifts to impoverished children across the world, because the program is run by a Christian charity.
  • November 2011 - The Air Force Academy pays $80,000 to add a Stonehenge-like worship center for pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans.
  • February 2012 - The U. S. Military Academy at West Point dis-invites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian.
  • February 2012 - The Air Force removes "God" from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei).
  • February 2012 - The Army orders Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read.
  • May 2009 - While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan.
  • April 2010 - Christian leader Franklin Graham is dis-invited from the Pentagon's National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community.
  • April 2010 - The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc.
  • August 2010 - Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location.
  • October 2011 - Obama's Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians' access to the White House.
  • February 2012  The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military,  but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shrug's Guide to the 2012 Presidential Election

You asked for it!  OK, maybe you didn't.  It might have just been the voices in my head.  But I share many an opinion with these particular voices, so I'm taking their advice and holding true to the sentiment atop this blog that reads "Everyone's Entitled to MY Opinion".

If you're reading this, you're a glutton for punishment and/or disappointment.  But more importantly, you're wise beyond even your own recollection. (those voices again)

Seriously, this election is probably the most important of my lifetime.  It sucks that in such an important election, I'm relegated to voting against a candidate rather than for one.  But to quote Ayn Rand via John Galt "A is A".  The Law of Identity notwithstanding, I have a few specific categories (or qualifications, if you wish) by which I have formed my decision.  At the risk of appearing magniloquent or even pedantic (couldn't resist), I plan to state some of these criteria in a few upcoming articles here, starting tomorrow.

Take me seriously, take me for a sarcastic clown, take me off your bookmarks list; whatever.  Just take your ass to a polling place in November and exercise your constitutional duty to vote - regardless of who you vote for (or against).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Legitimate Rape?

“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”  - Todd Akin

Missouri Representative Todd Akin made this statement when he was asked whether he believes abortion is justified in cases of rape.  He essentially replied that [legitimate] rape does not result in pregnancy.  We all know the outcome of that statement.  If you don't, crawl out from under the rock you're living under and find another blog to read. 

I can already hear the questions... "Who are you to question someone's freedom of speech after your defense of Dan Cathy's remarks?"   I see a difference between an owner of a corporation and an elected Representative.  I have a choice whether or not to patronize Chic Fil-a.  An elected Representative has a role in creating laws to which I am subject, whether I agree with them or not.

When you think about it, Akin's recent gaff makes Joe Biden look like Niles Bohr.  That comparison, witty as it might be, might even be true if Akin's comment was actually a gaff.  The sad reality is that's what he really thinks.  Akin is one of those ultra hardcore anti-abortion zealots who believes pregnancy termination should be prohibited under any circumstance - including rape and incest.  I wonder if he would be so steadfast in these beliefs if one of his daughters were brutally raped and impregnated by a disease-ridden assailant with a genetic family history birth deformities.  I wonder if he would embrace this blessed event and the lifelong reminder of the brutal action against his daughter as the gift from God he seems to think it is when it happens to other people.

I suppose points could be awarded to Akin for speaking his mind, even if what's on his mind is despicable.  President Obama often tells us what he really thinks too - when he goes off the teleprompter: "spread the wealth around", "you didn't build that", "Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."  When these bursts of honesty take place, America is further reminded of the Marxist we elected President.  But I digress.

A small part of me would like to hear Akin's definition of illegitimate rape.  The rest of me just wants to hear that he disappeared, which it appears he will soon be doing.  Essentially, the entire Republican party has politely suggested Akin end his bid for the Missouri Senate seat and they've cut off his campaign funding.  If I were a Republican, I might say "Yay us!"  As an independent, I just shake my head.  Nevertheless, you sure don't see that sort of action from the Democrat party in response to the indiscretions of people like Sen. Roland Burris, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., Rep. Alan B. Mollohan, Rep. John Murtha, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Laura Richardson, Rep. Pete Visclosky, and Rep. Maxine Waters.  Again I digress.

Akin has vowed to continue his campaign and is soliciting funds privately.  If he is successful and wins election to the Senate, then I suppose Missourians will know firsthand the meaning of "legitimate rape".

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Figuratively Speaking...

This is Congressman Paul Ryan.

This is Vice President Joe Biden.

Figuratively speaking, this is
Thursday, October 11, 2012, 8:00pm–9:30pm CT.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Interesting Responses

Who knew anyone really read this thing?  My Agnostic Front entry generated quite a bit of email commentary from Christians, many of whom simply stated that they would pray for me.  I found that heartwarming and I replied so with thanks to each respondent who included an email address.  I also received quite a few admonishments with guarantees that I will indeed burn in hell.  Some stated how happy they were just to know it.  Compassionate, non-judgmental Christianity at its best.

Last night, I received a similar admonishment from a devout Christian expressing gall over not just my willingness to patronize Chic Fil-A, but for expressing it on this blog.  This person's comments exemplified the epitome of intolerant, self-indulgent hypocrisy that permeates society today.  This person actually thinks my actions were insulting to gay people.  This person doesn't really know me at all.  My actions were not intended to insult anyone except those who stand in the way of freedom of speech.  Anyone who has taken the time to OBJECTIVELY read the things I've written over the years knows this.

I won't bore you with the details of what was said to me because frankly, it was poorly worded and conceived out of emotion rather than rationale; totally unbecoming of an educated Christian.  When I awoke this morning and checked email, I found the message below in my inbox.  I find it ironic how those most who are most often the victim of oppression can be the most objective and cool-headed on topics near and dear to their heart.

Hey Shrug,
You met my partner and I in Key West back in March when he figured out the meaning of "Hester" on your Harley and commented on it to you.  I started reading your blog back then and while I don't agree with everything you write, I do agree with your right to express it, which brings me to the Chic Fil-A piece.  Most people would be surprised to learn that the gay community (or at least those of us in mine) care very little about the views of narrow minded people like Dan Cathy.  Most people aren't aware that the gay community isn't concerned about the non-gay community's opinion of us.  We seek equal opportunity and freedom from bias against what outsiders refer to as our "preference".  My homosexual orientation is no more a preference to me than your heterosexuality is to you.  With that said, I wanted you to know that were there a Chic Fil-A in Key West, I would have been there myself.  I see you spent 30 minutes in line.  127 miles is a bit long to prove a point most will never realize.  I wouldn't go there in support of Cathy or his point of view.  I believe some of the actions of people like him do far more harm than good.  But as you say, "I digress..."  I would have gone there because while I disagree with what Cathy said, I agree with his right to say it.  In come countries, Dan Cathy would be killed because of his statement.  In some countries I would be killed because of who I love.  I am proud to live in a country where I can openly express my opinion and openly live my sexual orientation and I look forward to the day when I am no longer the recipient of vitriol for doing so.

Ride safe, Shrug; and keep writing,


For those keeping score:

         Rational objectivity - 1
Oppressive Reactionism - 0

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eat More Chicken

Who cares who marries who?  Who cares about who cares who marries who?  Don't like gay marriage, don't marry a gay person.  Don't like someone's opinion, ignore them.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Immanuel feels Chic Fil-A does not represent Chicago values.  As of July 25th, Chicago has had 37 homicides.  37 murders and Chic Fil-A is Rahm's target?  Mexico City has a better violent crime record than Chicago does.

Personally, I don't eat Chic Fil-A because the food is crap and it's horrible for me.  Still, I sat in the drive through line for twenty minutes for a glass of tea when the line at McDonald's next door was empty.  I wasn't there in support of the message Dan Cathy made that started all this.  I was there in support of his right to say it.  I disagree with the Westboro Baptist Church's protest statements at Soldier funerals, but I respect thei freedom of speech that gives them the right to make them.  Speaking of protests, there were a few protesters at Chic Fil-A, but mostly people were there to show support.  I wonder why these protesters don't protest at churches.  They frequently espouse the same opinions about same sex marriage.  At least Chic Fil-A pays taxes.