Zealotry Aborted — Kansas shows America not ready for religious fascism

Zealotry Aborted

Kansas shows America not ready for religious fascism

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

August 5th 2022

The only thing about the Kansas vote to reaffirm the state Supreme Court upholding the right to abortion that surprised me was the amount it won by: 59-41. I figured it would pass, but I wasn’t expecting the blowout margin.

Poll after poll has shown that the usurpation of the Constitution by the zealots on the federal Supreme Court is wildly unpopular, and free states are hustling to encode abortion rights if needed, and vowing to provide such rights to enslaved women in the zealot states. That’s why Kansas wasn’t a surprise so far as the result went. Abortion, and separation of church and state, cross partisan lines. It’s one thing to say that Kansas is one of the reddest states in the union; but not all Republicans march in lockstep with the preachers and demagogues that dominate that beleaguered party. And independents in particular will break ranks when it comes to maintaining rights and freedoms.

Kansas all but invented the term “prairie populism.” Often deeply religious, and conservative, but also strong-willed and independent. They may like and respect their Sunday preacher just fine, but they aren’t about to let him dictate how they should vote, or what rights the church can take away that the Constitution promises.

Kansas is one of the most heavily propagandized states in America, with all radio and much television devoted to reactionary Protestant broadcasting, or the endless lies and undermining of freedom that stems from hate radio. I figured that there were maybe 5% of the voters there brainwashed enough to cut off their own noses to “own the libs.” Well, it’s happened before. Look at the obviously incompetent, unfit, and inept trolls in Congress who got there despite having nothing—nothing at all—to offer other than snark and clownish defiance.

I’m happy to see that I was wrong, by about 7% of Kansas’ population. I figured abortion rights would win, but I was expecting a 52-48 margin. That it went the way it did is cause for considerable optimism.

One phenomenon that may have underlay the result was the open, gleeful, and acquisitive viciousness and cruelty that the zealots and the fascists of the GOP displayed. A few days after the Supreme Court (Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Comey Barrett) decided to kick the rights of hundreds of millions of people under the nearest Bible, a nightmare scenario emerged, of a ten year old rape victim who had to travel to a neighboring state for an abortion. Any reasonable or rational people would look at that situation and consider making the new law less strident, more humane. There is no situation in which any government, no matter how god-burdened, should force a ten-year-old to give birth to her rapist’s baby.

The Washington Times is one of the shabbier exercises in propaganda journalism given birth by a different set of Zealots, the Moonies, although they dumped the rag a few years back, but it’s still a rag. That exercise in dysfunctional journalism cast doubt on the story, writing, “If there was a 10-year-old girl out there who had been impregnated, certainly there’d be a criminal investigation into her rape.

“But Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said this week that there was “not a whisper” of evidence to back up the story. ‘The bottom line is it is a crime if you’re a mandated reporter to fail to report. It’s also the fact that in Ohio the rape of a 10-year-old means life in prison,’Mr. Yost said on Fox News.” Yost either had no idea what he was talking about and didn’t bother to fact check first, or he was flat-out lying. The rape and rapist had been reported, and he is awaiting trial. But that didn’t stop zealots from sending death threats meant for the girl for the crime of getting raped and being a political embarrassment to them.

And then there’s the lies. Several “justices” on the Supreme Court lied, blatantly and with malice, declaring before the Senate and while under oath that Roe Vs. Wade was “established law” and they would respect stare decisis, which is the legal notion that precedent should determine legal decision making in a case involving similar facts. They lied, and got appointed under fraudulent circumstances.

All the anti-abortion crowd who said they just wanted to limit abortion, and didn’t want to interfere with contraception or a woman’s right to private medical counsel immediately started passing pre-written laws contradicting those stances. Some states are even trying to make it illegal to go to another state for an abortion, or even protest against the law.

Religious zealots believe that they have to be cruel in god’s name either because a) god is cruel, or b) god is kind, but wants to test his followers by making them be cruel. Zealots also believe that it’s ok to lie to “unbelievers” (everyone else) in the name of god. The zealots and corrupt toadies on the Supreme Court have unleashed this miasma of humanity loose on the land, and hideous stories of repression, cruelty, and oppression are emerging every where.

It’s how theocracies—all theocracies—work. The starry-eyed idiots who declare that life would be perfect if we put [god, allah, jesus] in charge miss an important fact: god isn’t running the show. It never has. It doesn’t exist. What a theocracy is is a group of politicians who find god to be the perfect figleaf for their own corruption and viciousness. God is the trump card that ends debate. You end up with The Church running the country, and it’s accountable only to an imaginary doormat that says whatever it is The Church wants it to say and says so on its behalf. It’s the ultimate scam, the Saudi Arabia, the 14th century Europe, and Cromwell’s England. The lowest misery of history, repeated over and over.

Kansas voters may or may not have figured that out. But a significant number of them realize that these people, these zealots, are not to be trusted, and allowed to run loose, will destroy America and everyone in her.

The naked face of religious and fascist zealotry has been exposed. People who wanted to believe are turning away.

Zealots — The battle is joined

Zealots

The battle is joined

June 25th, 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

Nothing exposes the utter ethical and logical bankruptcy of zealotry than the two decisions the once-and-not-bright-future Supreme Court handed down this week.

First, they celebrated the ever-growing piles of dead children by ruling that states could not put any limitations on concealed-carry except, of course, for “sensitive areas” such as…the Supreme Court. They don’t want to have to take the same risks they want to impose on the rest of us.

Then two days later the Court struck down Roe vs. Wade, ruling that states had the right to put limitations on abortion, including making it illegal under any and all circumstances.

So in the space of just 48 hours, the Court ruled that the Court could not impose limitations on the second amendment, and then ruled that states could impose limitations on the ninth and fourteenth amendments.

The first ruling ensures greater numbers of dead people, including children. The second was done in the nebulous name of “saving children.” It’s the kind of inconsistency that lies at the heart of the zealot’s mindset.

Zealotry is hard to tell apart from insanity. Zealotry is an externalized morality and intellect, one aptly described by Voltaire who said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Most (but far from all) zealots aren’t lacking sanity—they merely reject it.

Donald Trump isn’t a zealot. It’s perhaps an interesting paradox that nihilism is a good emotional defense against zealotry. If you believe in nothing, you are much less likely to believe absurdities, right? Of course, the drawback is that nihilists also commit atrocities, and unlike many zealots, do so with the full recognition of what their actions entail—they just don’t care. In fact they may even enjoy the suffering they cause.

Trump is a nihilist posing as a zealot. So today, he praised the court ruling on abortion as “God made the decision.” Of course, he then went on to take the credit from God, saying that the decision wouldn’t have been possible without his three disgraceful Supreme Court picks. Anyone who thinks God and Trump are interchangeable on any level has one shit God. They already had a shit President.

The zealots control the Court. They have a stranglehold on Congress. They threaten to take over the entire country in the next six months. It’s not something new in history: Zealots have taken over many countries in history, and the result, without exception, is misery, deprivation, and slaughter. All the worst “revolutionary governments” in history were controlled and largely were composed of zealots; revolutionary France, Nazi Germany, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Kampuchea, Lenin’s Russia, Pinochet’s Chile, Iran’s Islamic Republic, Cromwell’s England…the list is endless.

Usually countries so afflicted need decades to recover. Some, such as the Congo or Cambodia, never do fully recover.

When zealots take over, personal and legal freedoms cease to exist. The same people who like to claim rights are God-given don’t hesitate to ensure they are God-taken, and as always, God is an obliging doormat who shares all of a zealot’s most cherished beliefs.

The Court decisions this week show how close to the maw of authoritarian zealotry America has already come. Clarence Thomas, disgraced justice on that same court, publicly stated in his decision that the court now needs to “revisit” rulings upholding the right to contraception and same-sex marriages. No word on how the esteemed judge feels about mixed-race marriages or laws against slavery.

States run by zealots are rushing to put laws into effect that make it criminal to give or receive abortions, to travel to other states for abortions, or to even advocate for the right to an abortion. Some are trying to outlaw “morning after” pills, along with contraception. A couple of states are trying to fig leaf their assault on the rights and freedoms of women by promising to expand state assistance to mothers and their young children, but in the few cases where any details are available, the measures are ridiculously inadequate, showing their mitigation measures to be nothing more than a half-hearted swipe at the pretense that they are “caring about the children.”

The hearings by the January 6th Select Committee, and the reception they are getting, show that there are still many people in America who value justice and freedom and rationality.

I think we’re going to need every single one of those types of people. This isn’t just an assault on rights and freedoms; it’s the opening shot in a war that can only be prevented by enough people facing the zealots down and saying, “Enough.”

Zealots won’t back off. They won’t settle for a half loaf. They’ll take it all, and laugh at your suffering.

Resist as hard as you can now, or you will be fighting for “life, liberty and freedom” later—and it won’t be cheap.

But don’t despair. We’re not dead yet. Voltaire also said, “‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.”

Sing as you resist.

The Alito Case — No Constitutional or Biblical Basis

The Alito Case

No Constitutional or Biblical Basis

May 4th 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

Numbers 5:27 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse.”

That’s right, folks—the only time the Bible actually mentions forced miscarries —abortions, in other words—is in Numbers, where abortion can be forced upon a woman who is suspected of infidelity.

Most fundamentalist Christians would be astonished by that verse, which the Christian fascist movement deals with by claiming it doesn’t say what it clearly says. The belief that there is a religious basis for opposing abortion is a false one.

Abortion was well known in biblical times. Midwives kept a stock of herbs and other medicines that would induce a miscarry and/or kill the foetus. This passage from Numbers acknowledges that fact.

Non-biblical historical information from that part of the world in those days shows that not only did abortion exist, but infanticide was accepted amongst certain groups. It was common for female babies to be killed at birth, since females were considered an expensive and weak child. Israelites had an ‘out’ from the Rabbinate to avoid the grave crime of infanticide; Talmudic law stipulated that life in a human being began upon the child drawing its third breath. Prior to that, it wasn’t a human being.

You can go through the bible and find thousands of transgressions that can result in death, and/or that Jehovah finds abhorrent. Some of them are bloody silly. Eating lobster, for instance. If you’ve ever eaten shellfish you’re going to hell. Building a fire to heat your house on the Sabbath? Hell-bound. Wearing a cotton blend? You’re gonna burn, baby!

What the bible doesn’t mention as a crime? Abortion. We know it happened, along with acts that we would today consider infanticide. Nobody thought that was worth mentioning. Nope, not even Jesus.

There are times Jehovah even condoned it, urging troops of his tribe to invade neighboring villages and rip babies from the wombs of the women there and dash their heads against the rocks. (“The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” Hosea 13:16) That’s not the worst. There’s a site that details similar atrocities. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/08/the-bible-is-pro-child-killing/ It doesn’t have the bit about a bunch of kids making fun of a prophet of the lord for being bald, and the prophet asked an obliging god to deal with the kids, which he does by sending bears to tear them apart. (2 Kings 2:24)

So if anyone tells you god is against abortion, they don’t know what they are talking about.

That brings us to the leaked Alito decision that is causing the biggest shit storm this country has seen since the civil war. Alito and his fellow right wing Catholics knew they couldn’t use the Bible to justify banning abortion. Some of them might be erudite enough to know that the bible is utterly useless as a basis for that argument. But they knew they couldn’t use the Bible for another reason: the Constitution explicitly forbids basing government policy on biblical writ. If you ever read the 10 Commandments with a critical (legalistic) eye, you’ll notice that six of them are utterly unenforceable and blatantly unconstitutional.

And secular justification for banning abortion is pretty thin on the ground. While anti-abortion fanatics like to talk about tearing apart babies moments before birth (“partial-birth abortion”) it’s non-existent. Yes, the questions about ending a pregnancy get tougher and tougher the further into term you get, but the questions belong to the women and their physicians—not a pack of church clowns.

I will say right now that I’m not attacking Catholics—the majority of Catholics in America are as appalled by the abortion ban as you and me, and even the Vatican doesn’t support the efforts of Opus Dei to overthrow secular regimes. It’s nearly impossible to tell where the truth about Opus Dei begins and where it simply becomes just another conspiracy theory, but I’ll note that four of the five justices that support this decision have been linked to this movement, and whatever else it might be, it is openly dominionist, believing that god has primacy over American law.

But then, Alito and his Opus Dei fellows on the Court have little or no interest in the Law—either biblical or constitutional. This is meant as nothing more than a power grab by a small but extremist group of church members who want to wrest rights from the people.

So Alito has based his ruling on a fantastically dangerous basis: that people have no constitutional right to privacy because that right is not “enumerated” in the Bill of Rights. The man has apparently decided to just blow off the ninth amendment, which states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Privacy is a pretty vital one, since without it, there is no possibility of a life without government surveillance, or to make any important personal decisions without government involvement. A lot of people have noted a long list of penumbral rights that will die along with abortion, such as contraception, choice of marriage partners, or even who you can live with.

This decision isn’t based on morality or the law. It is simply a power grab by a small group of Christian fascists, a coup against America.

Fight it forcefully but peacefully now, because that option won’t remain if these people consolidate their power grab.

Incidentally I based some of this on a page (link below) I found the other day when the story of the Alito case broke. It is a simple text file detailing similar data about the bible and abortion as this piece does. I posted a link to it on Twitter, and the post was rejected out of hand because the link, they claimed, “led to harmful content.” The content isn’t harmful—just controversial. But it makes for an interesting preview of how such information might be suppressed if these religious nuts take over. Oh, and I defied Twitter by posting the address with the word “dot” substituted for the period. As of yesterday it was still up. Here is the real link: https://reverbpress.com/religion/bible-supports-abortion/

We have a final battle for our rights and freedoms, and the existence of America as something much more than just another grubby, corrupt theocracy.

 

 

Wading In — Compromised Court weighs Roe Vs. Wade

Wading In

Compromised Court weighs Roe Vs. Wade

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

December 1st, 2021

Listening to the arguments this morning at the Supreme Court in the matter of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case on whether the state of Mississippi can ban abortion at 15 weeks gestation:

Right wingers are frantically seeking justification for striking down Roe Vs. Wade, the seminal and oft-upheld abortion ruling that gives women access to abortion.

Roberts wants to know if anyone is hurt by pushing viability back from 24 weeks to 15 weeks. An embryo isn’t even remotely viable at 15 weeks, making Roberts’ proposed definition an utter joke. Kavanaugh wants to punt, saying in effect, the Supreme Court has nothing to do with rights and the states should decide that sort of garbage. (Yeah, this clown is on the Supreme Court.)

Amy Coney Barrett wanted to know if invalidating a woman’s right to an abortion would invalidate other “rights” like birth control. That’s a bit like asking if a law forbidding Moslems from voting would affect the rights of Jews or Catholics to vote.

And then there’s Slappy.

Thomas asked Rikelman, attorney for Jackson, to identify the constitutional right that protects abortion. “Is it privacy? Autonomy? What would it be?”
“It’s liberty,”Rikelman replied. “It’s the textual protection in the 14th Amendment that the state can’t deny someone liberty without the due process of law.” Ouch. Slappy the lawn ornament got slapped.

Attorneys for Dobbs are trying to handwave the concept of “undue burden” away, saying it’s impossible to define and difficult to enforce. Never mind that the concept enters into nearly all court decisions regarding access to and exercise of personal rights. Remove that concept, and there’s no reason why a county can’t charge people $100,000 to file a property damage suit. See how simple it is?

It seems likely that the Court will strike down Roe Vs. Wade. They’ll bend over backward trying to pretend it isn’t a religious issue (it is) and not even remotely secular.

Sonia Sotomayor asked of the attorney for Dobbs, “How is your interest anything but a religious view? It’s debated in religions, so when you say this is the only right that takes away from the start the ability to protect the life, that’s a religious view isn’t it? Where does the life of a woman and putting her life at risk enter the calculus?”

The court will have to trash dozens of decisions and overrule the wishes of the American people (Attorney for Dobbs is arguing that abortion is “injurious to democracy”!) in order to make this potential ruling stand.

Sonia Sotomayor said, “Fifteen justices over 30 years have reaffirmed that basic viability line,” she said, alluding to how Roe v Wade has been upheld since the 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey decision.

Four have said no, two of them members of this court. But fifteen justices have said yes, of varying political background.

“Now, the sponsors of this bill, this house bill in Mississippi, are saying, ‘We’re doing this because we have new justices on the supreme court’. Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts?”

Sotomayor continued with the question: “If people believe it’s all political, how will we survive? How will the court survive?”

Answer: it won’t. People will know the court has been hopelessly corrupted by a fascist president and his theocratic supporters. An institution designed to uphold the Constitution will now willfully disregard the same document because they are Dominionists and put their vicious and cruel religious opinions ahead of the rights the Constitution is meant to protect.

You may be in a place like California or New York and think to yourself, “Well, the state government isn’t going to strike down abortion,” and you might be right. But the god-struck minions of the anti-choice movement aren’t going to stand for abortion being allowed anywhere in what they see as their country that they run on behalf of Jesus. Kavanaugh maybe be nattering about states’ rights now, but he’s as intellectually and ethically vacuous as any Republican representative. He won’t hesitate to argue that the federal law overrules all state laws as soon as there’s a federal law to uphold. And 34% of the most conservative of all states control the Senate, 42% the vote would make the House Republican.

In the meantime, I expect a vast underground railroad to form, similar to the one that helped emancipate hundreds of thousands of slaves from the cruel authoritarianism of slave owners, and for much the same reason. It will uphold the human right of women to have control over their bodies and not be forced into having a child they do not wish to have. You think the Blob Squad won’t see that as an intolerable state of affairs?

I will do anything I can to support such an underground railroad, and urge everyone to put human rights ahead of cruel and unjust laws. Fuck the Dominionists, and fuck their vicious and authoritarian moral posturing. They have no right.

And the Court, more and more, will find itself shouting from within the vacuum it is about to put itself in.

Satire is Dead – Trumped like a can of beans

August 18th, 2020

Hours before the opening of the Democratic Convention, Trump tried to grab the headlines that he would be making a very, very important pardon the next day.

A lot of people thought he might pardon Julian Assange, if for no other reason than it would annoy American intelligence agencies. Even Trump couldn’t quite dare pardoning Snowden, who is more of a loose cannon. Now, my own opinion was the pardon couldn’t be all that important, since Hitler blew his brains out 75 years ago and even Trump wouldn’t be able to rehabilitate him. Granted, I was joking, but Trump, like most right wing whacks, will do ANYTHING if he thinks it might annoy a liberal. Honoring Hitler has a proven track record of annoying liberals. And since Trump is reduced to thinking anyone not in Qanon or the Nazi Party is a liberal, that’s a satisfyingly large audience to antagonize.

So today, he pardoned…Susan B. Anthony. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the pardon itself. The 19th century suffragent was convicted under an unfair and unjust law, one that was struck down some 48 years later and 14 years after her death. She’s since been widely honored, becoming the first actual woman to be on a US coin.

But in the middle of a vast campaign to persuade voters that permitting mail-in voting would cause vast amounts of voter fraud and thus would justify disenfranchising millions of Americans, he just pardoned someone for committing the crime of … voter fraud. Yes, that’s right. Anthony was convicted and jailed for voting under false pretences, ie, pretending to be a male. A US male, if you will.

Trump had various loony toons from the anti-abortion movement with him as he signed the pardon. The no-choicers had decided, based on precious little evidence, that Anthony was anti-abortion. While she surely opposed the practice of forcing women to have abortions against their will, there’s no record of her opinion on the right of women to elect to have an abortion. Indeed, while abortion was fairly common place despite being sometimes illegal in some states, it wasn’t a big issue since the country wasn’t overrun with pseudo-religious nutjobs who mistook their own personal squeamishness for a natural law of the universe.

Some wondered if Trump was taking a shot of some sort at Michelle Obama. The former first lady had just decimated Trump in a speech at the DNC, declaring Trump “in over his head” and deadpanning, “It is what it is.” Trump was in an open fury the next morning, banging around on Twitter like a nervous cat in a box with exploding ladyfingers. If he was trying to show up Little Miss “It Is What It Is” he missed badly.

Having put that nasty little negress in her place (and I’m pleased to see my spell checker didn’t like that word), Trump went after Jacinda Ardern, another strong women who has humiliated Trump in the past (they are legion, you know). Having just finished eulogizing his brother for having the grace and courage not to be jealous of Donald’s superiority and brilliance, he attacked Ardern and New Zealand for having an outbreak of Covid-19. “The places they were using to hold up now they’re having a big surge … they were holding up names of countries and now they’re saying ‘whoops! Do you see what’s happening in New Zealand? They beat it, they beat it, it was like front-page news because they wanted to show me something.”

The “Big Surge” was nine new cases in one day. Under Trump’s leadership, the United States has more than nine new cases each and every second of every day. The second wave is arriving—there has been a surge of new cases throughout Europe (where the disease actually originated) and Asia. New Zealand had been doing extraordinarily well fighting the plague (the best, as opposed to Trump’s America, which has been the worst) but this is a pernicious disease.

Perhaps if Trump is really lucky, a child will die in New Zealand. Then he can use that to justify the ten thousand or so children in the US who are likely to die from his push to have the schools reopen.

Finally, just in case anyone is feeling a need to ironically mock the American leader, Trump yesterday teamed up with that con artist Mike Lindell, who shills pillows on the television to hawk the latest miracle cure for Covid-19: Oleander. The compound, called oleandrin, is toxic, and has no known efficacy against Covid-19. One expert wrote, “Oleandrin? Yeah that would definitely end up killing people,” tweeted David Juurlink, MD, PhD, of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto. Trump is pressing for the FDA to give it a handwave approval, desperate for a miracle cure before the election and willing to kill millions if need be to secure such.

I hereby urge Trump and everyone who supports him to take oleandrin and let us know how it works out. After all, it won’t kill all of them, and they should be prepared to risk their all for Donald.

And we can bury the unlucky ones in the same graveyard where we just buried satire.

Aborting America – “Pro Life” shows its pro-death face

May 15th 2019

Imagine if some religious cult sprang up that declared that cancer was God’s way of calling his children home, and thus it was a sin to do anything to treat cancer. Thus anyone trying to eliminate cancer, including the removal of tumors, should be punished, up to 99 years in prison.

If that sounds pretty whack-a-doodle, reflect on the strange things the mainstream religions in America teach. Bible literalists have to believe such utter nonsense as the talking snake story in Genesis, the Ark story, and the sun holding still in the sky for three days. Non-literalists have to accept such oddities as virgin births, miracles, and power of prayer as being a real thing.

So having a group rising up and declaring that blastomas are an expression of God’s love and must be protected at all costs really isn’t all that far fetched.

That there is no biblical basis for such a belief is pretty irrelevant. After all, ‘God’s Will’ has been used to justify most wars, even against other Christian enemies, an unending bitter strife over mostly worthless land in the middle east, slaughter of indigenous tribes in Africa and the Americas, and even the massacre of cats in Europe (led to the plagues, that, as the rodent population exploded). Jewish and Islamic countries have (and still have) similar atrocities stemming from similar beliefs. Indeed, many of the worst elements of religious savagery in all three main faiths stem from the same source—the Mosaic Law of what Christians call the Old Testament.

But religious-based lunacy can exist independently of weird texts translated hundreds of different times that were originally written by people who didn’t know the Earth was a globe or that lobsters weren’t fish.

This leads to the abortion movement. In America, the Catholic Church always opposed abortion on grounds similar to my hypothetical pro-cancer faith; they thought all human seed was sacred, an expression of divine love, and thus it was a sin to waste seed. At various times and in various places, the church punished and even executed men for the ‘sin’ of masturbation.

When fundamentalists glommed on to the notion of stopping abortion in the wake of Roe v Wade, they brought their own brand of fundamentalist lunacy to the table. Every zygote possessed a soul and was an expression of God’s will.

Years ago, I came across a ‘public service announcement’ put out by some of the religious lunatics that featured an animation of a full-term baby being aborted, and as she (curly blonde hair and pink bow in her hair, the way most female babies are born) is dying, she’s screaming “Mommy! Mommy! Why are you doing this to me? Don’t you LOVE me?”

I laughed at the sheer absurdity of that cartoon, but here we are, 30 years later, and millions of Americans believe a truly savage blood libel spread by Republicans and Fox News that babies—real, actual babies—are being aborted after they are born because that is what Roe v Wade demands.

John Oliver had a clip of some intellectual abortion standing in the Alabama Legislature, droning on about “Baby Fetus” and even providing supposed quotes from this etymological absurdity. Two days later, Alabama passed a draconian law banning all abortion and providing life sentences to anyone performing or getting an abortion.

There’s an old saying: “People who can be persuaded to believe absurdities can be led to commit atrocities.”

It’s not even Biblical. The Bible doesn’t mention abortion, although it does condone ripping babies from the wombs of the women of vanquished foes and dashing their brains out against a rock. The New Testament has nothing to say about abortion, even though Nazareth had no shortage of midwifes who had abortifacient herbs and crude tools to physically induce abortion. Further, in many levels of society in that time and place, it wasn’t uncommon for female babies to be drowned or used to break rocks because female children were expensive and of limited use. For some reason, Jesus never did have an opinion on that.

Dressed up as a religious and moral crusade, the anti-abortion movement is neither. It doesn’t really care about “the life of a child,” as witness the fact that few if any of the people running the movement have any provisions whatsoever for the care and feeding of these involuntary children, or helping the mothers in any significant way, or otherwise assuming any responsibility.

It is, instead, a naked authoritarian power grab. It places a large segment of the female population in a precarious role where they can be effectively enslaved, either by pregnancy or the mere fear of pregnancy. If Alabama’s law is allowed to stand, the move will be on to ban birth control of all kinds. In the name of God, of course.

It’s a political movement, as well. The brownshirts of the GOP have long used the religiously insane as a handy bludgeon to enforce their more authoritarian dictates, such as enforced worship of the police and military, and to justify discrimination and segregation.

And if you take a look at the states joining the rush to knock down Roe v. Wade, with the exception of Ohio, all are in southern states with long histories of repressive authoritarians backed by the iron dictates of corrupt pastors.

It’s time to recognize the ‘pro-life’ for what it is: it’s not pro-anything. It’s anti-women, anti-choice, anti-individual, and anti-freedom. It opposes everything America stands for, including the right for every person not to have someone else’s religious dictates imposed upon them. No woman should be enslaved by some politician lying about God’s will. Nobody should have to follow the religious taboos of some church if they don’t want.

They are anti-America, and should be treated, not as voices of some god, but as enemies to American rights and freedoms.

The Fifth Characteristic

The GOP goes for a clean sweep of Britt’s “Fourteen characteristics”

March 18th 2012

Back in 2003, Lawrence Britt wrote “The Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism” (sometimes also titled “Identifiers: An Examination of Fascism”) That essay is posted below, and can be found here: http://fwd4.me/0wei.

The list seemed to fit the toxic right like a glove.

Mindless avid flag waving? Check.

Contempt for rights? Well, there’s tort reform, and hatred of “trial lawyers”. For starters. Endless sneers about “entitled minorities.”

Scapegoating? Can you say “Sharia law menace”? The Islamic threat? Liberals?

Worship the military? Check. I’ve even seen right wingers whining about how weak America will appear if they punish Robert Bale if he’s convicted of killing those sixteen Afghan civilians. Some right wingers think it’s an imposition that he even be tried.

Continue reading “The Fifth Characteristic”

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