Real Or Not Real?

RNC Chair Reince Priebus took to the airwaves to claim that the Republican War On Women is just all in our silly little heads. Really!

Republican opposition to renewing the Violence Against Women Act? Scott Walker repealing Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act? The attacks on women’s reproductive rights in every state — the ones making a legal requirement that women submit to shaming, dehumanizing, psychologically stressful and medically unnecessary procedures in order to obtain a legal, safe abortion? Or restricting women’s access to contraception? The shuttering of health clinics that serve poor women around the country?

The Blunt-Rubio Amendment? Personhood bills? Bills equating single parenthood with child abuse? House Republican efforts to redefine rape?

Ladies, these things should not be taken as attacks on your freedoms or rights or privacy (or even your intelligence, abilities or value). No, these are just logical, necessary pieces of legislation that the penis-Americans in charge deem absolutely vital to the nation’s interests. Any personal offense women may take at being legislated this way is simply unreasonable, maybe even hysterical. Now, run along and swap recipes at the Tupperware Party or however it is you spend your time while the penis-Americans do the heavy lifting of keeping shit running in the world.

/hurl

But to hear Republicans talk there is a very real war going, and it’s the war on Christians. Yes, little known fact: in state legislatures all around the country, the faithful are being oppressed by anti-Christian politicians passing laws limiting their ability to practice their faith! And even the President of the United States has passed draconian legislation forcing Christians underground. Why, you can’t hardly find a church or a Bible study or even a prayer group anymore!

I have absolutely no evidence of this, of course, but that’s what right-wingers keep telling us. And by right-wingers I don’t just mean fringe crackpots over at ClownHall, I mean people like Rep. Marsha Blackburn who hosted a “rally for religious freedom” in Nashville last month (actually, it was just another highly-orchestrated rally against women’s healthcare but pay no attention to that! This war is real and that one is not!)

No, actually, there is a war on Christianity in this country. I know this because last month an Assemblies of God youth group in Pennsylvania was kidnapped and held at gunpoint. This really happened, however the folks who orchestrated this attack were the church’s pastor and some parents, trying to teach kids age 13-18 a lesson about religious persecution.

Y’know, Jesus did say “suffer the little children.” How ironic that this would come from the sadistic pricks leading the church.

There is a war on Christianity going on, but it’s coming from inside the church, not outside. For example, I just read that the Catholic Church has cut off funds to a group helping the poor because it’s a member of an immigrants’ rights coalition, and that coalition had worked with a GLBT rights group. Got that? The organization receiving the funds didn’t work with this GLBT organization, they were just members of the same coalition. Cooties! Apparently when it comes to fighting poverty or fighting gays, the poor lose out. Fighting gays is way more important. This kind of thinking and attitude will drive the church into cultural irrelevancy faster than any packet of birth control pills or condoms, but hey, don’t listen to me.

So, real or not real, ladies? Who are you gonna listen to: Reince Priebus or your lying eyes?

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19 Comments

Filed under birth control, feminism, religious right, reproductive rights, Republican Party, women's rights

19 responses to “Real Or Not Real?

  1. greennotGreen

    First, I agree with you 100%.
    However, our side could quit giving them ammunition.
    Progressives are offended when when religious conservatives say things like, “homosexuality is a sin, abortion is murdering babies,” and then proceed to pass or at least try to pass laws to back up their language. I think we’re right to oppose them. However, religious conservatives also have the right to their beliefs and to align their own lives with those beliefs; they can live in the closet or never have an abortion. They can choose to send their children to private schools that teach the 6000 year old earth (but don’t expect those schools to be accredited!) We have to respect those rights.
    And we have to respect those people.
    I may think that a person’s beliefs are totally wacko, but that is not the same as believing the *person* is wacko. When non-believers disrespect not just a person’s beliefs but the person herself, there will be no conversation, no chance for either person to learn or grow.

    • Saying a person is delusional is not character assassination it’s an empirical analysis. If I walked around saying monkeys living in my ass were controlling the weather I have no doubt I’d be called wacko. But you’re right, they couldn’t arrest me and put me in jail for it. I’m free to believe anything I want. But when it comes to making public policy based on those beliefs I reserve my right to say “Are you fucking kidding me?” I will personally give endless oral pleasure to the first elected man or woman who calls a hearing in which God is subpoenaed to testify.

      • greennotGreen

        My point is that we don’t want to alienate people who might be on the progressive side or brought over to the progressive side because we don’t share their spiritual beliefs. Yeah, I think people like Rick Santorum are horrible people who use religion to control others and gain and/or maintain power. But I also know Christians who are good, tolerant people who do a lot of volunteer work and are there for anyone who needs help in the community.
        If there’s a flood, maybe one person is filling sandbags because Jesus died for their sins and rose on the third day, thereby proving mastery over death and showing the way to eternal life; the next person is working off bad karma from previous lives; the next person may just believe that helping others helps the entire world in which he’s living his one life. Do we really care? Don’t we just want to get the sandbags filled?

      • I will personally give endless oral pleasure to the first elected man or woman who calls a hearing in which God is subpoenaed to testify.

        Actually, that rings a bell. Didn’t someone do that, in Oklahoma or something? Anyway, if they can call a fetus as a witness, anything is possible.

        Oh here ya go … not the case I was thinking of but close enough.
        :-)

  2. I understand Green’s point, though. Many liberals ARE hostile to people of faith. I’m not saying that hostility doesn’t have validity (such as intolerance toward gays, Muslims, women, etc.) and I’m not saying it isn’t justified (such as when Christians claim to be “pro-life” but support endless war, torture, etc.). But I understand why Christians are offended when liberals say they believe in imaginary sky Gods or whatever.

    That said, the public discourse is what it is. Free speech, etc. Conservatives are actually legislating their hate. Liberals haven’t done anything close, despite right-wingers calling for the fainting couches every time a Macy’s clerk says “happy holidays” instead of Merry Christmas.

    I kinda forgot where I was going with this. I do know that there are a lot of very awesome Christians out there working to help the poor, who don’t hate gays, putting their lives on the line for peace and to fight against the military industrial complex and bring justice to the powerless. These people have my endless admiration and they are seldom recognized by the media, which prefers to present American Christianity through the lens of consumerism: Rick Warren sold a bazillion books so he must be a really awesome Christian. James Dobson and Pat Robertson both have media empires, therefore they must be awesome Christians. No, they’re not. They’re just rich assholes, no different from a Wall Street banker or corporate CEO.

  3. “My point is that we don’t want to alienate people who might be on the progressive side or brought over to the progressive side because we don’t share their spiritual beliefs”

    Progressives are never fundamentalists. If somebody’s religious beliefs compel to treat others badly–for any reason–they are not progressives.

    I respect anyone’s right to believe what they like; they have no right to trying to force others to accept their fantasies as fact.

    • Progressives aren’t fundamentalists but there are times when we may find common ground with them. A good example is the death penalty, which strict Catholics find abhorrent. There are also quite a few evangelical Christians (who may or may not be “fundamentalist”) who support “creation care” i.e., green initiatives.

      That said, I think most progressives doing the coalition building are respectful. As YMUBC noted, when we’re not it’s usually because we’ve been backed into a corner.

  4. Conservatives seem to think “practicing their religion” is synonymous with “passing legislation in favor of it.” This is what makes progressives hostile. They’re never hostile if a religious person says “I think it’s stupid to force my religion onto others.”

    I defend progressive “hostility” because I view it as purely reactionary, with a very concrete cause. Same thing with atheists, too. They never attack, they only defend, but since the religious right pushes legislation, they are constantly on the defensive, and quickly become hostile.

    It’s like saying a dog you’ve chased and backed into a corner is the aggressor. Of course he’s going to bite. Grrr.

  5. In response to YMUBC (above), I could not agree more. Let me take this argument further within context of what the U.S. Constitution states:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion …

    It means church leaders have NO RIGHT to expect an imposition of church doctrine on citizens, on the followers of other denominations, on citizens of no religious affiliation, or to enlist the aid of government to enforce church doctrine even on their own parishioners. Please note: 97% of Catholic women use contraceptives – thus going against the teachings of their Church. In exercising their freedom to chose whatever healthcare options they deem best for themselves, women deserve legal protection from the overreach and abuse of their own denominations. My point:

    The religious freedom argument is a foil used by radical clerics
    and social conservatives to bully government into acting as
    Enforcer and Inquisitor on their behalf
    . Thus, anti-Choice legislation represents a direct assault on the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution.

    What I suspect is that the Catholic Church, having lost all moral authority due to the pedophilia scandals, is trying to reassert itself … shall we say (no pun intended) a desperate “Hail Mary Pass.”

    In any event, the GOP will demagogue any wedge issue to stir the pot and, in this respect, has turned itself into a party of voyeurs, sadists, and born-again rapists.

    • The “religious freedom” argument is a foil by Republican partisans trying to score political points and make sure Obama is a one term president. It’s really no more than that. And the sad thing is, the media pretends this is a real thing. As I wrote when it first erupted, it’s just another manufactured outrage churned up for entertainment – and profit.

      • Sobe,
        You are right, of course, about the “religious freedom” foil used to limit Obama to a one-term presidency. In the progressive community, we understood this phony bologna loud and clear. But this argument will not score any points among right-wing social conservatives who are tone-deaf to anything we say.

        That is why the legal argument must not be discounted. What I said about church leaders trying to enlist government as their Enforcer is the constitutional argument against ecclesiastical overreach. In support of this argument, please consider recent statements of the bishopric (pun intended) whose goals are more doctrinal than political. The constitutional argument is the one we must take to a wider public.

  6. One more afterthought: Speaking of angry push-back, I am all in favor, and my harshest criticism is directed at men (please note: this cephalopod happens to be male). Where the hell are men on these issues … (gutless self-serving cowards they are)! How can the men of this country allow the women in their lives (including their daughters, mothers, wives, sisters, cousins, friends and neighbors) to be turned into second-class citizens! Angry push back indeed! Perhaps something on the order of a nationwide Lysistrata-style boycott!

    • Min

      I couldn’t agree more. If nothing else, I would expect most men to be as in favor of free or affordable birth control as women are. Those men have just as much of an interest in not having unwanted children and the financial burdens that come with them as women do.

  7. Min

    Reince Priebus has a stupid name. It matches his stupid head.

    These Republicans simply cannot govern. And I am quoting one of my conservative friends in saying that.

    • These Republicans simply cannot govern.

      Is feature, not bug. If your entire ideology is predicated on the idea that “government does not work” and “government is the problem, not the solution,” is it any surprise that when in power, Republicans prove their premise?

  8. I’m already overwhelmed.

    My mother tells me the Catholic Church used to be not like this. But all is not lost. The Jesuits are still here. Or are they ones in the forefront. I highly doubt that. We attend a Jesuit parish. Our priest’s “sermon” last year was about ” looking ” at the “bigger” picture , and not to be a one – issue voter.

    • My mother went to a school run by Jesuits. They told the kids that every 10th condom came out of the factory with a pin-prick in it. They never explained why the manufacturer would do such a thing, and I guess they didn’t need to. The message was clear.

      Of course, this was back in the 1940s.