Archive for the ‘freedom’ Category
Posted by honestpoet on February 17, 2009
Look at these lovely, loving people and tell me they don’t have the right to pursue happiness like anyone else.
Go to this link and add your name to this letter to the Supreme Court.
We, the undersigned, share President Barack Obama’s view
that for too long, issues of LGBT rights have been exploited
by those seeking to divide us. It’s time to move beyond
polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality
by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect.”
Yet, on December 19, 2008, Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal
Defense Fund filed legal briefs defending the constitutionality
of Prop 8 and seeking to nullify the marriages of 18,000
devoted same-sex couples solemnized before Prop 8 passed.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on
March 5, with a decision expected within 90 days.
We, the undersigned, ask that the Court enforce the equality
promised to each of us by our constitution and invalidate Prop
8. So doing will protect all loving, committed couples in
California — including the 18,000 who said “I do” last year —
and prevent the initiative process from being a tool for
stripping vulnerable minorities of precious constitutional rights.
As Americans who believe in the rule of law and fundamental
civil rights, we know that Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal
Defense Fund’s shameful attempt to nullify equal protection
and all these bonded unions will be condemned in the eyes of
history. We know that, ultimately, love will prevail, no matter
how hard they try to fight it.
Thanks again, Nan.
Posted in anti-establishment clause, Building a Better World, Christianofascism, freedom, gay rights, marriage, monoculture, politics, religion, separation of church and state, sexual freedom | Leave a Comment »
Posted by honestpoet on November 18, 2008
Here’s an excellent bit from the question and answer period after a debate with Rabbi Wolpe. I’ve been watching a lot of Mr. Harris on YouTube, and I have to say that I like him even more than Richard Dawkins. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dawkins, but, as an American, Harris is more aware of the need to speak with the religious politely and without snarkiness. Dawkins can come off a bit smug, which is a mistake when dealing with the American religious, who already feel beset and belittled, and whose defense mechanisms thereby fly up as soon as the subject is broached with any sort of superior attitude.
Here’s another bit: Sam Harris at the TruthDig conference, talking about how beliefs have consequences, and why the taboo on not examining religious beliefs needs to be lifted.
Here he is talking about the relative morality of various books of the Bible and what would happen if as a society we actually followed it.
And one more, at the Idea Festival in Aspen, where he disputes a lot of common misconceptions about atheism:
If you’d like to hear more of what he has to say, here’s the link to his website, which includes links to a number of articles and videos (including the full debate with Rabbi Wolpe). His thinking is even more in line with my own than Richard Dawkins’s. Dawkins and the rest of the recent crop of atheistic authors turn their backs on mystical experience, whereas Sam Harris, while approaching it as a skeptic, acknowledges that there’s something there to examine that could prove worthwhile, perhaps yielding up that which religions seek but never truly find, tied up as they are in their supernatural superstitions and dogmatism. He’s experienced contemplative states and acknowledges that they can lead to an increase in the ability to experience empathy and compassion, which are clearly in short supply these days.
A neurobiologist, he was motivated to start writing by the events of 9/11, and his focus is on the affect of beliefs on behaviors. Some people have painted him as some sort of warmonger Islamophobe, but that’s hardly the case when you read the suspect passages in context. Does he say that people holding the beliefs indoctrinated by Islam can be led therewith to bad behavior? Absolutely, but that’s hardly the same thing.
Posted in atheism, Building a Better World, catholicism, Christianity, Christianofascism, climate change, economic crisis, evolution, feminism, freedom, fundamentalism, gay rights, genocide, global warming, hegemony, history, homophobia, Iraq, Islam, Jesus, Jews, Koran, language, literature, marriage, mental illness, misogyny, monoculture, morality, Muslims, peace, psychiatry, religion, religion and science, Richard Dawkins, ridiculous beliefs, science, secular humanism, secularism, skepticism, terrorism, the Bible | Tagged: dogmatism, Islam, mystical experience, Rabbi Wolpe, religion, ridiculous beliefs, Sam Harris, stem cell research, terrorism | 4 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on October 15, 2008
I’m really starting to love Campbell Brown. When the ignorant lady at a McCain rally recently said she couldn’t trust Obama because he’s an Arab (she didn’t quite manage a sentence as complex as that, but it’s what she tried to say), McCain corrected her by saying that no, Obama is a decent family man (that’s the opposite of Arab?). Ms. Brown decided that the underlying assumption that Arab and Muslim are slurs finally needed to be addressed:
Now, anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not keen on religion, and that one of the things I am keen on is the separation of Church and State. And key to that separation is the idea that it shouldn’t matter what religion someone is (despite the fundies’ paranoia and Turkey’s misunderstanding of what secularism means, it does not mean getting rid of religion entirely) when they run for public office. It also shouldn’t matter what ethnicity someone is, which is more to the point with the word Arab, though I know for the ignorant folk like this McCain supporter Arab and Muslim are synonymous, since they’re clueless of the fact that there are actually secular and Christian Arabs, and, for all I know, Buddhist and Hindu and Wiccan and Zoroastrian Arabs, as well, especially here in America where they are free to choose.
America is not a Christian country. America is a free country where people of all religions or no religion can and must coexist, and I’m glad some people in the media are starting to speak up about it.
Posted in anti-establishment clause, atheism, Barack Obama, buddhism, Christianity, Christianofascism, freedom, fundamentalism, Islam, John McCain, language, monoculture, Muslims, politics, religion, ridiculous beliefs, secularism, separation of church and state, witchcraft | Tagged: 2008 Presidential election, anti-establishment clause, Arabs, Barack Obama, Campbell Brown, Islam, John McCain, Muslims, separation of church and state | 9 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on October 11, 2008
I’ve been reading too much news, reading too much about anger and hate and fear, reading and seeing too much that could lead me to despair. But I’ve also come across this incredible video, which I just showed to my daughter who, even at her young age, understands too well that our nation, our world, has some hard times ahead, and even is a little cynical about the men and women in power who have helped land us in this mess. It’s a great work of art, this, as well as a great weapon against the sort of hate and divisiveness that has been used to keep us afraid and angry. I hope it makes you feel better, too.
The speech excerpted in the video was given when he conceded New Hampshire to Sen. Clinton in the primaries.
We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.
We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.
But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told that we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.
Yes we can.
It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.
Yes we can.
It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights.
Yes we can.
It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.
Yes we can.
It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.
Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can.
And so tomorrow, as we take this campaign South and West; as we learn that the struggles of the textile worker in Spartanburg are not so different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas; that the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea – Yes. We. Can.
Yes, we can.
Posted in Barack Obama, Building a Better World, Christians Worth Knowing, freedom, politics, power of love | Tagged: 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama | 2 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on October 2, 2008
I never thought I’d say this, but right now, I love Hollywood. Check out this celebrity-studded ad beautifully using reverse psychology. Don’t vote! (Warning…this is for adults — who’re the only one’s who CAN vote — and uses some adult language.)
Posted in anti-establishment clause, Barack Obama, Building a Better World, climate change, corruption, environmental activism, freedom, gay rights, genocide, global warming, iraq war, IRS, John McCain, military, peace, peace activism, politics, popular culture, privacy, separation of church and state, sexual freedom, terrorism, torture, war on drugs | Tagged: 2008 Presidential election, Hollywood, reverse psychology, voter registration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by honestpoet on September 29, 2008
Here’s a sad article about a horrifying incident of anti-Islamic terrorism perpetrated by Americans right here on our soil, against women and children attending a prayer service at a mosque. I think it’s no coincidence that this occurred after the distribution of fear-mongering anti-Islamic DVDs in newspapers by a pro-McCain group. I agree with the author of the article:
John McCain has a moral obligation to publicly censure the Clarion Fund; to denounce the inflammatory, anti-Muslim message of Obsession; and to do everything in his power to stop any further campaign activities by his supporters that have the potential to incite violence
What I really don’t get is that those who most fear and hate Islam are Christians, presumably, right? Would the Christ of the gospels have gassed women and children? I think not.
Posted in Christianofascism, freedom, Islam, John McCain, Muslims, prayer, religion, terrorism | Tagged: 2008 Presidential election, Clarion Fund, Islam, John McCain, Obsession DVD | Leave a Comment »
Posted by honestpoet on September 2, 2008
Some of the commentaries on this youtube video are really disturbing. Apparently McCain’s shallow attempt to appeal to disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters is working. I’m so depressed! Are some women so stupid that they think anyone with a vagina is the same as any other? Ms. Palin is a theocrat of the worst kind: against reproductive rights, opposed to abortion even in cases of rape and incest; for banning same-sex marriage with a constitutional amendment; and for teaching creationism in schools in blatant violation of the anti-establishment clause of the first amendment to our constitution. (Don’t get me started on her willingness to abuse power or her environmental record.) Apparently she not only doesn’t know much about anything to do with national government, she doesn’t know much about what our founders intended our government to do.
I’m not crazy about Barrack Obama or Joe Biden, but they beat the heck out of an idiot who graduated near the bottom of his class and whose claim to heroism starts and ends with getting shot down and surviving torture and a beauty-pageant contestant who seems to care more about producing children than raising them.
These PUMA (here’s the wikipedia article on this PAC) fools need to remember what Sen. Clinton stands for, and it’s not a woman in office by any means necessary! It matters WHICH woman, and most importantly, a woman who thinks rather than bending over for big business or following the Bible instead of the Constitution.
Posted in anti-establishment clause, Barack Obama, Christianofascism, climate change, corruption, ecology, environmental activism, feminism, freedom, fundamentalism, gay rights, global warming, hegemony, homophobia, Iraq, iraq war, mothering, politics, religion, ridiculous beliefs, secularism, separation of church and state, sexism, sexual freedom, the Bible | Tagged: 2008 election, anti-establishment clause, Biden, creationism, McCain, obama, PUMA, reproductive rights, same-sex marriage, Sarah Palin, youtube | 2 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on June 5, 2008
Sigh. This is distressing. Here’s an article about what’s going on in Turkey. The government had moved to lift a ban on head-scarves in school, so that women who want to wear the religious emblem can do so, arguing that preventing them from wearing them to school was inhibiting some Muslim women from receiving educations (a valid argument). But the courts have struck it down.
Now, I’m a secularist. But you can’t exclude the religious from participating in public life. You can’t ban head-scarves any more than you can demand head-scarves. It’s about freedom, about unity in diversity.
Egads. I’m proud of the Turks for keeping religion out of government. But that can’t mean excluding the religious from participating in other aspects of life. It just means not legislating religiously motivated laws or establishing any state-sanctioned religion.
I fear this sort of thing will cause a backlash against secularism. I hope the Turkish secularists get their heads out of their butts and figure out what freedom means before that happens.
Posted in anti-establishment clause, freedom, monoculture, Muslims, politics, religion, secularism, separation of church and state | Tagged: head scarves, Islam, secularism, Turkey, Turkish Secularism | 2 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on March 20, 2008
Wowsers. This book of Noam Chomsky’s, Failed States, is just chock full of facts that show up our media and our government as a pack of liars.
The list of atrocities committed by our own government (like the 1985 bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, which was actually committed by the CIA, a known fact at this point, though the media never bothered to correct the perception they created by passing along the government’s story that it was a terrorist) just boggles the mind. Presidents from both parties over the years have protected the oil companies’ interests in the Middle East with crime after crime against civilian populations over there. Some of them we’ve never heard a word about, some we’ve heard about but with a twisted slant to blame it all on terrorism. Wherever, in the Middle East, South America, or Asia, real democracy has flowered, we’ve stamped it out in favor of fascist regimes (like that of Saddam Hussein, who was put in power by JFK in the 60s) willing to cooperate with our interests.
If you want to know the facts about what’s really going on in the middle east, get this book. Like they’re stamping on our mail these days, those words of one of my cousins however many times removed and however imperfect himself, John Adams, “Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.” We need to wake up as a country and deal with the fact that we are living under a long-term fascist regime that started long before any of us were born, right back to the founding of our country, which purports to value freedom but which only gives it lip service, and which is actually set up to benefit the few, the super-rich, who head these multi-national corporations. It started with cotton. Now it’s oil.
The primary obstacle to progress for us as a species is America and our corrupt government. This is not a partisan issue, either. The Democrats are just as complicit, though BushCo, with its clumsy handling and constant underestimation of our intelligence, has certainly taken it to new heights, or should I say lows?
Please, let’s stop acting like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed a load of BS. Let’s seek the truth, and it doesn’t have anything to do with Illuminati or reptilian hybrids. It’s got to do with money and power.
Posted in Building a Better World, Bush, conspiracy theory, evolution, freedom, genocide, hegemony, history, Iraq, iraq war, military, Muslims, peace, peace activism, political science, politics, terrorism | Tagged: abuse of power, America, asia, Beruit, BushCo, corruption, Democrats, failed states, fascism, Lebanon, middle east, multi-national corporations, Noam Chomsky, oil companies, south america | 5 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on March 16, 2008
Here’s a BBC article to ponder. It’s about the confusion in Florida over the primary and whether or not they’ll be able to have their delegates at the convention. It seems there’s a power struggle between the national party and the Florida dems over control.
I didn’t think they could do it, but I’m afraid they’re going to hand it to the Grand Old Poopheads AGAIN. I’m afraid we’re going to end up with McCain, with his crazy ideas and lack of understanding of personal freedom, just because the Democrats can’t get their heads out of their heinies long enough to see past next week. I’m so exasperated.
Posted in Barack Obama, freedom, politics | Tagged: Barack Obama, DNC, Florida primary, GOP, Hillary Clinton, McCain, personal freedom, presidential election | 3 Comments »