Zera's Blog

A Citizen's View from Main Street

Texas Textbook Massacre: State Board Suggests Books ‘Tainted’ With ‘Pro-Islamic, Anti-Christian Distortions’

Liberals and moderates have had a hard time protecting our education system from theocratic indoctrination.

Kansas is infamous for constantly changing the definition of “science” to add or subtract religion from science classes. The value of their diplomas has been discounted by the unreliability of their educational basis.

And of course there was the case of Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al in Pennsylvania.

Then there is the cult-style home schooling by Christian fundamentalists, evangelicals, and born-agains who do not live in theocratic districts.

School vouchers that weaken public education by diverting public funds to private schools.

The failure of abstinence-only…

Do not pretend that liberals and moderates have had a free hand. The country would be better off if they had.

Texas is beginning the conversion of public education into a Christian version of Madrasahs. This reduction in standards and unconstitutional embrace of religion is a major blow to future American competitiveness.

Conservatives believe it’s a victory.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Education, Government, Religion | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Atheists Erect Billboard In Oklahoma City, Critic Says It’s ‘Like They’re Poking A Finger In Your Eye’

The billboard is no different from any billboard inviting someone to visit a church. To protest this and not the other is to declare yourself opposed to true freedom of religion.

What concerns me most is the relentless march toward theocracy. Theocracy is based on blind faith in religious dogma. Democracy is based on reasoned policy and informed consent. The two are incompatible at best, and antithetical at worst.

The question becomes: Do we fight for government of the people, by the people, for the people – or do we submit to the religious doctrines of fundamentalist Christians?

This billboard is a signal that those of us who believe in true freedom of religion – freedom for all – are not prepared to go quietly into the night and render up one of the greatest ideals of the “Great Experiment” that is the United States to the whims of Christian fundamentalism – knowing that doing so would signal the end of the “last, best hope of Earth.”

“The kings of the Gentiles exercise leadership over them,” said our Saviour to his disciples, “but ye shall not be so.” The business of true religion is quite another thing. It is not instituted in order to the erecting of an external pomp, nor to the obtaining of ecclesiastical dominion, nor to the exercising of compulsive force, but to the regulating of men’s lives, according to the rules of virtue and piety.
John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Religion | , , , | Leave a comment

A Nation Founded on Faith – in People

U.S. Declaration of Independence ratified by t...

Image via Wikipedia

Contrary to impassioned theocratic urban legend, the country was NOT founded on belief in a God. It was founded on the belief in the people to govern themselves through a government that derives it’s authority THROUGH THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.

The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in “self-evident truths”

The Declaration of Independence

Religious zealots like to quote the Declaration of Independence: “they are endowed by their Creator” but they take it out of context in pursuit of their own agenda.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

The Declaration of Independence

Instituted among Men (not the church), deriving their powers from the consent of the governed (not God). Continue reading

September 15, 2010 Posted by | Constitution, Religion | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

INTERPOL: Quran Burning Would Increase Global Terror Threat (2)

But it’s not just the Koran burners.
It’s the Dutch cartoon.
It’s the repeated Papal verbal faux pas.
It’s the soldiers shooting holes in a Koran with rifles that have Christian references inscribed on them.
It’s resistance to Mosque-building from Switzerland to California.
It’s resistance to Burqas and head coverings.
It’s Abu Ghraib.
It’s Guantanamo Bay.
It’s rendition flights.

How many westerners blame all Muslims for the actions of a small group of fanatics?
How many Muslims have died in a war they never sought?

This isn’t a small group of fanatics burning “their own property”, these are Christian religious fanatics burning Islamic Scripture in a deliberate act of pure malice. It is little short of declaring a Holy War. The average Muslim knows this will provoke a resurgence of violence from the violent minority in their own religion. Some will take offense at the burning, and some will be pissed off by the consequences of the burning.

There is nothing more dangerous than a religious fanatic – which religion is irrelevant. You do not have to believe in a religion, but you do need to respect the power religion has over some or you might as well live your life wandering through a minefield – figuratively speaking.

And yes, there have been years of anti-west propaganda, in their schools as well as their media.
In 2005, The Organization of the Islamic Conference tried to start an effort to unbias the schools. I do not know how successful it was.
More on Terrorism
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 10, 2010 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joe Miller Campaign Funded By God, K Street

“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
Article VI, U.S. Constitution.

By enforcing a religious Test for candidacy in the republican party, the republicans are implicitly in defiance of the Constitution.

What Oath or Affirmation could Joe Miller give that would convince anyone that he would put the Constitution above the Bible in the performance of his duties in public office? How many of his supporters will vote for him because they expect him to violate that Oath?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

September 3, 2010 Posted by | Campaign Finance, Candidates, Elections, Religion | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Content of our Foolishness

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”
– Sinclair Lewis

This seems to have been a rally of people running on emotion and a vague understanding of what they support and what they oppose. A group of people who have not thought consciously about the American Dream until they felt it slipping away. And along comes Glenn Beck, a conservative shock-jock turned revivalist preacher/snake oil salesman, telling them it is patriotic to do as he says, to follow his lead. It’s OK to be a religious zealot. You do not need facts or comprehension if you have faith. You need to restore the dream. Not the dream of MLK. Not the American Dream. The dream of theocracy, of One Nation Under God. The Christian God. The Republican God.

I look at the crowd, and I see people literally and figuratively wrapping themselves in the Flag. Paraphernalia Patriots trying to reassure themselves that they are the true Americans who represent the will of the people. People who know what’s best for the country based on their emotions and “common sense“, and not a deep understanding of the problems we face as a nation. Our Country, Right or Wrong. One Nation, Under God. Give Me Liberty, or Give Me a Gun. Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition. God Bless America, the land of Sloganites and Sheeple.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Wins if GOP Flinches on Marriage

“Republicans demand that judges interpret the Constitution as written, not rewrite it from the bench.”

That’s exactly what liberals and progressives want too. The difference is one of definitions.

Republicans identify a judge whose ruling they do not like as an activist judge.
Democrats define a judge who does not follow proper jurisprudence and judicial restraint as an activist judge.

Judge Walker wrote a decision that respects the law, legal precedent, rules of evidence, and the Constitution. Some would call this sound jurisprudence. Blackwell is not among them.

Simply put, the defense offered by the proponents of prop8 had no basis in credible fact or law. To have ruled in their favor anyway would have been true judicial activism and legislating from the bench, but that is less important to conservatives than a favorable ruling.

The GOP has invested heavily in prejudice and paranoia, and they are having trouble holding the coalition of extremists together. The Constitution is against the Marriage Nazis, as the courts keep demonstrating. Unfortunately, prejudice, blind faith, and conservatism do not lend themselves to self-reflection or self-correction.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

We may be seeing a religion-driven breakdown in rule of law, enabled by political vigilantism.

August 29, 2010 Posted by | Gay Rights, Religion | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Call a marriage a marriage already!

Marriage comes in different forms, “Holy Matrimony” is only one. Throughout the history of this country, we have had civil marriages, usually administered by a Justice of the Peace or other public servant.

“Marriage” has been used to refer to “Holy Matrimony” for so long now that devout people have forgotten the difference, and take offense when others claim their rights to “marriage” as if they were making a claim against the devout view of “Holy Matrimony”.

In response to this perceived offense, they have laid claim to exclusive use of the term “marriage”, even beyond the confines of their own religious beliefs. This effort to redefine marriage exclusively in their own terms is an exercise in theocracy that attacks the religious and non-religious rights of others.

Even if stopping the push toward theocracy were the only reason to support gay marriage, it would be enough.

Supreme ‘Double Rainbow’: Two Marriage Equality Rulings Head Toward High Court

August 7, 2010 Posted by | Gay Rights, Religion | , , , , | Leave a comment

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