Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our own Blago

The case against former governor Rod Blagojevich has gone to the jury. Here's what Rod had to say. . .

Blagojevich, with his wife Patti at his side during the brief news conference, said they have put their faith in the "judgment, common sense and decency" of the jury. "It's in God's hands."
-Chicago Tribune

WTF? It is clearly in the jury's hands. This is a good example of trying to sound pious. Makes you seem humble and spiritual and all that but it makes no sense. If it was in God's hands you wouldn't need the jury!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sarah Palin?

I'm currently reading A. Lincoln by Ronald C. White Jr. It's a wonderful view of a man that all Americans love but few know why they love him. I was certainly in that group. Part of Abe's popularity was his folksiness and ability to talk to anyone at any level. Behind that folksiness however there lived a voracious reader, thinker, and planner. He was completely self educated. What meager formal education he received growing up in Indiana (and formal in Indiana is with shoes on) is probably similar to what one receives in the Hoosier state today. Nothing.

Just kidding. . . go Notre Dame!

Lincoln could also be very theoretical and obtuse and he lost some audience when he was. The point is that as a lawyer and later as a successful politician (although he lost more elections than he won) it was his keen mind and intellect behind his folksy persona that made him the guy we love to name streets, delis, parks, and discount furniture stores after.

Now then. . . Americans ARE drawn to folksiness. We like people to sound like us if we're going to vote for them. Americans are VERY suspicious of intellectuals and are not fond of having smart people actually run the country. Americans just might pick someone who SOUNDS like them even though they don't have any clue what they are talking about (George W).

Or, Sarah Palin!

The only reason she is still in the news is because, A. Fox News keeps putting her there and B. She sounds folksy. I got news for you. . .sometimes folksy is a red flag for STUPID and not well read! Let's just use this as an example. . .

"Well, let's see. There's ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―" --Sarah Palin, unable to name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with other than Roe vs. Wade, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008 (Watch video clip)

I'd like you all to compare that to this and ask yourself which one is more suited to the White House?

Wait... what's this got to do with skepticism, atheism, rationalism?

Sarah Palin is a poo head. (God, ( I mean Newton) I'm mature!)

More Prayer for the Gulf

Again from CNN. It seems the Foley Methodist Church near the gulf has always held services down at the beach.

“We’re down there praying every week," Moore told CNN's Belief Blog by phone on Thursday. "It’s important for us to pray every week, every Sunday since we’ve been out there since it has happened. Every day we’re down there, we’re praying for some relief.”

Lately they've been moved off the actual beach to make room for the relief workers. Of course you can pray from anywhere so they have continued to focus their prayers on the oil mess in the gulf. Since the cap is holding I'm going to say that this is a case where the prayers worked! Sure. They prayed. The cap held. What don't you understand about cause and effect?

So, to the Foley Methodist Church. . . thanks!

On the other hand, maybe you could have focused your efforts several weeks ago though so let's work on that. Or, here's an idea, why not get off of your holy asses and pitch in with the relief effort. Just an idea. . .

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Congress and the Bible

Is this weird? Story out of CNN about a congressman from Texas (shocking!) quoting the bible to try to come up with an appropriate position on illegal immigration.

But Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican, repeatedly cited passages from the Bible in support of a stronger crackdown on illegal immigration.

"The Bible contains numerous passages that support the rule of law," he asserted. "The scriptures clearly indicate that God charges civil authorities
with preserving order, protecting citizens and punishing wrongdoers." [emphasis mine]

Smith cited, among other things, Romans 13: "Let every person be subject to governing authorities."

He also noted a passage from Leviticus: "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong." This, he contended, does not imply that "foreigners should disregard civil laws to enter (the country) or that we should overlook it when they do."

Addressing a passage from Matthew 25 about caring for "the least of these my brothers," Smith contended that it "advocates individual acts of kindness (but) does not mandate a public policy."

"Americans need not repent for wanting to uphold the rule of law and provide jobs for legal workers," he said. "A truly Christian moral approach would be not to acquiesce to illegal immigration, but to work to end it."

Amazing to me how people love to cherry pick from the bible to find passages that 'clearly' support whatever you want them to support. Also amazing is just the overall idea that if it were in the bible that that would make something "OK". We don't get our medical advice from a 5000 year old book. We don't engineer bridges based on 5000 year old technology. We don't use ideas from 5000 year old astronomy theories either. Somehow when it comes to how we should treat each other or behave as a society we think the answers lie is this particular 5000 year old book. Why? Plus, there is also some very bad advice in the bible. Such things as selling your daughters and the idea wives being property of men. (Exodus)

Moreover, why didn't some other congressman shout this guy down in the name of separation of church and state?