Politics

June 26, 2013

This day will go down in the History books as the day America FINALLY got up off of its ass and supported marriage equality for ALL.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court decided today that the federal Defense of Marriage act is unconstitutional and invalidated it. The Defense of Marriage act prevented those same-sex couples legally married in their state from receiving the federal benefits those in “traditional” marriages enjoyed. This landmark decision means that the federal government may no longer discriminate against same-sex couples and allows those legally married in their state to be treated just like everyone else.

I am completely ecstatic and couldn’t be more proud to be an American than I am right now.

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(Photos taken by Andrew Burton / Getty Images from NBCpolitics.NBCnews.com)

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Praying For Votes… Er, I Mean, Our Leaders

I was recently on a Christian website scrolling through a list of sermons about Atheism and I came across this ad:

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Initially, it literally made me laugh out loud at the ridiculous-ness of it. “Learn” how to pray? …Huh? Isn’t prayer just talking to yourself in your head and hoping someone/something hears it and does something about it? Isn’t prayer personal and customized to fit nicely with your inner voice? And how does praying for our leaders differ from that? Is there a special chant or rhyme that must be used in order for the prayer to make its way up to god so that he’ll immediately know to give this prayer preference because it is for a leader? I was clearly curious so, naturally, I clicked on the link. Here is the description I found:

“‘It is a great privilege, as well as our responsibility, to pray for our government leaders.’ – Billy Graham

This helpful pamphlet helps guide you through what the Bible says about how to pray and about our government leaders. Also included are scripture references and ways to specifically pray for our leaders. The back has space for the names of local, state and federal leaders to be written, so they can be prayed for by name. Great tool for your congregation to encourage prayer for our nation! ” Billygrahambookstore.org

After reading the description and the hilarity subsided, I was left with a disturbing feeling of confusion. Most evangelicals disagree with our current government as well as the progress being made on social issues like abortion and marriage equality so, why would they be so light-heartedly praying for them? Then it hit me: They aren’t! This prayer guide is a rouse. It’s a cover up. They aren’t encouraging simple prayer for our nation (which is disturbing enough in and of itself) but rather, they are encouraging government in church under the guise of prayer.

It’s amazing, really. Without blatantly advertising the discussion of politics and government in their congregation (which would be illegal under their current tax-exempt status) they are disguising it as prayer. And how can one pray for our political leaders unless they know what they are praying for and how to do it? This then gives them an excuse to discuss it in the church and find themselves nice and warm and safe in the comfort of their loop-hole. They can’t legally tell their congregation who to vote for (although this is done quite often), but they can encourage prayer for a particular candidate whose views align with their own. Or even a prayer that an opponent of their chosen candidate wakes up to god and “reality” to find his/her proper way.

Woah. Votes disguised as prayers. Who would have thought?

I have another thought: How about when you are in church you do less talking about grown-up stuff like politics and law and more talking about your cute little fairy-tale book with its magical stories? Or, if you insist on playing with the big-dogs, how about you pay your fucking taxes like everyone else and earn that right?

People, organizations and/or mindless groups of blindly devoted idiots who do not contribute to society financially should have no say in what society does financially; whether in regards to funding social services or otherwise. The government is holding up its end of the bargain by keeping itself out of the church (tax exemption), it is time that the church start holding up its end of the bargain and staying out of government (prayer/vote brainwashing).

The Red Light

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I was driving home this weekend and stopped at a light behind a car with this sticker plastered on it. I have seen these stickers before, and I have definitely heard the many arguments revolving around this little statement but, this time I really thought about what that could statement could mean to someone who went out of their way to acquire it and put it on their car. First off, why do you think that the media is liberal? and second, why does that therefore mean you should not believe it?

To me, nothing is more dangerous than people with the inability or lack of desire to think for themselves. These types of people, in my experience, are willing to accept vague, open statements like this one without much thought to what it means or why they came to agree with that conclusion. Your everyday, conservative, republicans are almost always guilty of this which I honestly believe has a lot to do with their faith. They have been conditioned to blindly believe anything anyone in a perceived position of power tells them to believe. Is our entire media industry liberal? Really? The whole thing? Radio… television… magazines… newspapers… blogs… news sites… You get the point. There are a TON of media outlets out there and to say that all of them are liberal is just, well, ignorant. So how did this person I am sitting behind at the red light come to this conclusion and decide to share it with his fellow motorists?

I think I know why: the conservative republicans have always been really good at getting their message out to their followers. They play off of your fears, your faith, your family; everything that means anything to you. And it works really well. They have aligned themselves with people in such a way that the democratic party has yet been able to parallel. Democrats tend to work off of common sense and the acknowledgement that your family is not the only family on this planet and we should therefore act accordingly (hence the “liberal elitist”). The Republicans, however, tend to work off of your irrational fears and belief systems. If they can say that the media is liberal, well then they can counter any and everything that is said that does not align itself with their political message. It leaves everything wide open for argument and each time it is argued it is only more engrained in their follower’s head that the media MUST be liberal. It’s a perfect strategy and the poor guy in front of me at the light has fallen for it. But we Democrats are better than that, right?! Maybe… Which brings me to my next point: IF the media is liberal, why then should you not believe it?

‘Believe’ is such a strange word to be used in this instance, but again, it plays in to your fears and emotions much more effectively than if they were to say, “The liberal media lies” or “I disagree with the liberal media”. Those statements are saying the same thing but they don’t make it personal, which doesn’t make it scary, which, in turn, doesn’t make it appealing. Regardless, the part I am having such a hard time with is that everyone is entitled to freedom of the press and free speech- liberals and conservatives alike. So how is it that their conservative voices are not being heard or are being squandered by the liberals? Is it that they don’t speak up? Well, we all know that can’t be it! Or is it that the liberals are a part of some sort of government conspiracy in which we go through everyday and weed out all the “non-liberal” leaning news reports and make them disappear? Plausible? I think not.

I guess we should take it as a compliment that they honestly believe we have this sort of power but the argument just doesn’t hold any legitimacy for me. And not only that, I have a very hard time believing that it does hold legitimacy for a lot of the US population. Isn’t it just a matter of whether you agree with the way the news is being reported or not? What does it have to do with beliefs? I’m stumped- it just isn’t common sensical.