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Say It Ain’t So, Sarah! October 13, 2008

Posted by sociallyacceptableinsanity in Atheism.
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Oh that Sarah Palin…bless her heart!  She proudly proclaims her high ethical standards, her accountability, her “not business as usual” maverick stance.  The only thing wrong with all of this posturing is that it’s a lie. 

In a recent Associated Press article, writer Garance Burke reports that Palin, who has vowed not to let her personal beliefs influence her decisions as an elected official, has billed the State of Alaska for travel to and time spent at various religious meetings.

Writes Burke, “Palin and her family billed the state $3,022 for the cost of attending Christian gatherings exclusively, including visits to the Assembly of God here and to the congregation they attend in Juneau, according to expense reports reviewed by the AP.”

In the article, Burke also states:

“Since she took state office in late 2006, the governor and her family have spent more than $13,000 in taxpayer funds to attend at least 10 religious events and meetings with Christian pastors, including Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical preacher Billy Graham, records show.”

That doesn’t sound like much of a separation of church and state, does it?  Nor does it sound very ethical, but then Troopergate and her recent, clutching-at-straws attacks on Barack Obama, claiming that he “pals around with terrorists,” have proven that ethics are not her strong suit, no matter what she may claim.

According to Burke, when Palin was Mayor of Wasilla, she attempted to “organize a day of prayer at city hall,” and “also joined a grass-roots, faith-based movement to stop the local hospital from performing abortions.”

I’ve asked it before and I am asking it again:  are we really supposed to believe that this woman will be able to keep her religious life and her political life separate?  Are we to believe that she will even try?  It is obvious that she has an agenda, an agenda dictated by her Evangelical Christian faith, and that she will do everything in her power to further that agenda.  And apparently she feels that it is perfectly OK to use the taxpayer’s money to do this.

Well, Sarah, it is not OK. 

It’s bad enough that she’s been doing this as the Governor of Alaska – it’s up to all of us to make sure that she does not get the chance to further her religious agenda as the Vice President of the United States.

Vote Obama.

Hollaback Girl October 11, 2008

Posted by sociallyacceptableinsanity in Atheism.
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Well, I didn’t get a chance to see Religulous because it didn’t hit the local theaters until this weekend, but I’m going this Tuesday, come hell or high water (pun intended).

I thought I’d use today’s post to answer some of the comments I’ve gotten on earlier posts.  Much to my delight, I have yet to receive any death threats, fatwahs or impenetrable rants so far:  in fact, most of the comments have been well thought out, if not entirely grammatically correct.

“Dahni” wrote me two lengthy comments about Religion and Politics:  Why Sarah Palin Scares the Crap Out of Me, out of which I will address a few of her more interesting points.  She writes:

“…here we all are. How did we get here? Most ask or ponder this question. 1. God – Where did he come from? Nobody can answer that, so it is accepted by faith. 2. Evolution – big bang, but where did out of nothing come from? Nobody can answer this either, so it is accepted by faith. In this, there is no difference between the two.”

Yes, I agree that people’s belief in god is a matter of faith, as there is no real proof of god’s existence.  However, I do not agree that the “Big Bang” theory is accepted by faith.  It is a scientific theory, and to quote from the NASA website, a theory is a “scientifically testable general principle or body of principles offered to explain observed phenomena. In scientific usage, a theory is distinct from a hypothesis (or conjecture) that is proposed to explain previously observed phenomena. For a hypothesis to rise to the level of theory, it must predict the existence of new phenomena that are subsequently observed. A theory can be overturned if new phenomena are observed that directly contradict the theory.”

There is a huge difference between religious faith and the scientific method.  Just because science hasn’t found “all of the answers” does not mean that science is founded on faith.

“Dahni” also goes on to say:

“Finally you ask: “Why can’t Americans just grow up?” Answer: In the world, America and Americans are really a young country and people and has a young system of government. You are a mother. Americans are like children. Children need to be taught. Children not only need limits and boundaries to protect them and keep them safe, they want them. Many religious people like children, expect God to protect them, guide them, provide for them etc., just as children expect this of their parents. Many people expect the same thing from government. There is no difference.

First off, I am not a mother, nor have I ever claimed to be a mother.  Secondly, the whole point that I am trying to make is that people need to just grow up!  I agree that we are a young country, but I do not agree that it gives us license to act as children.

The last comment that I want to discuss is from “klbuley,” commenting on Dont’ Believe Everything You Read

“Do you believe in love? You cannot see love. You see the fruits of love, but it is not something tangible, or measurable. There are books written about love, from people in love, out of love, or who hope to fall in love, but what is it really? People believe it exists because it benefits them. People love, because the alternative stinks. There is little proof, as you see it, of God. People believe, because the alternative (if they are wrong), stinks.’

I understand what “klbuley” is trying to say here, but this whole comment strikes me as just very sad.  It sounds like should all believe in god because life would be horrible without someone to look after us.  To me, the very idea of that is horrible.  To think that it would be worse to stand on your own, to be responsible for your actions, to be rational?  To be so afraid of the world, of life? 

Now that would stink.

Religion and Politics: Why Sarah Palin Scares the Crap Out of Me September 21, 2008

Posted by sociallyacceptableinsanity in American society, Atheism, politics, religion, Sarah Palin.
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As an atheist, there is much to frustrate me about living in America, but nothing frustrates me more than the invidious stranglehold that religion has on politics in this country.

I’ve always thought it ridiculous that in a nation founded in part on religious freedom, no person running for higher office can possibly have a hope of winning unless they proudly proclaim their faith in god.  Our candidates dutifully join the flock while accompanied by a flock of their own, a flock armed with cameras and microphones.   Candidates such as Barack Obama, who has a “Muslim” name and refuses to wear an American flag lapel pin, draw virulent criticism and become the subjects of intense scrutiny.  “Is he a Christian?”, the good, right-wing people of America ask themselves in consternation.  “Is he the Anti-Christ?”, they fret.

Which brings me now to Sarah Palin, the governor of my fair state and the newly annointed darling/pin-up girl of the right-wing.  This woman is frightening!  As the weeks since her joining the Republican ticket have gone by, more and more details of her religious life and beliefs are coming to light, and it isn’t pretty.  To name a few: 

  • She attended a Pentacostal church (they of the speaking in tongues) for 25 years, only switching to a so-called “non-denominational” evangelical church six years ago. 
  • She has referred to the war in Iraq as a “task from god” and has exhorted the people of Alaska to pray for the natural gas line to be built.  
  • Her current church holds conferences on how to “pray the gay away” and promises to help homosexual men and women stop being attracted to members of their own sex. 
  • She promotes “abstinence only” sex education, which is amusing considering that her own daughter didn’t seem to absorb that message very well, and apparently neither did Sarah herself, since a study of the dates of her “elopement” with Todd and the birth of their oldest child would seem to indicate that that child was born a mere eight months after the wedding. 
  • Palin has also stated that she does not believe in women having the right to an abortion, even in the case of incest or rape.
Pastor Ed Kalnins blesses Sen. Murkowski, Lt. Gov. Parnell and Gov. Palin at One Lord Sunday

Pastor Ed Kalnins blesses Lt. Gov. Parnell, Gov. Palin and Sen. Murkowski at One Lord Sunday

Though Sarah protests that her private views on religion will not spill over in to her political life, I think it is obvious that it will.  I see the light of the zealot in her eyes, the utter conviction that her way is the right way, her god the only god.  If the McCain-Palin ticket succeeds in winning the presidential election, placing her in the position of being “one heartbeat away from the presidency,” do we really want someone like her in office?  Haven’t eight years of god-fearing, born-again Bush been enough?  What this country needs right now is a politician that cares more about rational, real solutions for our problems, not one who thinks that you can pray for things and they will happen if you ask god nicely enough.  Why do Americans insist that our politicians be “persons of faith?” Why do we confuse religious belief with love of country? 

Why can’t Americans just grow up?