Christianity is becoming a problem
It is true that we are at war right now. Not just a traditional war of guns and tanks, but a cultural war is afoot as well. When President Bush said “they hate us for our freedom”, I think he could have been talking about this enemy, the Christian Right.
Uuch, strong statement eh? I had to get your attention, because I believe the Christian Right is a bigger threat to decent Americans than radical Islamist. In fact, to many, the Christian Right is known as the ‘American Taliban‘. I think that is a fair description. Let’s begin with a baseline of the term, so we are on the same page. This isn’t an official designation of the term ‘Christian Right’, but it is mine: To me, they are not simply people of Christian faith. I got no beef with anyone of simple religious faith. That is their own weakness. No, they are people who are working full time to inflict their faith and their values on you and me. They are the decision makers working behind the scenes. They look just like us, they walk amongst us, and they pretend to care about us. What scares me is they aren’t out there, they are right here in our own community. The call is coming from inside the house, if you know what I mean.
The war is on a few fronts for me:
1. is how they influence what I can and can not see (media censorship)
2. is how they place their values on us (the gay marriage issue)
3. they are an extremely big business, and aren’t contributing to the tax base (taqx deferments)
4. they don’t have to use the same rule book that we are held to (public health care codes)
I am concerned that they are forcing their will upon me. For example, let’s look at television. You know that tv has become more heavily censored every year since nipple-gate. The fines for indecency have raised four fold just in the last year. Does this come from the outrage of families or tv watchers? No sir, 99% of all indecency complaints come from one organization… the Parents Television Council. This group is single handedly deciding what every single person in America is to watch. That isn’t Democracy, nor is it the free market.
Lono, you say, someone must police these smut peddlers or they would just put anything on the air. While indeed the boundries are often being pushed to a increasingly desensitized youth, I submit the PTC isn’t getting shit done. Know why? I picked up the TV guide and looked at the prime time line up of tv tonight on the big networks. The shows are almost entirely crime based shows.
A kid watching tv on CBS tonight will see about 11 dead bodies before he goes to bed. So this is the protected content? For whatever reason, this guy L. Brent Bozell isn’t worried about violence on TV. The whole Itchy and Scratchy premise on the Simpsons is to critique that we teach our kids violence on tv is funny and doesn’t count. Similarly, the entire premise of the South Park movie is that America would rather go to war against an ally than allow someone to cuss on tv. So, Brent believes dead bodies are ok but nudity is a capital sin… and the FCC agrees with him. Here is what I think about that, buster > I would much rather my child see a boobie than a dead body any day. Ever seen a dead body in person? It is a pretty fucked up thing that stays with you, even if they get the bad guy.
How about marriage? I am married, and I think gays should be able to get married. I think Al Shapton said it best (a sentence I rarely lead up with). The Reverend said that the ability to marry is a civil right. To say gays can’t get married is, in my eyes, to say blacks or tall people can’t get married. Marriage is a commitment between two people, not God or society… just two people.
No one is going to turn anyone gay if we allow gay marriage. In fact, wanna know another great (and very Republican) reason to allow gays to marry? Weddings are crazy good for the economy. My wife and I tried to do everything on the cheap, making our own centerpieces and all that business. We still blew $10,000. $10,000 is a lot of cabbage. Let’s do some quick and crude math. America is about to hit 300 million people any day now. Let’s assume 1% are gay (instead of the more common number I hear of 10%). 1% of 300 million is 3 million people. If those three million gay people got married to each other, that would generate 1.5 million weddings. 1.5 million weddings at $10,000 a piece is 15 billion dollars spend in the economy. With all these wars and tax cuts, 15 billion bucks sure would help out.
Also, the gay people I know (just like the stereotype) really do have nice taste. I would hazard a guess that they aren’t going to marry on the cheap. Simply put, in conservative terms, gay marriage creates jobs! Oh, and the church telling us about virtue is comical. The divorce rate in America is about 50%, so who are we to tell people what a successful marriage is? We all know how well that turned out for the Catholics, didn’t we. They fucked little boys, in a scandal so stinky it makes Mark Foley look like a saint. In fact, I think he now is a Catholic Saint. These Catholic church officials knew for decades, and shifted the offenders around the country. Guess what, Mr. Dobson, boinking is a biological imperative. It is mandated by nature, and to repress that only creates horrible and sometimes lethal consequences. Did you know that the Catholic Church is the largest landholder in the world? I heard that somewhere, but won’t pretend to have data on it.
The church does not do this for us, they do this to us. We are moving to a Christian dictatorship, folks… so how do we differ from the Fundamentalist Islamic culture then? You want to say that the American Taliban doesn’t represent the majority of Americans. Sadly, you are wrong. This is because James Dobson from Focus on the Family is a close adviser to President Bush. James Dobson is a radical hate filled nutjob, and he is calling the shots on our Supreme Court justices. You may be reading this thinking that I am a radical hate filled nutjob. Well, I have no authority, and no secret agenda. I believe in self determination for everyone, and that is where I differ with Islam and Catholicism.
Now we are getting at my big point, and my most serious beef… the non profit business. I do not think that churches, unless they are functioning as schools, should be tax exempt. These churches and their constituents, use the same roads, tapwater, fire department, and sewers that we do. On top of this, they guilt their flock to tithing 10% of their income back to the church. Why this frustrates me is that I have to pay my taxes to cover my share…. AND their share. I don’t even go to church (obviously), so why am I buying the church government services? They are rich, can’t they kick in?
These organizations and their leaders still rely on public services — police and fire protection, street lights and storm drains, highway and bridge maintenance, food and drug inspections, national defense. But their tax exemptions shift the cost of providing those benefits onto other citizens. The total cost nationwide is not known, because no one keeps track.
In an eye opening piece this week in the New York Times business section, they examined the ever growing role of Faith Based Initiatives and their damage to our taxbase. See, churches are getting past the churchin’ business. They are opening day cares and restuarants too. Guess what, though? These businesses (I underline that these are businesses, not community outreach or faith based initiatives) are not just tax exempt… they are exempt from all regulations. Do you know how complicated the food safety regulations are for a restuarant? The rules of food preperation for the public are extremely meticulous, and for good reason. Religious organizations are exempt from these rules though, because of freedom of speech. Department of health can not go into a church run restuarant. So who is keeing your food safe? God, I guess.
The church is also in the child care business. The church has a very interesting loophole, though… they do not have to be licensed. The licensing of a day care is seriously stringent. It involves background checks for every single care provider. It dictates that every day care have a certain number of staffers per child. It dictates that every day care facility have two sinks, one just for preparing food. It dictates the kind of toys and the activities of the different age and development levels. These are things in place so that your child is safe in their hands. That is, unless your day care is a religious one.
Religious day care institutions do not have to be licensed. So, they can hire and fire without concern for labor law… and the Government can not even step foot in them because they are protected businesses. It is probably about the same, though, right? Wrong!
The rate of abuse in Christian day care centers in Texas was found to be TEN TIMES that of licensed day care providers. Why, because the Christian (and other religious) day care providers do not have to follow safety rules or protocols. They don’t have to run backround checks on staffers, or have a minimum amount of staffers on hand to watch the children.
The argument that religious groups are victims of discrimination drew a sigh from Ms. White, the day care director in Alabama, where licensed day care centers are finding it harder to compete with unlicensed faith-based centers that do not have to comply with expensive licensing requirements.
Nope, because this would be impinging on their religious freedom of expression.
Let’s read that sentence one more time before we close out.
“the rate of confirmed cases of abuse and neglect at alternatively accredited facilities in Texas is more than 10 times that of state-licensed facilities.”
So, who could possibly be against licensing day cares in the Churches? Yup, the Christian Coalition. Come on, really? The Christian Coalition doesn’t want day cares to be licensed for our kids safety? It sounds like I am misleading the reader, so let’s quote their lawyers:
John W. Giles, president of the state’s Christian Coalition, confirmed that his organization supported the exemption, noting that state oversight would be intrusive and was unnecessary
Unnecessary? It is unnecessary to protect our children? I disagree.
Society “treats Christianity like a second-class superstition,” Tom DeLay, then a Republican representative from Texas, told the crowd. “Seen from that perspective, of course there is a war on religion.”
What? That is the most retarded statement ever, and ignorant as well. AS John Stewart said “Christianity, you won! It is over, you have all the government and the holidays and schools and the songs too”. We treat Scientology as a second class superstition… becuase it is. Oh, and they (Sceintologits) are afforded all of these protections we just discussed too.