Saturday, July 30, 2011

More death threats from religious folks

at Why Evolution Is True:

Yesterday Blair Scott, communications director for American Atheists, was on the FOX News show America Live with Megyn Kelly. You can see the show here; sadly, I can’t watch it in Russia.
As soon as Scott returned home after the show, his inbox began filling up with hate mail and threats. Equally distressing, the Fox News Facebook page was soon inundated with death threats aimed at Scott and atheists in general, comments that are being taken down rapidly (see the report by William Hamby in the Atlanta Examiner).
here is the screenshot of the FB comments:

 ahh the religion of peace

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Teen Suicide Epidemic in Michele Bachmann's District

110% absolutely guaranteed hetero 
Is Michelle Bachmann fomenting teen suicide ? Via Pharyngula:

Mother Jones: "The first was TJ. Then came Samantha, Aaron, Nick, and Kevin. Over the past two years, a total of nine teenagers have committed suicide in a Minnesota school district represented by Rep. Michele Bachmann—the latest in May—and many more students have attempted to take their lives. State public health officials have labeled the area a 'suicide contagion area' because of the unusually high death rate.

Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman's closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her district—including the high school that she attended.

Bachmann, who began her political career as an education activist, has described gay rights as an 'earthquake issue,' and she and her allies have made public schools the front lines of their fight against the 'homosexual agenda.' They have opposed efforts in the state to promote tolerance for gays and lesbians in the classroom, seeing such initiatives as a way of allowing gays to recruit impressionable youths into an unhealthy and un-Christian lifestyle."
Horrible people.

Theravada Buddhist monks walk away from sex-abuse allegations
"A Tribune review of sexual abuse cases involving several Theravada Buddhist temples found minimal accountability and lax oversight of monks accused of preying on vulnerable targets.

Because they answer to no outside ecclesiastical authority, the temples respond to allegations as they see fit. And because the monks are viewed as free agents, temples claim to have no way of controlling what they do next. Those found guilty of wrongdoing can pack a bag and move to another temple — much to the dismay of victims, law enforcement and other monks.

'You'd think they'd want to make sure these guys are not out there trying to get into other temples,' said Rishi Agrawal, the attorney for a victim of a west suburban monk convicted of battery for sexual contact last fall. 'What is the institutional approach here? It seems to be ignorance and inaction.'"

reaping the whirlwind

I love the whinging that's going on in the anti-jihadist, Christian Right corner of the sty. After years of tarring muslims, liberals, environmentalists, etc with every imaginable slander and accusation, they squeal over the notion that they be associated with Check out this from Tim at THE BLACK KETTLE (one of my favorite winger sites):

"I, and many others, have spent the past few days deconstructing the slanderous meme in the media that Breivik is a right-wing extremist fundamentalist Christian. He was none of those things. He was a deranged xenophobe. The writer of the above article nails it when he writes ‘the media employs guilt by association by deliberate design.’ This should put to rest any presumption by the general public that the media is either objective or ideologically neutral. The MSM is an organ of anti-Christian/conservative propaganda and it must be changed by rooting-out the problem in the schools of journalism which consistently turn out these radical, left-wing demagogues."

On Friday he said:

"A case in point is that islam as a religion is a problem as I see it (I have read the Koran). "

Constantly tying a billion muslims to terrorism and doctrinal literalism. Apparently he hasn't read the Bible, if he believes it provides christians with particular moral cover. it doesn't, unless you are a fan of slavery, polygamy, and genocide. (I have read the Bible)

When Christianity becomes lethal

On Faith - The Washington Post
A more comprehensive view of the mutually-reinforcing role of extremist Christianity and extremist political views is essential, given the spread of right-wing extremism and its lethal capacity “not just in Norway but across Europe, where opposition to Muslim immigrants, globalization, the power of the European Union and the drive toward multiculturalism has proven a potent political force and, in a few cases, a spur to violence.”
The rise of this type of right-wing extremism is not confined to Europe but is also a growing threat in the U.S. It is therefore even more alarming that the Southern Poverty Law Center is calling attention to the fact that the Department of Homeland Security has apparently scaled back its department “responsible for analyzing security threats from non-Islamic domestic extremists.” According to Daryl Johnson, the principal author of the April 7, 2009, report “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” the focus on domestic, non-Islamic terror threats, was cut back after his report was leaked. The leaked report precipitated a “firestorm” of protest from conservatives who “wrongly claimed it equated conservatives with terrorists.”
Especially in light of events in Norway, it is clear Mr. Johnson was just doing what Homeland Security is supposed to do, namely track dangerous domestic extremism, regardless of the source, in order to prevent violent extremism.
The religious element in terrorist extremism cannot either be ignored or overblown. It is an important part of the whole equation. In this Norwegian case, conservative Christianity and right-wing, nationalist political ideologies mutually reinforced and tempted each other, and the acts of a person like Anders Behring Breivik were apparently the result. Looking closely at theological interpretations can illuminate how the mass killing of people to accomplish a political end can be justified as right and even a moral imperative in the eyes of individuals and groups wanting to impose their political views through violence.
It is absolutely critical that Christians not turn away from the Christian theological elements in such religiously inspired terrorism. We must acknowledge these elements in Christianity and forthrightly reject these extremist interpretations of our religion. How can we ask Muslims to do the same with Islam, if we won’t confront extremists distorting Christianity?

"Disturbing" Norway shooting: Glenn Beck compares Anders Behring Breivik's victims to Hitler Youth

I hope they sealed the sewer this asshole slithered from:

Mail Online: "Speaking on his radio programme yesterday, he said the teenagers attending the Labour youth camp on the idyllic island were like the Nazi leader's infamous young followers, and branded any kind of political trip for youngsters as 'disturbing'.

Yet the Tea Party darling is the man behind the 9/12 Project, an organisation which runs politically-minded camps for young people across the U.S.

Described as 'a new low' by a former press secretary to Norway's prime minister, the comments come just days after 76 people died in Oslo and Utoya in a double attack by far-right extremist Anders Breivik.

Beck said: 'As the thing started to unfold and there was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth. Who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing.'"

Breivik: A Living Definition Of Christianism

The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast:
"My point is this: this was about as far from an act of meaningless violence as you can get. It is an explicitly articulated, carefully argued conclusion from a mishmash of every current far right platitude out there. Breivik does not merely claim influence by someone like Robert Spencer, he quotes him and so many others at great length as part of his manifesto! It's a pastiche of vast tracts of the far right blogosphere. None of this delegitimizes sane, vital critiques of Islamist intolerance, violence and ideology; none of it makes these cited ideologues and fanatics guilty of murder or in any way being accomplices to murder, or in any way connected to his crime. But it does seem to me to prove beyond any doubt that Christianism is indeed a phenomenon in its own right, and that its evolution into neo-fascist violence, like Islamism's embrace of neo-fascist violence, is now something that cannot be denied."

Breivik and His Enablers

Roger Cohen:
In a June 11 entry from his 1,500-page online manifesto, Breivik wrote: “I prayed for the first time in a very long time today. I explained to God that unless he wanted the Marxist-Islamic alliance and the certain Islamic takeover of Europe to completely annihilate European Christendom within the next hundred years he must ensure that the warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail.”
Two days later, he tests his homemade bomb: “BOOM! The detonation was successful.”
European Christendom in this context is a mirror image of the idealized caliphate of Osama bin Laden. It is a dream-world cause through which to enlist the masses in apocalyptical warfare against an “infidel” enemy supposedly threatening the territory, morals and culture of an imagined community of devout believers.
This particular Christian Europe — the Continent is overwhelmingly secular for reasons that have nothing to do with a growing Muslim presence — is just as fantastical as a restored 7th-century dominion of the caliph. Bin Laden inveighed against “crusaders.” Breivik attended a 2002 meeting to reconstitute the Knights Templar, a Crusader military order. This is the stuff of video games — except that it kills real teenagers of all faiths.
What has become clear in Oslo and on Utoya Island is that delusional anti-Muslim rightist hatred aimed at “multiculturalist” liberals can be just as dangerous as Al Qaeda’s anti-infidel poison: Breivik alone killed many more people than the four Islamist suicide bombers in the 7/7 London attack of 2005.

Breivik has many ideological fellow travelers on both sides of the Atlantic. Theirs is the poison in which he refined his murderous resentment. The enablers include Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, who compared the Koran to “Mein Kampf” on his way to 15.5 percent of the vote in the 2010 election; the surging Marine Le Pen in France, who uses Nazi analogies as she pours scorn on devout Muslims; far-rightist parties in Sweden and Denmark and Britain equating every problem with Muslim immigration; Republicans like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Representative Peter King, who have found it politically opportune to target “creeping Shariah in the United States” at a time when the middle name of the president is Hussein; U.S. church pastors using their bully pulpits week after week to say America is a Christian nation under imminent threat from Islam.

Is Norway’s Suspected Murderer Anders Breivik a Christian Terrorist?

 Religion Dispatches:
Is this a religious vision, and am I right in calling Breivik a Christian terrorist? It is true that Breivik—and McVeigh, for that matter—were much more concerned about politics, race, and history than about scripture and religious belief; with Breivik even going so far as to write that “It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)).
But much the same can be said about Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and many other Islamist activists. Bin Laden was a businessman and engineer, and Zawahiri was a medical doctor; neither were theologians or clergy. Their writings show that they were much more interested in Islamic history than theology or scripture, and imagined themselves as re-creating glorious moments in Islamic history in their own imagined wars. Tellingly, Breivik writes of al Qaeda with admiration, as if he would love to create a Christian version of their religious cadre.
If bin Laden is a Muslim terrorist, Breivik and McVeigh are surely Christian ones. Breivik was fascinated with the Crusades and imagined himself to be a member of the Knights Templar, the crusader army of a thousand years ago. But in an imagined cosmic warfare time is suspended, and history is transcended as the activists imagine themselves to be acting out timeless roles in a sacred drama. The tragedy is that these religious fantasies are played out in real time, with real and cruel consequences.

Norway Massacre: Anders Breivik’s Deadly Attack Fueled by Hatred of Women - The Daily Beast

Michelle Goldberg - The Daily Beast:

"Conservatives worried about the Islamization of Europe often blame feminism for weakening Western societies and opening them up to a Muslim demographic invasion. Mark Steyn’s bestselling America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It predicted the demise of “European races too self-absorbed to breed,” leading to the transformation of Europe into Eurabia. “In their bizarre prioritization of ‘a woman’s right to choose,’” he argued, “feminists have helped ensure that European women will end their days in a culture that doesn’t accord women the right to choose anything.”

This neat rhetorical trick—an attack on feminism coupled with purported concern about Muslim fundamentalist misogyny—is repeated again and again in Islamophobic literature. Now it’s reached its apogee in mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence.” Rarely has the connection between sexual anxiety and right-wing nationalism been made quite so clear. Indeed, Breivik’s hatred of women rivals his hatred of Islam, and is intimately linked to it. Some reports have suggested that during his rampage on Utoya, he targeted the most beautiful girl first. This was about sex even more than religion."

"Nevertheless, the right clings to the idea that feminism is destroying Western societies from the inside, creating space for Islamism to take cover. This politics of emasculation gave shape to Breivik’s rage. Thus, while he pretends to abhor Muslim subjugation of women, he writes that the “fate of European civilisation depends on European men steadfastly resisting Politically Correct feminism.” When cultural conservatives seize control of Europe, he promises, “we will re-establish the patriarchal structures.” Eventually, women “conditioned” to this new order “will know her place in society.” His mad act was in the service of male superiority as well as Christian nationalism. Those two things, of course, almost always go together."

was he a Christian?

He was a much a Christian as most hard right conservatives, with a willingness to take direct action one of the only differences. from Sullivan:

What does "practice" Christianity mean? Are the only Christians church-goers? Do you have to go once? Or weekly? Is O'Reilly himself a Christian by his own definition? And, of course, the "Christian angle" did not just come from a cop. It came from the manifesto of the mass murderer himself. And here is the mass murderer's own definition of Christianity, also from yesterday's Dish:
"As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus ... Being a Christian can mean many things; That you believe in and want to protect Europe's Christian cultural heritage. The European cultural heritage, our norms (moral codes and social structures included), our traditions and our modern political systems are based on Christianity – Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and the legacy of the European enlightenment (reason is the primary source and legitimacy for authority). It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way."
This, to point out the obvious, this is straight out of the Fox News playbook. It is orthodoxy in the current GOP. It is in no way more extreme than what Hannity and O'Reilly and Beck argue day after day after day. Indeed, the killer's obsession with the "war on Christmas" is less intense than Bill O'Reilly's. And here is O'Reilly's definition of Christianity in the same segment, a definition so close to Breivik's it could almost be the same person writing:
The second reason the liberal media is pushing the Christian angle is they don't like Christians very much because we are too judgmental. Many Christians oppose abortion. Gay marriage and legalized narcotics, secular left causes. The media understands the opposition is often based on religion. So they want to diminish Christianity and highlighting so-called Christian-based terror is a way to do that.
Notice that O'Reilly defines Christianity in entirely political terms related to the control of other people's lives and bodies. i.e. being judgmental in passing laws to restrict the freedoms of others for the greater good. It is straight out of the school of thought I described at length in "The Conservative Soul." In other words, O'Reilly's definition of Christianity is very close to Breivik's. Both are best understood as Christianists, who see Christianity primarily as a way to change or mold civil society and the lives of others for what they see as the greater good, but O'Reilly is a non-violent one who deplores violence, while Breivik takes his own rhetoric so seriously he felt obliged to destroy Norway's civil order in order to save it.
The difference is not in ideology, but in the move to violence. That move is, of course, a central, profound and vital one, and O'Reilly's views of the world are in no way responsible for what just happened in Norway. But it is hard to see where O'Reilly would disagree with vast tracts of Breivik's ideology - except the resort to violence. Ideologically, there is scarcely any difference at all.

The Oslo Terrorist's 'Counter-Jihad' Ideology

Charles Johnson: "The Oslo Terrorist's 'Counter-Jihad' Ideology":

Among people who truly believe this paranoid world view, is it any wonder that one of them finally took the next step?
Unlike Jared Loughner (the shooter of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords), with Anders Behring Breivik there’s no doubt whatsoever where he got the inspiration and the ideology that led inexorably to the horror in Oslo.
When Gabrielle Giffords and several others were shot, I was critical of the right wing blogs and Sarah Palin in particular, for encouraging a climate of violent rhetoric. But in the Norway atrocities, the responsibility is far more evident and direct.
People like Fjordman and Pamela Geller and the right wing blogosphere who spew apocalyptic rhetoric and refuse to denounce the extremists among them now have the very real blood of children on their hands.

Christian Terrorism

William Saletan on the hypocrisy among America's neo fascists:

Geller is outraged. "Attempts to link us to these murders on the basis of alleged postings by the murderer mentioning us are absurd and offensive," she writes. Breivik "is responsible for his actions. He and only he." She adds: "Watching CNN and BBC coverage about Norway, I found very disturbing to hear the number of times they use the word 'Christian.' They would never dare refer to religion when it is jihad, and this attack had nothing to do with Christianity."
Now you know how it feels, Ms. Geller. When the terrorist is a Christian—in his own words, a "Crusader" for "Christendom"—and when the preacher to whom he has been linked is you, you suddenly discover the injustice of group blame and guilt by association. The citations you didn't create, the intermediaries you didn't recognize, the transactions you didn't know about, the violent interpretations you didn't condone—these exonerating facts suddenly matter. And the hypocrisy doesn't end with Geller. It permeates the Republican presidential field. Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Newt Gingrich agree with Geller that no mosque should be built near Ground Zero. Herman Cain, in the style of George Wallace, just went to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to support local bigots who want to stop the construction of a mosque there. Rick Santorum told a Christian school audience: "The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical." And Michele Bachmann defended a congressional inquiry into Muslim violence by pointing out that recently,
Two of our soldiers were gunned down in Germany, and the fellow who shot them shouted "Allah Akhbar" before he did that. And just the week before that, we had a 20-year-old from Saudi Arabia, here on a student visa in Dallas, who had accumulated all of the chemicals necessary to create a bomb on the order of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing. … If we don't understand that there are Sharia-compliant terrorists in our midst … we will make ourselves more vulnerable.
Well, now we have a Crusade-compliant terrorist who has accumulated explosive chemicals, blown up a federal building with a bomb on the order of Oklahoma City, and gunned down scores of civilians. Don't hold your breath waiting for Bachmann or anyone else in Congress to investigate the Christian angle.