Tag Archives: rick santorum

In Praise of Hypatia

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Hypatia by Charles William Mitchell 1885

Hypatia was a philosopher and astronomer who died in the fifth century AD. She favored the earlier pagan ways, as well as the philosophy of Plato, and could be considered a forerunner of present-day feminism. She boldly confronted ignorance whenever she found it, especially ignorance concerning women. She fiercely opposed the treatment of women as secondary citizens or even as less than human. This caused her to be despised by the early Christian church and they found a way to justify her murder, in the name of Christianity. In today’s evangelical Christian revival under Rick Santorum Hypatia is particularly relevant. She stood for logic, and the ideal, and honest, undistorted sexuality. Her death is considered by some historians to be the benchmark for the end of the Classical Age, and the beginning of the Dark Ages. We need women like Hypatia today. We need brave people in general, who can speak intelligently about things, as the ancient philosophers endeavored to do. Christianity and Islam dealt a death blow to free thinking. I would like to see a resurgence of paganism, intelligent paganism, which would recognize the positive attributes of religion, while opposing the tyranny which often accompanies church, mosque, or synagogue. I wish to learn more about Hypatia, but when I was researching pre-Raphaelite painting I came across Hypatia. It intrigued me, and I read a little about her. We need to recapture the spirit of ancient Greece, for the Dark Ages are not entirely over.


My Problem With So-Called Christians

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I have a problem with many so-called Christians in this country. First of all, they aren’t Christians. They are filled with a false self-righteousness, based on a holier than thou attitude. They are eager to force their point of view on everyone. They want prayer in the schools, because everyone should be ‘Christian’. Our founding fathers knew the dangers of theocracy and made a point of keeping religion and the state separate. What we have with Rick Santorum and many others like him, is an attempt to establish a theocracy. A theocracy is a nation in which the state religion and the government are intertwined. Political decisions are based upon a religious agenda. The religious values of the state religion are imposed upon everyone. Those who oppose the state religion are persecuted, passed over for jobs, passed over in educational opportunities. Historically, the ultimate consequences are herding the heretics into their own ghettos and being subjected to inquisitions. It is insane.

Rick Santorum talks about a gay agenda, but I will tell you what the gay agenda is. It favors freedom to express oneself without fear of reprisal. It is the belief that one’s sexual orientation is their own business, and no one else’s. It is about telling the truth, instead of perpetuating a phony set of values. It is not about imposing the gay point of view upon everyone else. (actually I would argue that there isn’t necessarily a gay point of view, they disagree among each other as much as anyone). I am not gay (why do I feel I need to point that out? Is it because I want to be accepted by the bigots who read this blog?). But I support the values held by most gays far more than I support the values of hypocritical, self-satisfied, so-called Christians.

Real Christianity is about acceptance, tolerance, and love. It is not about relentless judgement and discrimination. It is about genuine love. It is certainly not about a political agenda of imposing your values on others. Relentless judgement is what is key here. That is what I encountered from a very young age. If you looked a certain way, or said certain things you were called ‘queer’ or ‘gay’. Even just a few years ago, in Las Vegas, some bonehead yelled ‘hey faggot’ out the window to me as I was walking down the sidewalk. Was there something about the way I walked that prompted that response? Or was there a way that I looked? Who knows, and who cares. Even those ‘Christians’ who condemn this sort of thing, still make those kinds of judgements, although they are unspoken. There is a deep undercurrent of hatred towards blacks, hispanics, jews, arabs, gays, the list goes on and on. And this hatred is held by church going sanctimonious people who pride themselves on being good Christians. They are not.

I still find traces of this stuff inside my  own mind, and have to remind myself that this is a residue of crap that I learned when I was a kid. We need to work hard at changing our attitudes and electing someone like Rick Santorum is a serious step backward. I don’t think he has a real chance of winning. In fact, I suspect Mitt Romney will win the nomination, but I could be wrong. The fundamentalist evangelical Christian right feels unrepresented and they are angry that the country is becoming multicultural. From their perspective the country is too liberal. They want to see some good old family values once again. This always gets a big response. Everyone supports family values. But what does that mean exactly? I grew up in a family that was very supportive of family values. It was a household in which you could not question the Bible, and you were expected to get good grades, go to college, get a good job, get married, raise a family etc. You were placed on a treadmill from the very beginning. No one questioned anything. It was largely devoid of love, and genuine respect. It consisted of following a program handed down generation after generation. It was robotic and meaningless. It makes me sick to think about it. But I don’t blame my parents because they had been just as victimized as myself when they were young. They were only doing what they were told was right, and didn’t give it a second thought.

That is what my blog is all about, telling the truth. Of course there was love in my childhood and afterward, and I was able to bludgeon my way into expressing an objection to the prevailing agenda. I exaggerated in the previous paragraph to an extent, to make a point. My intention is to wake people up to what is really going on. Are our lives authentic? Or are we following some mindless agenda which was foisted upon us? This is the problem I have with so-called Christianity. Christianity, in my view, was hijacked long ago. It was made to serve a political and social purpose, a means of controlling the masses. This is particularly true of Catholicism. You are not to question, only obey. Within this framework, our lives are not our own. However, I don’t believe the original message of Jesus Christ was extinguished. It is usually found where it was originally found, among the persecuted minorities.

I cannot even begin to express how much pain I feel inside when I consider the way in which my spirit was crushed when I was young. There was a ruthless, brutal lack of acceptance for anything that wasn’t part of the accepted culture. I despise that culture. I fear that the United States is in danger of entering into a very ugly phase, typified by a lack of tolerance. Fascism thrives in this kind of atmosphere. People like myself may be persecuted, herded away, and eventually killed. It is not that far fetched.

Some thoughtful observations of so-called Christians

I have been reading a ‘new’ history of the Third Reich by Michael Burleigh. In that book I could see how very ordinary, seemingly decent people could be persuaded to do the most horrendous things in the name of a false ideal. If the followers of the more extreme forms of ‘Christianity’ felt it was God’s Will, they would also be capable of doing horrendous things. For me, Rick Santorum represents a kind of American ‘Christian’ Taliban. It smacks of the same kind of intolerance.

 

The Specter of Santorum

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“Court Says Prop 8 is Unconstitutional”  was on the front page of the SF Chronicle this morning. This strikes a blow for common sense marriage laws! Gay marriage should be a right. Those who oppose it should understand that gay marriage doesn’t not threaten in any way traditional marriage. How could it? Heterosexual marriages will continue. The fact that gay marriage is an option in California doesn’t mean that heterosexuals will suddenly decide to be homosexual. That is absurd. Opposition to gay marriage is simply a bunch of religious zealots poking their nose into other people’s affairs. It is none of their business!! However, as good as this news is, it is tempered by another news story. Rick Santorum won three caucuses, in Minnesota, Colorado, and an unbinding caucus in Missouri. Rick Santorum is one of those religious zealots I mentioned earlier. He is a fanatic of the worst sort. Obama supporters should not reassure themselves that a nomination of Santorum would mean a certain victory for Obama. Fanatics like Rick Santorum have been elected before. He could galvanize the conservative voters, and all the hateful people who would turn this country into a theocracy of evangelical Christianity. I don’t believe their strength should be underestimated. I grew up in Missouri and  I know how backward many Midwesterners  can be. It is scary!! The danger is very real. Romney does not excite Republicans. He wins by default, because the other candidates are lame. Except that now conservative evangelicals appear to be gathering in favor of Santorum. Those of us who support gay marriage and an end to the gross inequality of our economy need to back Obama. We cannot afford to be apathetic. We should put our criticisms of Obama aside for now, because a Republican victory would be a setback for our country.  Even though Prop 8 has been struck down, the battle is by no means over. Gay rights will continue to be fought by people like Rick Santorum.

Beware the specter of Santorum

 

News Flash!! Gingrich threatens Superman

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I am reposting this news item from the Daily Planet on today’s news wire.

Newt Gingrich threatened Superman with what he thought was kryptonite today. In an abandoned warehouse in Sarasota, Fl.,  our chief correspondent, Lois Lane, captured this awkward moment for Gingrich. It is believed the phony kryptonite was given to Newt Gingrich by Rick Santorum, as a part of Santorum’s fight against illegal aliens. Clearly, the crystals are only making the man of steel quite angry. Superman had thought Newt was going to give him a lode of plutonium which he had intercepted. Gingrich had contacted the Daily Planet and asserted that the plutonium would have been delivered to Iran if he hadn’t found it while preparing for his next debate. Clearly it was a job for Superman!

It is no secret to our readers that Superman is a Barack Obama supporter, and this has rankled Newt Gingrich for some time. He clearly felt that he needed to dispose of this barrier to his becoming President. How he planned to get away with it isn’t clear. After today’s debacle, Newt has tried to pass it off as a joke. “Who says I don’t have a sense of humor?” Newt exclaimed. “I knew all along it wasn’t genuine. Rick Santorum couldn’t find a real chuck of kryptonite if he used both his hands!”  However, Superman was not amused, and commented. “I hope this pathetic little episode will convince everyone to vote for our President!”. Newt Gingrich couldn’t resist a parting comment. “This will all blow over. Nobody cares about Superman anymore! This will be forgotten by election day. It’s all made up! You can’t believe everything you see and read, it’s all Photoshop!” Photoshop indeed, such a stunt would be beneath the dignity of the Daily Planet.

Gingrich's evil plan goes sour