When the Fascists rose to power in Europe, they did so by demonizing their opponents. In Spain, they were against intellectuals educating the peasants as it was anti-Catholic. In Germany, they worked on centuries of bigotry by promoting the International Jewish Conspiracy. Mussolini did things differently. His fascism welded bigotry and anti-intellectualism to progressive ideas like a minimum wage and women’s suffrage. While the Germans and the Spanish made fascists out of their right wings, the Italians made fascists out of their left wing.
The American government propaganda machine managed to take the anti-intellectualism of Franco, the bigotry of Hitler, and the pseudo-progressive chauvinism of Mussolini and apply them to both the left and the right wing. The anti-intellectualism is promoted by conspiracy theories. The bigotry is promoted by applying conspiracy theories to different ethnic and political groups. The chauvinism comes in with both sides convincing themselves that they are the only side with the answers.
Conspiracy theory is the idea that science is lying if it does not conform to preconceived notions. For instance, conservative Christians insist that evolution is a conspiracy as it denies special creation. The Truthers insist that relativity is a conspiracy as it disproves their notion that the government rigged the towers with bombs. We are seeing anti-intellectualism at its worst on the left as well as the right.
Both sides of the political spectrum are applying conspiracy theories to different ethnic and political groups. In the case of the conservatives, the targets of hatred are Gays. They will tell you they have nothing against homosexuals (hate the sin, love the sinner, and the rest of that rot.) They will tell you that they are against the “homosexual agenda”. Thanks to conspiracy reasoning, they see the LGBT community demanding equal rights and acceptance as a direct attack on their conservative values. Gays are then demonized along with others who supports gay rights.
On the other hand, the left is scapegoating Jews. Just like their counterparts on the right, people on the left will tell you they have nothing against Jews, they are just against Zionism. These stalwart champions of human rights have no more idea of what Zionism is than Michelle Bachman knows what it is to be a lesbian. All they know is that Noam Chomsky is against it, which is good enough for them. That statement sums up what Bachman’s followers know about homosexuality. The left is as delusional as the right now that the Truthers have jumped in with their mad accusation of the Mossad and bombs in the tower.
Chauvinism is the result of both sides so wrapped up in their different conspiracies that reason becomes impossible. Elements on the left are out to protect America from the International Jewish Conspiracy, blaming Israel for everything from September 11th to Obama’s adopting Bush’s idiot wars. The right is blaming the homosexual agenda for high taxes and unemployment. Neither side can be spoken to. The result is the descendents of the same people who took control of this country in 1790 are in control of it today, and continue to rob us blind as the right tries to save us from homosexuality and the left from creeping Zionism.
The Right had their Tea Party where they promoted their anti-intellectualism and bigotry. Now the Left has their Occupation Movement where there are as many signs promoting Jew hatred as there are signs demanding the demise of Wall St. In Oakland, I have seen so many signs calling for the end of the Jewish Banking Conspiracy, I just gave up on it.
Any real revolution in this country has to do two things. The first is The Occupation has to get it’s shit together. This means that the wing-nuts have to go. The Truthers/anti-Zionists are as aggressive as Born Again Christians. They will drive out anybody who does not believe in their paranoid fantasies. I watched them do this to the peace movement. They will do the same to the Occupation. The second thing is creating a reasonable agenda that people on the right can at least discuss. I have seen this on the Las Angeles Occupation website. They have adopted an agenda that include basic rights like food, shelter, education, and Medical care. So far, Los Angeles and Berkeley are the only two Occupations supporting basic human rights. Other Occupations are being too divisive in their antisemitism and determination that the Jewish bankers be punished. Unless the other Occupations catch up to Los Angeles and Berkeley, we are going to end up like Egypt and our fundamentalist religious military will take over.
And if you don’t think this can happen here in America, think again. The military is already dominated by Born Again Christians. The Air Force is the worst, and they have access to nukes. Rick Perry, in his latest round of idiocy, is calling for an end to civilian management of the military. This is the one thing separating us from a fascist dictatorship. It doesn’t matter if Perry becomes president or not, if Wall St. wants an end to civilian management, Wall St. is going to get it. After all, Wall St. actually runs this country and its propaganda mill. Besides, a military dictatorship is the usual way an imperialist nation ends.
After long and careful consideration, I will not be supporting the Occupation Movement unless those two criteria are met. My energy is going to keeping my family and me alive for the next ten years of military rule. Unless Americans abandon conspiracies for reason, this is all we have to look forward to.
(Author’s note. The original head photo was John Adams. This composite sketch was lent to me courtesy of http://wethepeoplegame.com/ and Bob Snizek. They hold all legal rights to it.)
His hair was unkempt for it had not been brushed in years. His clothes were tattered and mended; they were meant for farm work and not for addressing the members of the Pennsylvania Assembly. Yet he stood before the assembled leaders of colonial Pennsylvania and he preached fire and brimstone. He called down the wrath of God upon the crowned heads of Europe and the land speculators in New York. He preached the New Jerusalem on the American Continent. His America was one that Superman would be proud of for it was founded on Truth and Justice. Staring at his audience, no, his congregation, with eyes of fire, he preached the damnation of slaveholders, and condemned those who abused the natives to eternal hellfire. When he was finished, his audience rose to applaud their hero. His name was Herman Husband. His detractors called him the Mad Man of the Mountains, but his fellow members of the Pennsylvania assembly called him a man of God.
Born to a wealthy family in Maryland, Husband got religion from working for his tavern keeper uncle. That same uncle also taught him the value of hard work. Those lessons were so well learned that young Herman could not readjust to the frivolous life of a Maryland plantation owner’s son. He found their vapid imitation of British court life sinful, and he could not abide slavery. He soon moved away and bought his own plantation. He left the Anglican Church, which he felt was the home of the antichrist, and joined the Quakers. Proving that there was no fanatic quite like a convert, Husband became the most dedicated of Quakers. Forsaking all vanity, he refused to brush his hair and wore only work clothes. Even though his plantation and business interests made him a very wealthy man, he lived as frugally as a pauper. Despite his frugality and his uncompromising religious beliefs, his children adored him, and all three of his wives felt he was the world’s greatest mate.
His first wife gladly converted to the Society of Friends, his second wife joined him in exile when the Quaker elders banished him, and his third wife and all his children helped him escape when King George had a price on his head. Husband refused to compromise when it came to religion. It was his firm belief that God spoke to each and every human being regardless of race or gender. When he criticized the Quaker elders for forbidding revelation contrary to Quaker doctrine, the elders banished him. Husband could care less. His church was the invisible church on the right hand of God. No earthly authority had the right to tell him he wasn’t one of the elect.
Husband joined with fellow banished Quakers, angry Baptists, defrocked Methodists, and other heretics who became what is known as the Regulators. They did not earn that name for their religious beliefs. On the contrary, religion was the most unregulated thing about them. To them, accepting Jesus as their lord and savior automatically made them the equals of any popes or bishops. They could not care less about historic inaccuracies in the Bible. To them, the book was a divination tool. The will of God was revealed through relating the Bible stories to the modern world. It mattered not to them that there was no historic Moses, the Ten Commandments were still God’s own truth.
While the Regulators could not agree on dogma or ritual, they did agree on politics. Amazingly, the Regulators were in total agreement that God wanted a progressive tax on wealth. It also came to a surprise to George Washington that God hated land speculators and wanted title given to the people who actually developed the land. Alexander Hamilton was not amused to hear that God demanded low interest loans to farmers. Imagine Thomas Jefferson’s outrage when he discovered that the Almighty not only wanted him to free his slaves, but to pay reparations for the indignities of being owned. The Regulators also felt that Africans and Native Americans had equal rights in the eyes of God and both should enjoy full civil rights on earth.
The name Regulators came from their belief that good government was government that protected the rights of the poor from the depredations of the wealthy. Laws should be passed to assure everybody of equal opportunities, and that everybody had an equal voice in government. Back when George Washington was still having tea with the Royal Governor of Virginia, and John Adams was campaigning for a British peerage, the Regulators were calling for an America free of European tyranny. The King was not happy, nor were the governors of Maryland and Virginia. It was not long before the Regulators became an illegal organization and Herman Husband fled into the mountains of Pennsylvania.
Husband the fugitive came to settle in the Allegheny Mountains. Known only as the Quaker, he worked amongst the the trappers and hunters who settled around Pittsburgh. Eventually he built a homestead where his wife and children joined him. His neighbors respected him not just as a farmer but as a preacher. He shared his vision of the American West as a new Jerusalem, and his dream of welcoming the reign of Christ through establishing just laws. In those days before the Rapture became dogma, Christians believed that the reign of Christ could be brought into existence through the efforts of human beings. Husband had a vision of the New Jerusalem ruled through a complex legislature based on strict term limits. His neighbors so loved his vision that they elected him to the Pennsylvania legislature twice.
There was no greater champion of the American Revolution than Herman Husband. To him, George Washington was a latter day Joshua, bringing down the walls of the British Jericho. Later, Husband would be shocked and dismayed by his hero. Not only was Washington an absentee land owner in Husband’s own beloved Alleghenies, but Washington’s presidency was a repudiation of everything Husband lived and worked for. The grand old man of the Regulators saw the Constitution as a work of Satan, and a means for the rich to exploit and abuse the poor. Having the general who led the revolution as the first president under that Satanic document almost shattered Husband’s belief in God.
Almost, but not quite. Despite the unfair taxation that exploited his neighbors, and laws that protected land speculators from prosecution from their tenants, Husband continued to believe. He continued to preach his New Jerusalem based on the equality of man. He continued to preach a progressive tax against wealth, civil rights for all, and an end to the damnable institution of slavery. When his neighbors rebelled against the Federal Government over Hamilton’s Whiskey Tax, which provided the likes of George Washington with a lucrative monopoly, Herman Husband was the first to join in.
He was also to be the first of many to be arrested without due process and the only one to be prosecuted for the crime of sedition. There were many Federalists who heard him preach against a government that forced hard working farmers off their land, and imposing taxes that sent working men into the poor house. Worse of all, he preached against slavery, and in the early days of the US government, that was a constitutional violation. Out of the 28 people to be prosecuted for the Whiskey Rebellion, Herman Husband was one of two to be found guilty. The rest were found not guilty despite judge’s orders to enter a guilty verdict. Washington, adroit politician that he was, pardoned him so he would not become a martyr to the anti Federalist cause. The pardon didn’t come a minute too soon. Herman Husband contracted pneumonia from being kept in an unheated cell in December and died soon after being released.
Poor Herman Husband never lived to see his American Jerusalem and was betrayed by the very heroes he prayed for. The religious movement he helped to found transmuted into today’s religious right. The social movement he helped start continued after his death, and later influenced such thinkers as Karl Marx and Charles Dickens. I find it funny that the only founding father I have any affection for was the great-grandfather of today’s born again movement. If there was any Christian who truly deserved heaven, it was Herman Husband, because it was he and not Washington or Jefferson, and especially not Hamilton, who embodied the American spirit of Liberty and Equality. Only Herman Husband embodied the best qualities of the religious and of the socialist. May his memory be restored as an example to us all.
The other night, I dreamed died and went to hell. Since I had accepted an executive position, Satan himself was showing me around the place. We came to an endless lake of fire where millions of naked men and women were screaming out their agony as imps with pitchforks were doing what imps with pitchforks are said to do. Overhead was the gaudiest and most enormous disco ball in the entire universe. On tiered balconies, same sex couples were dancing up a storm to the strains of the Village People. Every now and then a group of gays and lesbians came to the railing and poured a bucket of coal into the lake of fire. The flames would shoot up to the cheers of the partiers. A whistle would sound and the DJ started up the music again.
“This is Mormon hell,” Satan explained. “It’s our most profitable operation. Mormons suffer the usual tortures reserved for liars, but they have the added anguish of getting to watch the people whose Constitutional rights were denied due to the Mormons running a misleading campaign against same-sex marriages. Gays and Lesbians are consoled for losing their rights by being able to come down here and party in front of the Mormons. We charge them ten bucks a bucket for the coal. It’s all profit and no overhead.”
I woke up in a cold sweat and with a clear idea of what has to be done. We must save the Mormons from the torments that wait for them in the afterlife. Considering the number of Commandments the Mormons broke in preventing same sex marriages, I really doubt they have much hope in getting into heaven. Their only hope is to have their souls consecrated to Satan. As the Mormons dwell under the delusion that they are doing God’s work by denying their fellow citizens their civil rights, it is unlikely that they will consecrate themselves into hell’s service while they are still alive. The only chance they have to escape the eternal torment waiting for them, is if we take the initiative and posthumously consecrate their souls to Satan. Every Mormon soul that we consecrate to eternal darkness shall be taken out of the lake of fire and shall be placed on the right side of the Dark One Himself.
It is our sacred duty to study the genealogical records and find every endangered soul who has died in the Mormon faith. Then somebody must stand in as proxy for the poor Mormon soul screaming in the lake of fire. The proxy, acting as the Mormon being admitted into the legions of Satan, shall denounce the Mormon faith. He will then symbolically divest the Mormon of his magic underwear while desecrating the Book of Mormon. The proxy will then, in the Mormon’s name, swear eternal loyalty to the Lord of Hell. The ceremony will end in a good old fashioned Black Mass.
Should the Mormons object to this, we will simply point out that the Mormons have been doing the same thing for years. They baptize dead Jews into the Mormon faith. They posthumously baptize Holocaust victims. They even had the balls to posthumously baptize Simon Wiesenthal and Anne Frank. It’s bad enough that these lunatics knock on people’s door with their religious idiocy. Now they are harassing people in the grave. It’s not only Holocaust victims getting posthumously baptized. Albert Einstein, Golda Meir, and Groucho Marx have all had the dubious honor of being welcomed into Mormon heaven. The Mormons argue that the souls of the deceased have the right to refuse the baptism. Well, the souls of the dead Mormons have the right to refuse service to the Lord of Hell and remain in the lake of fire with gays pouring coal down on their heads.
Fair is fair. The Mormons signed an agreement to stop the posthumous baptisms and to remove the names of Holocaust victims and other Jews from the Mormon membership lists. The Mormons immediately refused to honor the agreement, stating that posthumous baptism is one of their fundamental beliefs. Well, guys, the First Amendment protects us, too. Consecrating the souls of dead Mormons to hell is one of my fundamental beliefs. I’m doing the first posthumous consecration at the next full moon, and I’m standing as proxy for Brigham Young. Don’t worry, though. Brigham has the right to refuse the consecration.
I am surprised and appalled at the media pundits who are blaming African Americans for the passing of Proposition 8. I simply cannot believe some of the crap that I am reading. It seems to me that all the blame for 8’s success is being laid at the feet of the African American voter and nobody is blaming the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church joined with the Catholics and the Pentecostals in a Commandment-breaking smear campaign that was all lies, half-truths and fear-mongering. The Proposition 8 initiative was a symptom of some very sick minds who were acting out their own sexual paranoia. I think the funniest accusation was the one that stated all churches would be required to perform Gay weddings. That sounds like the block-busting ruse of the Seventies. Home owners were afraid that if one Black family moved into the neighborhood more Black families would move into the neighborhood and property values would drop. Are Mormons afraid that if one Gay couple gets married in their church, more Gay couples would get married in their Church, and the Book of Mormon would lose it’s value? What makes these jackasses think that a Gay couple would want to be married in a Mormon church? Besides, the law allows for ministers to refuse to perform a marriage for any reason. The sickest accusation was the forced sex ed for kindergarteners. What kind of demented minds think up this crap?
Speaking of crap, that leads us right back to accusing African Americans of 8’s so-called victory. I think that shows a tremendous amount of cowardice on the parts of the so-called liberal pundits. The Mormons are more than just a church, they are a major economic force with financial and voting interests in newspapers, radio, and television. If a reporter messes with the Mormons he risks his job. The Mormons are not above blacklisting reporters and commentators who stand up to them. So it is simply easier and safer to pick on African Americans, who are still relatively disenfranchised in this society. Also remember that we now have an African American president-elect. I would not put it past the Mormon Church to start a divide and conquer campaign over the gay marriage issue. It would certainly fit into the Mormon racist agenda to have the left in a race battle over Proposition 8, instead of concentrating on the actual malefactors in this debacle.
Mormons were not the only ones behind the campaign of lies for Proposition 8. The Catholics and the Pentecostals joined in with the Mormons in breaking the Commandment against bearing false witness. There is some comfort in the thought that these hypocrites are going to hell for pushing 8 through. After all the lies that were spread by these churches, it’s a wonder that their angry and jealous God hadn’t destroyed Rome and Salt Lake City like he did with Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s almost heartening to see two churches like the Mormon and the Catholic getting along so well. Both Churches have accused each other of heresy, apostasy, and halitosis for decades, but they managed to close ranks and behave like long lost brothers when it comes to denying a minority their civil rights. Then the Pentecostals come along and join with the Catholics and the Mormons just as if all three have gotten along for years. It seems that religious differences takes a back seat to the true purpose of the Christianoid Churches, which is to maintain their political power at any cost.
The doughty followers of Joseph Smith have been the backbone of the religious movement to send America back to the 19th Century. Pat Robertson and the Catholic Church would have not been able to do the social damage they have accomplished if they did not have the Mormon financial empire behind them. Mormons have spent billions of dollars in campaigns against women’s rights, teaching science in the classrooms, and most recently in pushing through Proposition 8 in California. The Mormons spent over 20 million dollars in influencing an election in California, and they blatantly broke election laws to do it. They organized phone banks in Utah and Nevada and sent bulk mail from Salt Lake City to push through a Proposition in California. That is as illegal as registering dead people to vote. Most aggravating of all, some of our religious initiative money went to fund this, and the Mormon Church still enjoys federal and state tax-free status.
Needless to say, interfering in the electoral process is a direct violation of the current tax codes. Jerry Falwell and his Old Time Gospel Hour lost their tax free status for pulling the same dirty tricks that the Mormons pulled during the 8 campaign. So why do the Mormons still enjoy their tax free status? For that matter, why do the Catholics or the Pentecostals? It seems to me that if Churches want to participate in the electoral process and impose their degraded superstitions on the rest of us, then they should be required to pay taxes just like everybody else. They play, they pay. I think that’s only fair.
This was the title of one of my favorite essays by Lenin. The title itself is a powerful comment on the human condition. I can imagine early humans taking two steps forward as they left the canopy of the never-ending forest to see the clear blue sky overhead. Then they took one step back because the unfamiliar is frightening. Then they took two more steps forward. Then another step backwards. Eventually the bolder amongst them took three steps forward and one step back. Then four steps forward as the more timid fell behind. Soon the tribe broke up as the bolder went on to explore the savanna and the rest returned to the familiar gloom of the forests.
The more things change the more they stay the same. To this day we still have the explorers and the chickens. The explorers go forward into uncharted territory while the chickens huddle in the familiar as they are determined to fight change at any cost. The problem is that change is the only guarantee in life. The more the chickens fight change and huddle together for warmth and security, the more change happens. Back in the old days, the tribe that stayed in the forest was forced backwards as the forest receded to changing climate. The tribe that went forward founded the modern civilizations. The tribes who stayed in the forests tried to keep civilizations from happening.
Of course this is an oversimplification. Dynamics are rarely black and white. Absolutes do not occur in nature, but two steps forward and one step back describes life as we know it. Take Christianity for instance. I know Christians who are very progressive, yet Christianity as a whole is regressive institution. While Dr. King was leading the civil rights movement, Christianity as an institution was doing everything it could to hold him back. White preachers condemned him outright, or begged him to hold off until society was “ready” to accept African Americans as equals. There were many African American preachers who condemned him as a dangerous radical.
Today there are Christians who welcome gays into their congregations. There are Christians who will support a “separate but equal” condition for gays (“why do they have to call it marriage?”), and Christians who actively discriminate against gays. There are even Christians who will murder gays. Yet there are Christians who deny that there is any correlation between gay rights and Dr. King’s civil rights movement. Oh, how I remember the Southern Crackers who trotted out the Bible to tell us why civil rights were a sin! Gays are facing the same religious resistance today.
The few exceptions do not justify the whole. The fact that there are a few progressive Christians does not justify Christians resenting being classed together with other Christians. Very few progressive Christians do anything to protect their good names from being lumped together with Fred Phelps. Most progressive Christians are not doing anything to stop discrimination in the name of Christ. There are no Christians suing Pat Robertson for hate speech. At the very least I will say that progressive Christians are not active abusers. A very few are making a token attempt to improve their own ranks. The remainder are enablers who are allowing abuse to happen by trusting God to stop it rather than changing their lifestyles and stopping it itself.
Just so Christians don’t feel as if I am picking on them exclusively, I can toss in other religions as well. Walk through San Francisco’s Chinatown and you will see Buddhist Temples as ridiculous and bigoted as anything Pat Robertson could think up. The Islamic countries are famous for their discrimination against people outside of the tribe. Over the last twenty five years I have watched the Pagan movement become more and more like the Christians to the point where the Goddess looks like Jesus in drag (except in one notable instance where she was Joseph Smith in drag, but that’s another story.) My attempts to talk CAW into acknowledging the rapes and sexual assaults that happened amongst them have fallen on deaf ears. That’s the thing about religions, they think they can get away with anything because some make-believe higher power loves them.
I think that Starhawk made a huge mistake when she tried to graft anarchism onto religion. What she created was the social equivalent of a nuclear reactor. What is a nuke plant but a giant steam engine powered by the most unstable energy source on Earth? Religion is as reactionary as a steam engine, and anarchism is certainly a very unstable political system. The two have been in the middle of a meltdown where many branches of Paganism are taking on the most unsavory aspects of mainline religion: arrogance, intolerance, and the Protestant Work Ethic. Any religious movement, no matter how well meaning, eventually becomes a social anchor, and limits the believers to events that happened in the past rather than that which is to come. Be it Paganism or Christianity, religion is the force that makes us take one step backwards for every step forward.
There is nothing more frightening to a fascist regime than education. When the Nazis took over Germany, it was intellectuals and not Jews who were the first to go to the camps. The Hitler Youth was quickly established to kill any spark of intellectual honesty that threatened to spring up in the German school system. Once the intellectuals were all busy learning about the joy that came from hard work and short rations, the road was clear to go after the Jews.
The American government has seen the dangers that come from a truly educated public. An educated public can raise their collective fists and swat a politician like a fly. Richard M. Nixon was an example of that happening. An educated youth is going to hear the war propaganda and tell the powers that be to go piss up a rope. That’s certainly what happened with the Viet Nam war. I would have to say that the American anti-Communist propaganda came around and bit them in the collective butts. Communist Russia was a poor and technologically backwards country that was presented as the enemy. Popular literature, TV and movies portrayed Russia as a technologically advanced super-power that could easily conquer the United States if we did not stay ahead of them. The U.S started a huge push for education. Our public schools improved the quality of education. Scholarships and grants were created to bring more people to college. America became the best educated country in the world.
This brought a plethora of technological wonders for American corporations to exploit. We created the computer, the VCR, and dozens of other toys that the American economy grew fat on. The fact that the public became educated was an unexpected side effect from the economic boost. Not all Americans became scientists working to make more profits for American corporations. Some became clergy, some philosophers, some social scientists, and still others were everyday workers who had been given the tools to use their own intelligence. The results were unexpected. European Americans could see the justice of Martin Luther King’s cause. The American public could judge Malcolm X’s arguments on their own merit. Mohammad Ali (who will always be “The Greatest” in my heart) was a college-educated boxer that appealed to an educated America. He popularized the anti-war movement and gave us our first slogan. Hell no, we won’t go. The American government found themselves with a crop of young people who refused to serve in Viet Nam and actually saw the reality of the war. It all culminated with Nixon, when the American people demanded his impeachment and got it.
The people behind Nixon had their butts kicked, but returned with Ronald Reagan as their front man. This time they came back smarter. They had a brand new philosophy of smaller government to hide behind. The first thing they did to demonstrate their dedication to smaller government was attack education. Not only did they eliminate millions of dollars in college grants and scholarships, but they began underfunding public schools. By the Nineties, public schools were being bought up by multinational corporations like Lockheed. By the Twenty first century, there were high school students who had no idea what the Second World War was all about.
Not content with destroying the American education system, the Neocons have continued to destroy any attempt at education through their support of the Christianoid right. The U.S Park Service hands out creationist propaganda rather than actual science. California was once the best educated state in the Union. Today it has Proposition 8 on the ballot. How far we have fallen from the days when the public rallied around Dr. King? It breaks my heart. Proposition 8 is the culmination of a 28 year attack on education.
Those of you who, like myself, have a gay youngster living happily at home can skip this post. You are the good guys. You are the chorus I would be preaching to. Of course if you feel the need for a little bit of support and goodwill, please read on. This piece is written for the idiot Californians who have been supporting Proposition 8. Specifically, it is for those coprolite-brained idiots who objected to first graders attending their teacher’s wedding.
For those of you who do not live in this strange land called California, Proposition 8 is the final gasp of the Christianoid bigots who would ban gay marriage in California. These mewling velociraptors are not quietly surrendering to extinction. They are fighting it tooth and nail, and spitting their poison at any and all targets. You can read the entire story here, but to give you the short version: a lesbian first grade teacher got married to her same sex partner. The parents of her students are amongst the nicest people on earth. They brought their kids to their teacher’s wedding. Armed with pink rose petals and soap bubbles, the kiddies greeted their teacher and her new spouse as they left the mayor’s office.
Of course, if this was a heterosexual marriage, the Christianoid velociraptors would go all misty-eyed over the story. If the marriage was in an Assembly of God Church, I would have no doubt that the whole pack would dissolve into gooey puddles of Christianoid love. However, this was a gay wedding, so the Christianoids are having a hissy fit. Their reaction to this brings me back to 1967 when the New Jersey school system was first being integrated. You should have heard the Sussex County bigots scream! To believe them, all the innocent young white students would be indoctrinated by sinful Negroes. If you believed them, we would all grow up to be beret-wearing, fried-chicken-and-watermelon-eating, gun-toting radicals. Forty one years later, I am hearing similar inanities out of the opponents of gay marriage.
These morons must know that they are fighting for a doomed cause. Even if they do manage to pass Prop 8, the meteor of civil rights will not be stopped. In 1967, Jesus did not want African-Americans teaching in white schools. Well, screw Jesus, African-Americans are teaching white students anyway. Twenty years ago the Aryan Nation was sued out of existence for trying to reestablish segregation. Twenty years from now, the American Civil Liberties Union will be suing these Christianoid numbnuts for objecting to gay marriage. I hope I live to see the day. I would just enjoy that so much.
The kids who attended their teacher’s wedding learned a very important lesson; love is good and hate is bad. These kids are learning that equal rights means that everybody is equal. They are also learning that marriage is a happy thing. The parents who brought them to the wedding are to be applauded, praised, and cherished. They are the heroes who are making a better world. The hell of it is, I bet that most of those parents are just too modest to admit it. Maybe their parents raised them to be the good and decent people they are. The proponents of Prop. 8 are dinosaurs. Their true objection is that the world is changing. Gays and lesbians are simply an easy target for their fears. These Christianoids are heading for extinction. The kids attending their teacher’s wedding is proof of this. Gays are part of the real world, and there is nothing the Christianoids can do about it.
Let’s also face the fact that I am just a romantic at heart. There is something about moppets tossing rose pedals at weddings that makes me misty-eyed. If I am ever so blessed that the teacher, Erin Carder, ever reads this, I would like to wish her and her wife Kerri McCoy all the joy in the world. May you be as happy as my own wife and I have been for the last 26 years.
I was not expecting to make any friends when I posted my series on libertarianism. I expected to make some enemies when I posted my opinions on libertarianism and the occult. The last thing that I expected was to find myself in an actual dialog with members of the Church of All Worlds. I spent this morning on the telephone with CAW’s communications officer. What can I say? The man is very good at his job. He managed to change some of my opinions of Church of All Worlds.
I am not going to retract my opinion of CAW as a political entity. I still believe that Church of All Worlds is part of the reactionary wave that hit the nation during the Reagan years and looks to seek answers in a past that never happened. This goes along with my opinion that religion and the concept of god/dess is a reactionary belief. I think the world would be a much better place without the concept of divinity. I would also be more receptive to the entire CAW concept if they would just cut the religious aspect out of it.
The founder of CAW sent me an email which denied that CAW was a libertarian church. The founder says one thing and followers say another. This is a basic problem with religion in America. The followers always take the ideas of the founders and “Americanize” them. The CAW I was introduced to was a bastion of American concepts like the Protestant Work Ethic, sin, and libertarianism.
I am not going to change my stand on polyamory. I feel strongly that HIV and STDs make polyamory a dangerous idea. I also think that polyamory is extremely sexist. It puts the weight of the risks on the women. The closest I will come to an agreement on polyamory is to agree to disagree.
I spent this morning speaking to the CAW Inc. communications officer. He explained that there is no copyright on the name Church of All Worlds. There are other entities calling themselves Church of All Worlds. From what I understand, they may be splinter groups of the original CAW. These splinter groups even share the same meeting grounds as CAW Traditions. There may even be a CAW or two which have nothing to do with the original CAW. The original CAW went out of existence some years ago. It is returning under the name CAW Inc. The original founders and many of the original members are involved in CAW Inc.
In my blog entry about Libertarianism and the Occult, I mentioned that I was in contact with people who had been sexually assaulted by members of CAW and on CAW meeting grounds. I have been assured by The information officer from CAW Inc. says that such behavior was never condoned by the original CAW. Such behavior will not be tolerated by by the board of directors of CAW Traditions Inc. He also stated that CAW Traditions Inc. will do their utmost to to prevent sexual abuse and to prosecute abusers if caught.
CAWInc. is in the process of recreating the CAW concept and correcting past mistakes. While some of the people I had bad experiences with were indeed members of the old CAW, they are not members of CAW Inc. The information officer doubts that they will ever become members of CAW Inc. The spokesman was very enthusiastic about how CAW Traditions Inc. is dedicated to creating a safe environment for everybody. I am happy that they are receptive to the idea of creating structures to protect people from abuse.
I hope that we can keep the lines of communications open. There are more things I would like to discuss with CAW Inc. We never touched on the subject of victim’s rights and the difficulty of intervening in child abuse. However, for the time being, I am willing to believe that the members and board of CAW Traditions Inc are innocent of sexual abuse, harassment, and molestation. My experiences with some of the past members of CAW were pretty ugly, and left a very bad taste in my mouth. I think that this colored my post about libertarianism and the occult.
I have taken my blog post about Libertarianism and the occult offline. I will be rewriting it soon. I also invite a representative of CAW Inc. to write an article on Positive Sexuality and to post it on my blog. I want them to include contact information so that interested parties will get in touch with the CAW Traditions Inc. I may not agree with CAW Traditions Inc. and all it stands for, but if people are going to get involved in polyamory, I would rather they get in touch with them instead some other people I could think of. There are many things that CAW and I are going to have to agree to disagree on, but fair is fair. After all the drama we went through, it is only right that I give CAW a chance to tell their side on my space.
I find myself coming back to this question over and over again. I think that this is because of the dialog I accidentally started with Church of All Worlds members. Maybe it’s because we are facing an even bigger financial meltdown than the crash of 1929. (How I regret some of my more optimistic posts.) Perhaps it is because I am reaching the age when I begin feeling the cold winds of my own mortality. It seems that the older I get the more I find myself agreeing with Richard Dawkins. Divinity is the biggest plague that humanity ever wished upon itself.
Well, maybe not the biggest plague. Maybe God is a gateway plague that leads to greater plagues. Belief in God leads to self -righteousness and morality. That leads to the greater plagues of bigotry and intolerance, and then before you know it you are invading Iraq and murdering gay college students. Of course, everybody has different tolerance levels. William S. Borroughs was a junkie all his life. He lived to be 79 and left a legacy of great literature. There are lots of people who are perfectly fine on God. God gives them a buzz that gets them through life. They go around doing good and smiling and bringing joy to people. These people can be seen as the happy hippies of religion. Then there are the Fred Phelps of the world. They can be seen as junkies who mug people for their fixes.
There are no clear boundaries between the good guys and the bad guys. The happy hippy could belong to the same sect, religion, or cult as the mugger. So when somebody says “It’s all the same God” it’s like saying “it’s all the same drug”. Like all drugs, people have different tolerances and different reactions to God. God makes some users violent and some users mellow. There is a school of thought that suggests that God’s gender makes a difference as to the effects. From my experience it makes no difference. I have met Pagans whose Goddess is Jesus in drag, and who are as crazy as any fundie I ever met.
At the risk of mixing even more metaphors, I suspect that belief in divinity is a social neurosis. God and invisible spirits were a good way to explain things that were not easily understandable. Babies came through sex, but nobody understood the unseen mechanism of sex. So when you had sex you made the invisible spirits happy too, and a baby came out of it. So when somebody dies, which is sad, the person comes back through the happy mechanics of sex. But over the centuries this coping mechanism changed to become the God of Fred Phelps and the lunatic pagan who screamed “monogamy is immoral” in my face.
Today we have the scientific method. We know the physics behind lightning and fire. We do not need God to explain the world to us. We have done a noble job on our own. We have outgrown divinity. Yet we do not abandon an outworn concept. Divinity remains a concept that guides our thoughts and actions. What really amazes me is how easily divinity can be used to manipulate the masses. Look at the support for the Iraq war. The Christianoid churches organized their brainwashed minions to wipe out the evil of Islam. Christians and Muslims are fighting each other over whose imaginary friend is greater.
As a nation, we have been way too tolerant of religions. We have allowed Christian religions to organize and take over our government and our military. It’s about time for us to take a stand against God. The Taney Decision of 1829 clearly gives us a right to curtail certain freedoms when such freedoms are proven to violate the common good. There is no doubt in my mind that the Christianoid right has definitely violated the common good. We have the right to stop them. In fact, not standing up to them only feeds into their delusions.
Ariel Monserat asked me a specific question in my blog regarding Libertarianism and the occult. This was regarding a case of extreme child abuse concerning members of Church of All Worlds. Since Ms. Monseratt asked this publicly I will answer it publicly. The question was;
<Secondly, did you report these events to the authorities? If so, surely there is a record of it so that we can investigate. If you didn’t report it, why not? >
Ms. Monserat, I can take this question one of two ways. I can either assume that you are deliberately protecting the abusers or that you are charmingly naive about child abuse. I am going to assume that you are charmingly naive. The answer to the question is yes, we did report it. Other people reported it as well. The case I am speaking of was a spectacular debacle that spanned three counties. It involved child welfare workers in two counties, and no less than four police departments. Now, if you want to find the records of this, I sincerely wish you luck. Since a minor was involved, the records are sealed. Were you able to get hold of the records you would either be the greatest witch since Sybil Leek or the greatest hacker since Bruno Tataglia. Either way my hat would go off to you. I admire competence in any field.
Being a nasty and suspicious old fart, my first instinct is to accuse you of trying to kill my credibility by asking for the impossible. However, I have been assured by people that I trust that you simply don’t know. I have trouble wrapping my brain around the idea of anybody being ignorant of this basic fact. However, not everybody has had as much experience as my wife and I in pulling kids out of bad situations. So I am going to make a leap of faith and explain the difficulty and challenges of reporting child abuse.
Remember the first axiom of reporting child abuse. This is the prime directive. The child comes first. Punishing the abuser comes second. It comes a far second. Social workers and clergy are required by federal regulations to report all instances of child abuse. Reporting child abuse and prosecuting the abusers are two different things. Most of the time it is enough simply to get the kid away from the abuser. My wife and I had a case about a decade ago where it was easier to get the kid out of the situation by not reporting the abuse. The child’s lawyer said that the judge might not believe the allegations (denial) and force her to live with her abuser. Rather than risk the child’s safety, we followed her lawyer’s advice and got her placed in a safe home. Judicial denial is a common occurrence. Back in 1992 I witnessed an 85 year old judge in Pennsylvania throw an incest case out of court because he refused to believe the crime was possible.
The good news is that things have improved since 1992. Thanks to the work done by RAINN, Darkness into Light, and my own darling wife, child abuse and molestation have come into public light. It is no longer a forbidden topic. It is openly discussed and there are even state-approved courses where you can learn how to spot it and what to do about it. The bad news is that we still face the wall of denial. Thousands of child rape cases from the Catholic Church seems to have taught you nothing, because you and your fellows at CAW are acting just like the Catholics. You blame me for outing the problem, because you don’t want to to face that the problem exists. You accuse me of libel without stopping to consider that I may be telling the truth. You demand that I tell you how to get legally sealed records; will you call me a liar because I cannot provide them? Why not ask me for the pretty moon while you are at it?
It seems to me that like the Catholic Church, you are too involved in preserving the illusion of your infallibility to look to the safety of your own children. You claim to be the new editor of Green Egg. May I suggest that you look at the last print issue of the old Green Egg? That was the one that was put out by the kids. Read the comments by the girls who were tired of being ogled by their parents’ adult friends. Perhaps the Catholics were simply as naive as you are. Personally I do not think we can afford that sort of naiveté anymore. Your Primate was too busy telling me what he stands for to seriously address the issue. It seems like CAW’s denial comes from above; just like the Catholic Church’s. As above so below? From where I stand you are no different from the Methodists or the Assembly of God.
And I am not giving out any details until I am face to face with a representative of CAW who agrees to go to the authorities with me.