Friday, June 25, 2010

Drug companies tell us why we’re sick, pay our doctors to agree with them and more of us are dying from all them cool pills.

 

Prescription drugs taken as directed kill 100,000 Americans a year. That's one person every five minutes. How did we get here?Daniela Perdomo, alternet.com

Whether we are tempted by passion from the two tubs on the beach, or an actor who – pretending to have suffered a heart attack – tells us not to make the near-fatal mistake he made, we are buying into the drama, not to mention the erotica, and dying by the thousands because of it.

Read Perdomo’s report before you are next tempted to consult with your doctor about some TV dramatized drug that “is not for everyone” but definitely for you if your wallet is strong enough.

Excerpts from Daniela Perdomo’s interview with Melody Petersen, author of Our Daily Meds,:

DP: Are these people abusing their prescription drugs or is this a sign of prescription meds gone bad?

MP: The study estimating that 100,000 Americans die each year from their prescriptions looked only at deaths from known side effects.
...Tens of thousands of people are dying every year from drugs they took just as the doctor directed. This shows you how dangerous medications are.

When is the last time your doctor agreed with a pharmaceutical company’s ad but also pointed out that kind of ration of prescriptions-to-deaths?

In recent years, sales of drugs for children have been the industry’s fastest growing business.

Doctors now prescribe pills to children for all kinds of conditions — from high cholesterol to anxiety. The market for ADHD drugs has long been a big opportunity for the industry. More recently, the companies have had their sales reps urge doctors to prescribe antidepressants, antipsychotics and other psychiatric meds to children.

Is there any difference between “here’s what the pharma says is wrong with you and here’s how you can fix it” and “heres what pharma has decided is wrong with your child and why you should buy what they are pushing?”

Perdomo: Could you tell me how the prescription med industry is in bed with doctors?

MP: The industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars on physicians every year.

In one survey, 9 out of 10 doctors said they had recently taken something of value from the drug industry. And some of those doctors take hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from the industry.

The drug companies pay doctors to be their so-called consultants. They also pay them to sit on corporate advisory boards and to give lectures to other doctors. They pay for up to 80 percent of the continuing medical education that doctors need to maintain their licenses.

If you ask a doctor if this is a problem, they will more than likely tell you no. But the studies show that even a small gift will sway doctors to write a prescription for a certain drug.

The truth is that doctors are no longer independent gatekeepers who keep us safe from drugs we don’t need.

Far too many of them are financially tied to the industry. They are writing the prescriptions that their financial backers want them to write.

Just asking … but I suggest a long Q&A session every time your trusted physician proposes a new drug for your condition. If you establish a pattern of “show my and tell me why this is a good idea Doc” your provider might think twice before casually promoting and writing out a prescription needing justification and defending.

My own provider recently changed an arthritis prescription – a change to which I agreed only after a timed trial dosage followed up by blood tests needed to demonstrate clearly an improvement in my condition or in my case a lowering of offending chemicals in my blood. And he sent his justification to me in writing.

drug companies can charge whatever they want to — even for drugs that don’t work very well.

One drug costs $400,000 a year. Some cancer drugs now cost $50,000, even though on average, they give the patient just a few weeks extra to live.

It’s clear that the drugs aren’t worth these extreme prices, but the companies are taking advantage of patients who are desperate for a cure.

The industry’s unlimited hikes in prices have helped make health insurance unaffordable. This is also why wages of American workers have stagnated. When health premiums rise, employers must get the extra money from somewhere, and employee raises are one of the first things to go.

The rise of American pharmaceutical companies totally more concerned about making the sale than contributing to the public good is nothing about which this country can take great pride.

It does not represent baseball, mom and apple pie. Rather, hardball medical extortion and wicked stepmothers lying about poisoned apples.

DP: You write about how companies are more interested in developing 'lifestyle drugs for rich Americans' rather than discovering cures for diseases that affect the majority of the world, like malaria.

How many cholesterol drugs do we need? Sex drive meds? Hair loss meds? 

MP: The answer is that we really don’t need many of those kinds of drugs, those lifestyle drugs that don’t save or lengthen lives.

But the drug companies have discovered there are billions of dollars to be made by selling pills to Americans who worry about getting old, but are otherwise healthy.

It’s so easy to fall for the marketers’ claim that a little pill will enhance our lives and keep us young forever.

Remember … those advertising characters and their little TV dramas are nothing other than snake oil equivalents of used car salesmen. They just want you to buy the product and get off the lot.

DP: How often are ailments created simply to fit a drug already created?

MP: The industry has proven that it is not beyond creating new diseases when it wants to expand the use of a drug.

For example, I wrote in my book about how the company Pharmacia created the disease of overactive bladder to expand sales of a drug for incontinence. We don’t know how often this is done because few companies are willing to tell the public how their marketers work behind the scenes.

Just wait … some enterprising pharmaceutical outfit is bound to start offering a medication intended to treat GIACS (Gullible Insecure American Consumer Syndrome.)

The drug companies have made Americans believe that almost anything should be treated with a pill.

Women can ask their doctors for a drug that will diminish their facial hair.

Parents can ask for a stimulant to keep their children calm and focused.

Even people who are shy are now told they have a disease that needs to be medicated.

And finally …

In America, if you’re lucky enough to have health insurance, you can easily get too much medicine, too much health care.

Many Americans don’t understand that all of health care has risks and that too much of it can actually shorten your life.

Is this one of the reasons why we’re falling fast in the world rankings on life expectancy?

No one knows for sure. But it’s obvious that all that money we spend on prescriptions and doctors is not giving us an advantage.

Perdomo’s interview is lengthy and well worth the read.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"I'm only patriotic and courageous so long as I can be part of an anonymous crowd of bigots."

I love it ... you can be all righteous and pious about your fear of the gay/lesbian menace to America's tranquil marriage tradition
… but then fret because the public has a right to know how you feel cause you signed a public document? 
Supreme Court outs gay marriage opponents

Why I would actively campaign against Orrin Hatch if I lived in Utah.

A Facebook conversation with a high school friend who lives in Utah after I criticized senatorial icon Orrin Hatch, who said the following in a recent speech at a college in southern Utah:

“Gays and lesbians don’t pay tithing, their religion is politics,” Senator Orrin Hatch told a crowd of 300 at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah on Tuesday night.

I can't speak for anyone else but I do  consider civic participation in these times as vital to our own baby-boomer future and to younger generations -more so for them.

The days of polite pot-luck supper social interaction have disappeared - partly because more persons are willing to express their opposing political attitudes publically - which in theory should then promote dialog and conversation, a sharing of ideas and movement toward thoughtful solutions.

That's not what manifests itself coming out of the heart of Zion.

I cannot apologize for being someone who out of necessity has learned to read now even more than he ever did previously, who listens to what people say and write, asks questions and demands substance when someone tells me what to think and how to behave.

My regard for Orrin Hatch as a genuinely moral and non-partisan statesman disappeared in the early 90's when he and his party began putting party above country.

His speech last Tuesday at Dixie State College in which he declared that gay members of his church don’t pay tithing was nothing more than political demagoguery minus any significant social redeeming value. It was typical of how he and his desperate party need to re-establish legitimacy. He was preaching to a choir his party had created through emotional manipulation and conservative religious orthodoxy.

There was a time when I would have easily supported and voted for Orrin as a possible presidential candidate. I in fact was more ready in the 80's and early 90's to support Orrin - had he chosen to run - and believe that the mormon folk lore regarding the constitution hanging by a thread was playing itself out at the time.

I was more ready then to support Hatch than I ever was in 2008 to support Mitt, who had to run and campaign on that party partisanship that was self-limiting by virtue of the party's principal narrow philosophical and religious support base.

I write this as a political independent who left the Democratic party after the elections of 2006 and I am telling you how that silly Republican partisanship masquerading as some kind of pretended conservatism was almost totally blind to which way the wind was blowing in 2008.

Be grateful Mitt did not win that nomination in 2008. He would not have defeated Obama - precisely because of the way the wind was blowing. The majority gullibility that carried Republicans to victory in Bush's surprise re-election in 2004 was gone by 2006 and further gone in 2008.

Because he would have been as far behind Obama as was McCain, Mitt would have been also advised to cow-tow to the national evangelical voters by picking Sarah Palin as a last desperate measure to garner enough votes.

Do you think Mitt would have resisted and made a more responsible choice? Having paid close attentions to the content of his speeches, I have serious doubts. He was not much different than McCain in how he campaigned and what he had to say.

To see several politicians for whom I once held a high regard offer rigid, blatant and stubborn resistance to any ideas coming out of someplace other than the GOP has been a strong disappointment.

Today, that constant and consistent blind obstructionism holds all of us back - the whole country and in many ways, the whole world.

The Republican party made no bones about being against health care reform, for example. They also made no bones about not having any alternative ideas with substance.

Recently your state Republican party threw out the better of your two senators because he isn't radically conservative enough. Is that the best reason for replacing someone who has proven capable at what he does?

In my opinion that political gullibility is one of the principle reasons why your home state has voted against its own best interests in the last five national elections every two years going back to 2000.

I also believe that to be the reason why residents lack sufficient political savvy to demand more substance from the rabble-writers and rabble-talkers so they can form opinions and make decisions from within rather than given them from without.

If I'm bitter it's because I perceive too many anti-liberal opinions based on little substance and expressed as if someone was reading a handout from a party PR team.

Afghanistan: What would Walter Cronkite say?

 

Norman Solomon makes a pretty good guess.

Writing on the McChrystal event, Solomon makes the following observation:

Walter Cronkite used the word “stalemate” in his famous February 1968 declaration to CBS viewers that the Vietnam War couldn’t be won. “We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders both in Vietnam and Washington to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds,” he said. And: “It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate.”
Yet the U.S. war on Vietnam continued for another five years, inflicting more unspeakable horrors on a vast scale.

Click the link above to find out what else Solomon has to say at Znet.

Are we really striving to reach the same heavenly bliss but on separate paths?

 

I haven’t yet purchased Stephen Prothero’s book, 

God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter

… but I’m going to.

From a letter he sent to Amazon;com:

 

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Stephen Prothero

On my last visit to Jerusalem, I struck up a conversation with an elderly man in the Muslim Quarter. As a shopkeeper, he seemed keen to sell me jewelry. As a Sufi mystic, he seemed even keener to engage me in matters of the spirit.

He told me that religions are human inventions, so we must avoid the temptation of worshipping Islam rather than Allah. What matters is opening yourself up to the mystery that goes by the word God, and that can be done in any religion. As he tempted me with more turquoise and silver, he asked me what I was doing in Jerusalem.

When I told him I was researching a book on the world’s religions, he put down the jewelry, looked at me intently, and, placing a finger on my chest for emphasis, said, "Do not write false things about the religions."

As I wrote God is Is Not One, I came back repeatedly to this conversation. I never wavered from trying to write true things, but I knew that some of the things I was writing he would consider false.

Mystics often claim that the great religions differ only in the inessentials. They may be different paths but they are ascending the same mountain and they converge at the peak. Throughout this book I give voice to these mystics:

the Daoist sage Laozi, who wrote his classic the Daodejing just before disappearing forever into the mountains;

the Sufi poet Rumi, who instructs us to "gamble everything for love";

and the Christian mystic Julian of Norwich, who revels in the feminine aspects of God.

But my focus is not on these spiritual superstars. It is on ordinary religious folk—the stories they tell, the doctrines they affirm, and the rituals they practice. And these stories, doctrines, and rituals could not be more different.

Christians do not go on the hajj to Mecca;

Jews do not affirm the doctrine of the Trinity;

and neither Buddhists nor Hindus trouble themselves about sin or salvation.

Of course, religious differences trouble us, since they seem to portend, if not war itself, then at least rumors thereof. But as I researched and wrote this book I came to appreciate how opening our eyes to religious differences can help us appreciate the unique beauty of each of the great religions--the radical freedom of the Daoist wanderer, the contemplative way into death of the Buddhist monk, and the joy in the face of the divine life of the Sufi shopkeeper.

I plan to send my Sufi shopkeeper a copy of this book. I have no doubt he will disagree with parts of it. But I hope he will recognize my effort to avoid writing "false things," even when I disagree with friends. --Stephen Prothero

Stephen Prothero is the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and chair of the religion department at Boston University.

His work has been featured on the cover of Time magazine, Oprah, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, National Public Radio, and other top national media outlets. He writes and reviews for The New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and other publications. He holds degrees in American Religion from Harvard and Yale.

Sarah can help those Social Conservative Patriarchs, but would they allow her to take a leadership mantle?

I don’t think so … patriarchs do not cede nor share authority with women.  The following quote reflects quite well the sort of “calling” women can have in the work of the Kingdom … but little more.
“Women have a uniquely complementary role with men. They see the individuals in the crowd. They're very good at one-on-one campaigning, very good at grassroots, door-to-door. Then decide if you're called, and if your husband thinks it's a good idea too, look for opportunities. As long as you have a servant mentality, something will come up if you're really called to serve in that way.” – Marjorie Dannenfelser, anti-choice activist.
Dannenfelser is described as follows in the World Daily, a global voice of the religious right.
The year 2010 may see the most tumultuous congressional elections since 1994. One of the key players will be Marjorie Dannenfelser, president and chairman of the board of the Susan B. Anthony List, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, 280,000-member organization with an attached political action committee that helps pro-life women to run for political office.
Alternet: Why Sarah Palin Will Never Lead the Religious Right Excerpt:
Palin "is a flat-footed, I'm-in-the-back-of-the-camp-meeting-truck-preaching-woman in the style of the trailblazing early-20th-century evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson," religious historian Anthea Butler told me during the presidential campaign. While that's an improvement on the role of woman as submissive wife required by the doctrine of, say, the Southern Baptist Convention (which doesn't allow women to be clergy), it won't catapult her to the leadership of the Christian right. Movement leaders are no doubt pleased by Palin's ability to pull off the theatrics that excite and motivate followers, but that's unlikely to convince them to step aside for Sister Sarah.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

“One of these consequences is that the Church has now branded itself as the leading anti-gay-rights religion in the country”

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What you sow you shall reap.

No matter how carefully Mormon political consultants (some of them paid handsomely by Church members' donations) tried to script a Mormon "grassroots" relationship to the Yes on 8 campaign, talking themselves and the members of their insular world into the legitimacy of these arrangements, it was naive and foolish to think that such a campaign could be conducted without significant consequences.” 

… One of these consequences is that the Church has now branded itself as the leading anti-gay-rights religion in the country. That's an expensive bit of turf to hold in an unsustainable legal and political fight.

Every day, I read news stories from across the country about Mormons. And let me tell you, this movie alone has gotten ten times more coverage than the Church’s incredible humanitarian efforts in Haiti and the greening of its chapels combined. – 8: The Mormon Proposition gets it right.  Joanna Brooks, Religion Dispatches

 

My wife and I recently completed listening to the audio-book version of journalist Max Blumenthal’s  Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, by Max Blumenthal

Blumenthal’s book is an excellent summary going in some cases as far back to the 1960’s Goldwater days of Republican Conservatism.

It’s a long summary that on the one hand was sufficiently informative as to fill in many of the historical and contemporary blanks of information regarding the most prominent conservative religious and political personalities who were on stage for most of my adult lifetime.

On the other hand, once the pattern of behavior, public advocacy, political rhetoric and blatantly partisan manipulation on the part of the radical religious right becomes apparent, the long litany of outrage and hypocritical actions runs the risk of toxic overdose.

Personality after personality parades on stage often with fanfare of adoration on the part of socially conservative religious congregations almost worshipful of these celebrities. Included in the mix of course are the Republican politicians – almost every one of which have been forced to kow-tow to that voting base that came to dominate an old and previously respected political identity. Mitt Romney’s limited choices during his presidential campaign fully reflect the problems faced by all the candidates.

Personality after personality – religious and political – never seemed to make it all the way through their own bizarre political burlesque routine without slipping on the proverbial banana: From the likes of Ted Haggard and his scandalized co-preachers to Tom Delay, Larry Craig and Newt Gingrich, never was “do as I say, not as I do” so meaningful.

If there has been a historical “power that is” behind the god-&-politics crowd, that political godfather would be James Dobson and his weapon of choice, Focus on the Family.

These are the people still at the helm of what has deteriorated to a regional political party whose base of strength has shrunk to a hard coalition of rigid, inflexible and socially abusive organizations.

These are the people the LDS church got in bed with and now - as Joanna Brooks, an active Mormon, and author of 8: The Mormon Proposition gets it right points out – is seen by many as THE church leading the bigot charge in this country.

It also appears that where goes the LDS Church, there goes the state of Utah. Follow the political news cycle and you cannot help but note the radical political and socially conservative viewpoints that in Salt Lake City tend to be treated as required doctrinal purity.

Many good people, devout, totally trustworthy, compassionate and caring – among them  my own loved ones who live within the LDS version of physical and spiritual reality – take issue with these sentiments. But these sentiments are hard to contradict factually.

Once persuaded into the murky waters of political activism, as any activist will tell you, lots of stuff you do not want gets stuck between your toes.

Even inside a society where individual moral parameters are often measured and constantly expressed by deep and sincere spiritual vows and covenants, you cannot escape the odor of those with whom you have joined in your Jesus walk.

Perceptually the personal righteousness of individual Mormons gets lost within the judgmental hypocrisy of the pretended biblical righteousness of the Dobson, LaHaye, Hagee and Robertson crowd. The almost mindless and consistently partisan voting patterns of Utah’s national political personalities reflect this same narrow rigidity.

Conscious of their own integrity and heavily invested in sustaining and protecting that personal sanctity, individual Mormons have nevertheless been betrayed by what has been revealed after the fact as a short-sighted decision. It seems to have been a corporate decision by church leadership that was possibly was based on a perceived opportunity to join with the evangelical masses and perhaps take a leading role as part of the imagined moral majority in this country.

Unfortunately, with the help and encouragement of that clique of unsavory religious bigots – the Dobsons, the Parsleys … even the Fred Phelps variety, the LDS church now finds itself strapped to the masthead of the god-politics flagship in a losing war.

However Mormons believed themselves to be supporting their corporate vision of Christ, I don’t think that what has come to pass is what they had in mind.

Arthur Ruger

Ref: The company they keep:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What has driven out the virtue of the Grand Old Party? Well, for one thing, Christians.

My wife and I recently completed listening to the audio-book version of journalist Max Blumenthal’s  Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, by Max Blumenthal

I fully recommend you buy and read Max's book before you make another decision that agrees with Radical Religious Agitators

I am republishing something I wrote a couple of years ago that voices my agreement with Mr. Blumenthal:

The Accused:
Supreme Conservative Republican Evangelical American Moralizers -- S.C.R.E.A.M.

The "Christian" War President

"God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."

"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

"This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while."
--George W. Bush
The "Christian" Warrior

"I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

"We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God have been raised for such a time as this,"

"We as Americans, we as Christians, need to understand that that's not the enemy that America's up against. In fact, the enemy that we're up against is called the principality of darkness, he's called Satan. We are in fact in a spiritual battle, ladies and gentlemen, more than we are in a physical battle."
--Lt. General William G. Boykin


The "Christian" War Monger

'We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war."

"Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims."
"Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity, as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of 'kill everyone who doesn't smell bad and doesn't answer to the name Mohammed'"
--Ann Coulter


The "Christian" Bible Quoter & Law School Founder

"The Bible is the inerrant ... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc."

"AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah's chariotters." "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates Homosexuals."

"We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism...we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today...our battle is with Satan himself."

"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."

"The Bible is the inerrant ... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc."

"But you've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops. And I'm for the president to chase them all over the world. If it takes 10 years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord."

"Most of these feminists are radical, frustrated lesbians, many of them, and man-haters, and failures in their relationships with men, and who have declared war on the male gender. The Biblical condemnation of feminism has to do with its radical philosophy and goals. That's the bottom line."

"I do not believe the homosexual community deserves minority status. One's misbehavior does not qualify him or her for minority status. Blacks, Hispanics, women, etc., are God-ordained minorities who do indeed deserve minority status."

"We curse the darkness, we're against what the ACLU and Americans United are, and what the crazy runaway liberal judges are doing. We're going to train a few thousand Christian attorneys who are just as radical as the preachers."

"We're here to stay, we're going to bring this nation back and we couldn't care less what you [his opponents] think about it."
--Jerry Falwell


The "Christian" Broadcaster &  Wannabe Prophet

"There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world. How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators, greedy moneychangers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals are on top?"

God's Country? "There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore."

"The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening."

I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period.

The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.
--Pat Robertson


The "Christian" Expert on Humility, Self-Righteousness & Homosexuality

"George [Stephanopoulos] you think you ought to lecture me on what a Christian is all about?

"Isn't it amazing that there's such a sizable number of people in the media and in the liberal community that despise this country and its freedoms, and they're doing everything they can to undermine it?"

"Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth."
--James Dobson
The "Christian" Motivator

"The number one virtue in America has become the number one threat, and one of the top two or three threats to the cause of Christ That virtue is tolerance.'
Josh McDowell.


The "Christian" Old Testament Expert on Who God Hates

"If you got to castrate your miserable self with a piece of rusty barb wire, do it."
"Hear the word of the LORD, America, fag-enablers are worse than the fags themselves, and will be punished in the everlasting lake of fire!"

"You telling these miserable, Hell-bound, bath house-wallowing, anal-copulating fags that God loves them!? You have bats in the belfry!"

"American Veterans are to blame for the fag takeover of this nation. They have the power in their political lobby to influence the zeitgeist, get the fags out of the military, and back in the closet where they belong!"

"Not only is homosexuality a sin, but anyone who supports fags is just as guilty as they are. You are both worthy of death."

"God Hates Fags!"
--Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church)


The "Christian" Hypocrite

"The Media is ruled by Satan. But yet I wonder if many Christians fully understand that. Also, will they believe what the Media says, considering that its aim is to steal, kill, and destroy?"

"Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it...Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory."
--Jimmy Swaggart (Jimmy Swaggart Ministries)


The "Christian" Proponent of Joyful Living.

"I think that many people believe that. (Referring to separation of church and state) The only problem is it's really a deception from Satan. Because if God is in fact separated from the government, then we can never possibly have a godly government. And there's no way for America to be good if she's not godly."

"There are more righteous people in this nation that love God than there are evil people. The only problem is the evil people make more noise than we do, and that is so ridiculous.

What we need more than anything are godly men and women that will pass laws based on God's word and moral principles, not laws based on their own particular feelings."

"You know when prayer was taken out of the schools in 1962, it was not really about prayer being taken out of the schools, it was a violent assault against the future of the kingdom of God. Because Satan knew if he could take spirituality away from children that the next generation would not be able to do the kingdom of darkness any damage."

"I know that we all appreciate and thank God for our godly president.
I believe President [sic] Bush is a man that is going to say what is right and he is going to stand up for God no matter what.... I believe that God is going to keep him there to bring restoration to this nation."
--Joyce Meyer, speaking at the "Road To Victory" convention


The "Christian" Respecter of Persons

"With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew."
--Bailey Smith
The "Christian" Dominionists

"The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant-baptism and holy communion-must be denied citizenship."

"This is God's world, not Satan's. Christians are the lawful heirs, not non-Christians."

"So let us be blunt about it: We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will be get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God."

"The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant--baptism and holy communion--must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel."
--Gary North (Institute for Christian Economics

"But integration and equality are myths; they disguise a new segregation and a new equality...Every social order institutes its own program of separation or segregation. A particular faith and morality is given privileged status and all else is separated for progressive elimination."
--R.J. Rushdoony,

"When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil."
--Gary Potter (Catholics for Christian Political Action)

"We are to make Bible-obeying disciples of anybody that gets in our way."
--Jay Grimstead (Coalition on Revival)


The "Christian" Editorialist

"We are approaching a time when Christians, especially, may have to declare the social contract between Enlightenment rationalists and Biblical believers - which formed the basis of the constitution written at our nation's founding - null and void".
--Cal Thomas, Washington Times,


The "Christian" Good Samaritan

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called on by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."

"What this is coming down to is who runs the country. It's us against them. It's the good guys versus the bad guys. It's the God-fearing people against the pagans, and some of the pagans are going to church."
--Randall Terry,


The "Christian" Exclusivity Sheriffs
"Nobody has the right to worship on this planet any other God than Jehovah. And therefore the state does not have the responsibility to defend anybody's pseudo-right to worship an idol."
--Rev. Joseph Morecraft, Chalcedon Presbyterian Church

"The day after George Bush was elected president again, because of this morals revolution taking place in our country, he allows his vice president to not only put his lesbian daughter on the platform, but to bring her lesbian 'partner' up on the stage with him.

It almost seems to be a slap in the face from the get-go against the very conservatives that re-elected the president at a time when he ought to paying them some homage and respect."
--Joe Glover, president of the Family Policy Network


The "Christian" Constitutionalist

"I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
--George Bush Sr. (President of the United States)


The "Christian" Jurist

U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson asked Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, "Would you acknowledge that Buddhism is a religion?"
Moore replied, "Buddhism was considered a false religion by the forefathers. It is not my definition of religion, no. It was not their definition of religion under the First Amendment of the Constitution."

"I wasn't really asking that," Thompson said. "I was just asking whether religion - within the confines of the First Amendment as you view it historically - [if] the term 'religion' includes Buddhists, the Islamic faith, the Hindus?"

"I don't think so, sir, that Buddhists and other faiths - and I won't speak to all faiths because I'm not a theologian - recognize the Creator, God," Moore replied.

"Some might, but if they do, it's not the God of the Holy Scriptures. And that's why the Bible is used for the very foundation upon which we take our oaths."
--Roy Moore, during court testimony over the Ten Commandments monument he installed in the Alabama Judicial Building


The "Christian" Educator & Political Analyst

In your re-election, God has graciously granted America - though she doesn't deserve it - a reprieve from the agenda of paganism. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."
--Bob Jones III to George W. Bush


The "Christian" Evangelist
"I have many Muslim friends, but I want the people of this country to know that the god of Islam is not the Christian god. The god of Islam is not a father. The god of Christianity was the father of Jesus Christ. There's a mood in this country that we'll believe a generic belief. That is not acceptable. Political correctness has run amok in this country."

"This country was not built by Hindus, nor Muslims, nor atheists. It was built by Christian men and women."

"We need a sexual education program that warns young people of the hell they'll create with their own bodies. Outside of marriage, sex kills."

He cites his own experience; he was "sexually active" before his 1974 marriage to his wife, Jane.

Alan Dershowitz said I alienated millions by praying in the name of Jesus Christ.
In what other name should I pray? If a Hindu president was being inaugurated, that president could have summoned a clergyman to pray in the name of Hindu gods."

"I am not attacking Muslims. But how come the Muslim clerics have not gone to ground zero and had a prayer vigil and apologized to the nation in the name of Islam?"

"But where are the Muslim clerics? When people say this is a 'peaceful religion,' don't tell me that. When a suicide bomber straps on a bomb, that's not peaceful. The Baptists are not doing that. Neither are the Pentecostals."
--Franklin Graham, various quotes reported in the Washington Post


The "Christian" Political Activist Org

"While it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage.

Our Founders expected that Christianity -- and no other religion -- would receive support from the government as long as that support did not violate peoples' consciences and their right to worship. They would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference.

As for our Hindu priest friend, the United States is a nation that has historically honored the one true God. Woe be to us on that day when we relegate him to being merely one among countless other deities in the pantheon of theologies."
--Family Research Council, Culture Facts newsletter 9/21/2000, commenting on a Hindu priest giving the opening prayer in the House of Representatives


The "Christian" Expert on Moral Depravity

"The perversion that follows homosexuality is bestiality and then human sacrifice and cannibalism."
--Barbara Blewster, a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and the Arizona State Legislature


The "Christian" Patriotic Pontificator

"If you don't want a Christian nation, then go to one of the many nations that are heathen already, rather than perverting ours. You're welcome to come, but leave your religions, your bibles, all your other things back where you came from. Islam and America are opposites. They hate us. They want to kill us. I'm not anti-Jewish or anti-Catholic. I'm anti-Islam because that religion right there is anti-American."
--Jeff Fugate, pastor of Clays Mill Road Baptist Church, Lexington, KY


The "Christian" Experts On Compassionate Capital Punishment

"Those who practice homosexuality should swiftly be put to death by the government. God emphatically condemns the practice of exchanging proper gender characteristics among men and women. God justly calls for the death-penalty for anyone who practices homosexuality."
--Citizens for the Ten Commandments


The "Christian" Expert on Media Integrity

"Let me talk to you about five good things of late ... for which this week I hope you and your family around your Thanksgiving table will praise the Lord. ...

No. 5: America has alternative news media and is no longer held hostage by the major print and broadcast media. I remember a day when ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN and the major print media controlled all the news flow to the American people and we found ourselves getting warped and distorted news.

I thank God now in the 21st century for talk radio, that three hours a day people like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and hundreds of others are telling the truth of what really is going on.

I thank God for FOX News Channel. I thank God for the Internet bloggers and the news producers like NewsMax.com, WorldNetDaily.com, even The Drudge Report.
... And we're going to invite PETA [to "Wild Game Night"] as our special guest, P-E-T-A -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. We want you to come, we're going to give you a top seat there, so you can sit there and suffer.

This is one of my special groups, another one's the ACLU, another is the NOW -- the National Order of Witches. We've got -- I've got a lot of special groups."
--Jerry Falwell, November 21, 2004 televised sermon


The "Christian" Partisan Greedy Immoral Corrupt Politician

"Ladies and gentlemen, Christianity offers the only viable, reasonable, definitive answer to the questions of
'Where did I come from?'
'Why am I here?'
'Where am I going?'
'Does life have any meaningful purpose?'

Only Christianity offers a way to understand that physical and moral border.

Only Christianity offers a comprehensive worldview that covers all areas of life and thought, every aspect of creation.

Only Christianity offers a way to live in response to the realities that we find in this world
-- only Christianity."

"Emotional appeals about working families trying to get by on $4.25 an hour are hard to resist. Fortunately, such families do not exist."
- -House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.)


"The "Christian" Wide-Eyed Extra-Terrestrial Exaggerator

"The decline in American pride, patriotism, and piety can be directly attributed to the extensive reading of so-called 'science fiction' by our young people.
This poisonous rot about creatures not of God's making, societies of 'aliens' without a good Christian among them, and raw sex between unhuman beings with three heads and God alone knows what sort of reproductive apparatus keeps our young people from realizing the true will of God."
--Jerry Falwell,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I’m pulling for the Mounties

There is absolutely nothing honorable …

nothing patriotic …

nothing heroic …

nothing noble …

in what Americans who represented and acted for every citizen did to this gentleman …

in our name.

I would never thank such criminals for their service regardless of where and how they served. They have not made of the United States a safer place nor revealed America as some beacon on a hill that serves as the global measure for freedom.

Canada asking the U.S. : Why did you do this to an innocent Canadian?

Yeah … I would like to not only know the answer to that question, but listen to and observe the twisting and dodging responses of those actual moral cowards who perpetrated this horrendous crime - all the while pretending to be protecting America.

 

By Amy Goodman

  Federal authorities are investigating whether officials of the government south of the border participated in a citizen’s kidnapping and torture—Canadian authorities, that is, investigating the possible role of U.S. officials in the “extraordinary rendition” of Canadian citizen Maher Arar. “Extraordinary rendition” is White House-speak for arresting someone and secretly sending him to another country, where he is likely to be tortured. Arar revealed that, for the past four years, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been investigating possible roles of U.S. and Syrian officials in his rendition and torture. This announcement follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that it will not consider Arar’s case, ending his pursuit of justice through U.S. courts.

Arar is the Canadian citizen seized by U.S. officials while changing planes in New York, heading home from a family vacation in September 2002. He was secretly sent to Syria by the Bush administration, where he was held for almost a year in a gravelike cell. He was repeatedly tortured, then returned home to Canada, without charge, a broken man. In 2004, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed suit in U.S. federal court on Arar’s behalf as he recovered in Canada. While his legal case came to an end this week, his fight against impunity continues.

…If the RCMP charges U.S. officials with complicity in the abduction and torture of Arar, it would put the strong extradition treaty between the U.S. and Canada to the test. In the meantime, the Center for Constitutional Rights is encouraging people to contact the White House and their representatives in Congress to demand redress for Arar, including an apology, his removal from the terrorist watch list, financial damages, an investigation and assurances that no one else will suffer a similar fate.

Monday, June 7, 2010

“If we do not act, American fascists, clutching Christian crosses, waving American flags and orchestrating mass recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance, will use this rage to snuff us out.”

Among my acquaintances are those who toss the F-word around like ketchup and mustard at a barbecue. What comes across when they word-drop so casually is a strong suspicion that they might not be able to define fascism or recongize a fascist were they to meet one.

Christ Hedges gives a view of fascism from a surprising perspective.

The Christian Fascists are growing stronger

Excerpts:

This movement, veering closer and closer to traditional fascism, seeks to force a recalcitrant world to submit before an imperial America. It champions the eradication of social deviants, beginning with homosexuals, and moving on to immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims and those they dismiss as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace their perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible. Those who defy the mass movement are condemned as posing a threat to the health and hygiene of the country and the family. All will be purged.

,,, The rise of this Christian fascism, a rise we ignore at our peril, is being fueled by an ineffectual and bankrupt liberal class that has proved to be unable to roll back surging unemployment, protect us from speculators on Wall Street, or save our dispossessed working class from foreclosures, bankruptcies and misery. The liberal class has proved useless in combating the largest environmental disaster in our history, ending costly and futile imperial wars or stopping the corporate plundering of the nation. And the gutlessness of the liberal class has left it, and the values it represents, reviled and hated.

…Those who embrace this movement see life as an epic battle against forces of evil and Satanism. The world is black and white. They need to feel, even if they are not, that they are victims surrounded by dark and sinister groups bent on their destruction. They need to believe they know the will of God and can fulfill it, especially through violence. They need to sanctify their rage, a rage that lies at the core of the ideology.

…The cult of masculinity pervades the movement. Feminism and homosexuality, believers are told, have rendered the American male physically and spiritually impotent. Jesus, for the Christian right, is a muscular man of action, casting out demons, battling the Antichrist, attacking hypocrites and castigating the corrupt. This cult of masculinity, with its glorification of violence, is deeply appealing to those who feel disempowered and humiliated.

Doofusness; The incumbent sitting Lame Duck American President

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