"I was told that the way I dressed and moved my body was causing men to think inappropriately about me, implying that it is my responsibility to control other people’s thoughts and drives." — Clare.

With all the talk of the ‘Christian’ world’s incredibly creepy purity balls, in which fathers “marry” their daughters in order to take charge of their hymens–which also produce some ‘Why-Don’t-You-Take-A-Seat-Over-There“-caliber photo opportunities–it’s really not surprising that a bunch of old men at a Christian prom just can’t control themselves when confronted with the sweet, sweet booty of a seventeen-year-old attendee.

Hannah Ettinger at Wine and Marble reported that her sister Clare, who was wearing dress code-appropriate clothing to the Richmond Homeschool Prom, was kicked out because some middle-aged dads couldn’t stop ogling her from a balcony.

So to those who insist that America be a Christian nation, I ask: Is this truly what you want? Do you want the I-was-hungry-and-you-gave-me-something-to-eat of Matthew 25? Do you want the Sermon on the Mount? Do you want to shine God’s light in the darkness? Your behavior says no. Your shouts against generosity say no. Your penchant for oppressive culture says no. Your willingness to shower wealth on the few while the many suffer says no. Your hostility to freedom says no. So stop pretending. At least be as honest as the hedge fund manager who paid himself $8 billion last year. It’s “all about the Benjamins,” not the Gospel. It’s about stifling any freedom but your own. It’s about imposing your cultural preferences on others. It’s about turning your fears and appetites into law. It’s about you, not about Jesus Christ. That’s the nature of politics, of course: one “you” versus another “you.” That’s fine, and it’s why we formed a democracy, so that our various interests could compete fairly. Just spare us the religious posturing. If America became a Christian nation, doing what Jesus did, you would be aghast.
—  Tom Ehrich
Chick-fil-a closes on Sundays for religious reasons, and for a long time, their signs would say “the day is more important than the dollar.” Why shouldn’t a decision to value something other than money cost some money, including in the ability to hire workers who disagree with those values? Or, more pointedly, why should employers be insulated from the market costs of their views?
— 

Gordon Hull, Working for the Man: Reflections on the Hobby Lobby Opinion

Exactly.

Two important, arguably central tenets of Christianity are a) the elevation of the spiritual over the material and b) the duty to serve god even at the expense of one’s comfort, and sometimes even life (e.g. Lent, martyrdom)

Forcing others to make sacrifices for your faith misses the Jesus-shaped point by a mile. It’s super easy to be a good “Christian” when you don’t have to give up anything at all.

More darkly, dealing honestly with the problem of rape would mean having to treat female autonomy as a thing to be valued. Built into the very core of the religious right is the idea that female autonomy is a threat to be stomped out, and not just in its attacks on women who choose abortion or premarital sex or, gasp, to live as lesbians. The entire model of proper female behavior for the Christian right is built on submission. It’s evident in the adherence to the belief that husbands are the head of their wives. Recently, Christian right icons Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar explained their belief that wives are obliged to have sex with their husbands whenever they want and on their terms. Fundamentalist Christians deeply distrust and are hostile to the idea that the proper owner of a woman’s body is the woman. If rape is a violation of female autonomy, but you believe female autonomy is sinful, then it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to take rape seriously as a crime.
So how do we reconcile these two seemingly contradictory facts: that the Christian Right wants a moral establishment, a coercive vision of government, with its libertarian framework? Here I would draw a crucial distinction between libertarianism and anti-statism. Members of the Christian Right are decidedly not radical individualists of the Age of Aquarius. But they are opposed to the state insofar as it represents a secularism that they despise. The state as it is currently constituted is seen as the greatest barrier to their Protestant moral establishment. Now, obviously, many Christian Right leaders celebrate unregulated capitalism—“free enterprise”—to the degree that they fit well within the Republican Party, which would give corporations a freer reign than they already enjoy. This holds true even in the wake of the recent destructive financial collapse that is so obviously the result of giving free reign to finance, the most powerful sector of corporate America. This tendency needs better historical explanation than I can give in this blog post. But it does not take away from the fact that libertarianism is not anti-statism, and that the Christian Right, and thus much of American conservatism, holds to the latter, not the former.

All along I thought it was Murdoch who was the evil one. Well, there’s room for 2 I guess.

"It was as though we were looking at Mao," recalls Charlie Reina, a former Fox News producer. The Foxistas went wild. They let the dogs out. Woof! Woof! Woof! Even those who disliked the way Ailes runs his network joined in the display of fealty, given the culture of intimidation at Fox News. "It’s like the Soviet Union or China: People are always looking over their shoulders," says a former executive with the network’s parent, News Corp. "There are people who turn people in."

For all of America’s wealth and technological advancements, it ranks below most developed first world nations due to a significant number of low-achieving, backward thinking, and unenlightened human beings residing primarily in Republican-led states in the Southern United States. About three weeks ago a Huffington Post article displayed maps showing the dire situation of residents living in the South titled “These 9 Maps Should Absolutely Outrage Southerners,” but a more apt title would have been “these maps should absolutely enrage America” because the rest of the nation is in decline because the South is taking valuable resources in the form of tax dollars and preventing reinvestment in America. Most Americans do not resent sending taxes collected in Democratic-controlled states to feed, house, and provide healthcare for the destitute in the South, but they do resent giving their hard-earned tax dollars to people unwilling and unable to help themselves due to religious intransigence, resistance to education, and opposition to policies that would improve their lot in life and benefit the entire nation.

Although the Southern mindset is not quite setting the agenda for the entire nation, there are just enough Republican representatives in Congress elected by gun zealots, bible fanatics, and low intellect racists that they are hampering progress and damaging the rest of the nation with their rejection of policies that would lift their standard of living to a point they could be self-sufficient and help invest in America to put the nation back on track to becoming an exceptional country. Last year a Forbes pundit commented that, “the common media view of the South is as a regressive region, full of overweight, prejudiced, exploited, and undereducated numbskulls,” and according to empirical measurements it is a fair representation of America’s third-world.

American Exceptionalism should not be part of any Christian’s theology or thinking. If we have anything more than others or that which privileges us over others who have less, we should use that power as an opportunity to serve those who are less fortunate. Ready to take on American Exceptionalism? You might want to pack a parachute…

Birtherism, a conspiracy theory movement that posits Obama faked his American citizenship, is easy enough to understand in this light. It’s an expression of the belief that Obama cannot be a legitimate president, because, in white Christian right eyes, they are the only legitimate Americans. So how can someone who isn’t one of them be president?

That’s why the election of Obama has triggered an all-out response from the Christian right. If they seem more enraged and active in recent years, especially with regards to attacks on abortion rights, it’s because they really are afraid they’re losing their grip on American culture and are casting around wildly for a way to regain what they perceive as lost dominance.

For the last time, the Constitution is not based on biblical principles. The two have nothing in common. Ancient Israel and Judah were kingdoms, ruled by kings. When the kings were gone, the Jews were ruled by corrupt high priests. Monarchy or theocracy. Some choice.

I’m pretty sure that is not the fate the Founding Fathers had in mind for America when they penned the United States Constitution.

Has-Been Actor, Right-Wing Hero and Christofascist Kirk Cameron 'Kicks Ass' To Save Christmas

Attention LGBT Community! Make room in your stockings for extra coal this Christmas.

Proving that it’s never too early to shop for the right-wing’s purported “War on Christmas,” former teen heartthrob and full-time evangelical mouthpiece, Kirk Cameron is busy promoting his upcoming film “Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas,” due in theaters this November.

In an interview with Glenn Beck’s news outlet The Blaze, the former “Growing Pains” star discussed his latest film project, asserting that the holiday (correction - Christmas) film will not be an “angry rant about the culture war.”

"It’s obvious that there is a deliberate attempt to snuff out the holy root that has produced all this wonderful Christmas-time fruit. I think it’s about time someone spoke out and made a movie about this." Cameron said.

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Instead, Cameron told The Blaze that some of the claims that will be addressed in the film include: the notion that Christmas is really a church co-opting of winter solstice celebrations, that Jesus was not born on December 25, that Christmas trees are pagan and that consumerism is overshadowing the true reason for the season.

He predicts that atheists won’t be flocking to see his movie.

"I assume they’re going to get frustrated to see some of their best arguments deflated by this movie, because we take on some of the most commonly parroted myths about the origins of Christmas,"

Santa Claus was unavailable for comment.

In 2012 EDGE reported that the ex-sitcom star was plucked from career obscurity when during an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, said homosexuality was “detrimental” to society.

Yesterday, End Times radio host Rick Wiles interviewed Cathie Adams, the former head of the Texas Republican Party and current president of the Texas Eagle Forum, in a wide-ranging discussion which included a warning that immigration reform would lead to biometric scanning which, as everyone knows, is a tool of Satan.

Adams warned that the problem is not just that Hispanics are crossing the border illegally, but so are people from Muslim nations and so if immigration reform passes, we’ll be giving amnesty “to people who are not here with the best intentions for America.”

After Adams said that the Department for Homeland Security is unable to account for more than a million foreigners who have overstayed their visas, Wiles predicted that immigration reform advocates would call for biometric scanning as a solution to this problem, which Adams declared would be an unmistakable sign of the End Times.

Then, for good measure, Adams returned to the issue of all those sneaky Muslims who are entering the United States as refugees “from Moozlum, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures [who] are not here because they love America but because they are fleeing countries, and yet, what kind of culture are they bringing here? They want sharia law, just like what they left that was causing them to be persecuted.”

Because that makes perfect sense

 

Ten-year-old girls want to believe in fairy tales. Take this pledge and God will love you so much and be so proud of you, they told me. If you wait to have sex until marriage, God will bring you a wonderful Christian husband and you’ll get married and live happily ever after, they said. Waiting didn’t give me a happily ever after. Instead, it controlled my identity for over a decade, landed me in therapy, and left me a stranger in my own skin. I was so completely ashamed of my body and my sexuality that it made having sex a demoralizing experience.

I don’t go to church anymore, nor am I religious. As I started to heal, I realized that I couldn’t figure out how to be both religious and sexual at the same time. I chose sex. Every single day is a battle to remember that my body belongs to me and not to the church of my childhood. I have to constantly remind myself that a pledge I took when I was only 10 doesn’t define who I am today. When I have sex with my husband, I make sure it’s because I have a sexual need and not because I feel I’m required to fulfill his desires.

I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality. If I could go back, I would not wait. I would have sex with my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I wouldn’t go to hell for it. We would have gotten married at a more appropriate age and I would have kept my sexuality to myself.

Unfortunately, I can’t go back but I can give you this message as a culmination of my experiences: If you want to wait to have sex until marriage make sure it’s because you want to. It’s your body; it belongs to you, not your church. Your sexuality is nobody’s business but yours.

—  Samantha Pugsley, XOJane, "My Christian Virginity Pledge Nearly Destroyed Me"

David Barton appeared on TBN’s “Praise The Lord” program last week where he warned that America is going to suffer the wrath of God for not properly supporting Israel because “any time you go after the Jews, God comes after you.”

Asserting that since God personally established Israel’s boundaries, Barton said that politicians had “better get God’s permission” before they start advocating any changes to those boundaries because “if you start messing with that, you’re messing directly with God.”

Countries like the United States that are not siding with Israel will suffer the consequences, he warned, as God strikes this nation with extreme weather, droughts, productivity declines, and agricultural disasters:


Gay Marriage Is Good, But Future Corporate Profits Are Key to Its Success

Gay marriage changes everything, enhancing our commitment to fairness and tolerance, and removing the stigma from the natural human desire for commitment. Such developments are positive and profound. But one thing hasn’t changed: when two people who have resources to spend come together, it’s a boon to the whole economy.

Florida has banned same-sex marriage, and the state is currently waiting to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will deem that move unconstitutional. Meanwhile, a new study by UCLA’s Williams Institute reveals that Florida’s economy could get a turbo-charge to the tune of millions by allowing gay Americans to tie the knot. The report estimates that over 24,000 same-sex couples would get married over the next three years if given the opportunity, which could mean a $182.2 million infusion to the state’s economy. That’s $117 million in the first year alone. The money comes from tax revenue when couples file jointly, marriage license fees, and sales tax from weddings, celebrations and tourism.

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Gay marriage brings jobs, too, the report shows. All those cakes, photographers, wedding planners, and tourist services could generate as many as 2,626 jobs for Floridians in need of work.

And those estimates are conservative, say authors E.G. Fitzgerald, Christy Mallory and M.V. Lee Badgett: “In other words, all assumptions are cautious and, given the range of possibilities, likely produce revenue impacts on the lower bound,” they write in the summary of their study.

The report jibes with a 2009 study on marriage equality in Maine, which found that allowing same-sex couples to marry would boost the state budget by $60 million over three years, and create 1,000 jobs. In New York City alone, the passage of the Marriage Equality Act generated $259 million for the city’s coffers.

The positive economic ripple effects go beyond the immediate benefits of taxes and jobs. Richard Florida has argued that workers and businesses are drawn to geographic areas where they find tolerant policies  and attitudes. This is especially true of the kinds of creative people who can really make an impact in the business realm. They put down roots in the community and contribute not only to economic, but social stability.

The fact that businesses stand to benefit when same-sex couples are permitted to marry is one of the key reasons why a sea change in social policy is occurring.

Continue at Alternet  »>

Michelle MacDonald, the Republican nominee for the Minnesota Supreme Court who neglected to disclose her upcoming trial for a DWI, is coming under fire for promising GOP officials that she would base her opinions on Biblical principles.

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