Monday, July 15, 2013

Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Really Fox? Really? AGAIN!

Over the years, I have found that many a person has this strange idea when it comes to the Pagan faiths. It as if, you know as soon as one converts, they [the pagan] are thrown back to the middles ages. People have this rather quirky notion that pots and pans turn into wands and broomsticks, that tables and chair turning to sacrificial altars and stone circles. At best, many people think that once one devotes themselves to the God and Goddess, reality bleeds away is magically replaced with Hogwarts schools and Weasly like houses. At worse, they believe that our God and Goddess are just whores, or the Christian devil. With this miniblog series, it is my hope to not only document my time growing as a Pagan, but to address these and many more misunderstood concepts so that we will be see as people. We are not the demons some people try to make us out to be.

Special thanks to Jennifer Arend for giving me the heads up. Stay strong and awesome sister! 

Back in my day, which is surprisingly not that long ago, journalism meant something. It was a group of people and organizations that worked hard to seek out the truth of a story and report on it. Opinions where kept to talk shows, and fast (actual facts) where presented with out political influence. Sites like policofacts really wasn't needed because reporters where ready to fact check the hell out of everything. But now a days? Not so much. Now a days, we have idiots on NBC (or what ever BC it was) making the absolutely rubbish claims that Normans where nothing more than sex crazed prostitutes. Seriously man, you're not Bill O'reilly, stick to reporting on facts, and facts that can actually be backed up.  (Protip: We know where the moon and waves come from)

So what's the point of today's post? Well, it seems our darling Fox News is up to some silly crap again. Meet me past the break to share my surprise.

Every time Fox goes about crying about religious persecution, I seriously want to die inside. I want to know how they can sit in front of the camera, day after day, and complain about religious persecution when they are in fact, doing it themselves. Two wrongs don't make a right, nor does fake outrage fix anything.


Now take a moment and remember with me to a few issues back. Our friends at Fox where fake raging over how the greedy Pagans where for "demanding" more days off from school than anyone else. Not only was this simply not true (pagans have less days off than Christians), they also has the insulting audacity to compare being Pagan to a woman's once a month. Not sure how bleeding from one's reproductive units is like religion, but eh it's Fox. Surprisingly, the backlash from their indecent segment lead to their lead anchor man apologizing for the whole incident. Sure it was half hearted and mostly empty, but it's more than anyone else ever got. So it's all done and over with now right?

Yea... no.

All from the same person who is angry because she 
can't throw people behind a fence and watch them die.

What she said: But this isn't the only part of Obamacare the social engineers are facing. The U.S. Catholic bishops and leaders of other faiths told the administration that the latest rewrite of the so-called contraception mandate is not acceptable. What the Obama people don't get is that forcing people to buy into a plan that subsidizes contraceptives, abortion inducing drugs and sterilization is a brazen violation of the separation between church and state.

When I first read this, I was actually pretty upset. Not with what she was saying (at least not right away), but because she was willingly validating the stereotype and spiritual STD that seems to be running rapid in Catholics today. These so called Catholics accepted the twisted idea that theirs is the only faith in the world, and even worse the only one that has the right to exist. They think "god" (aka their own ego) gave them special rights and privileges to do as they please. They believe this same "god" gave them the right to force their version on morality on anything they see. Then these same people pick and choose what they want from the bible, treating like a buffet and not a holy book, to justify what ever they believe at the time. Anything, be it a person, idea or law, that works against their total control of everything is a insult and a form of religious persecution. But Hank, total control? Really? I may be a bit paranoid at times, but when a religion groups screams "god said so" when trying to force laws that only they agree with... 
But to what she said...

How nice it must be to part of a faith that finds it acceptable to ignore the separation of church and state by it's own pleasure! How wonderful it must be to push their religious law on non-believers without paying the entrance fee like the rest of us!  How hard and sad for them it must be to come to terms with the fact there are other faiths, everyone should just lay down and die for them! How hard it must be for them, to be so persecuted by the government for forcing health care on churches! They should be able to worship craft goods in peace! Wait... what do you mean craft stores aren't places of worship? Lies and slander!

Yea...I trust the sarcasm is not lost.

The point is, unless this tart is willing to submit to Muslim law (she's not), they she has zero right to force feed her religion on everyone else. She isn't special, she isn't a special little snowflake, and she needs to wake the hell up and see that. 

What she said: It is above all a matter of conscience, a moral standard foreign to Obama's secular creed. This is an administration that routinely runs roughshod over the sanctity of human life, a core value of Christians, Orthodox Jews and many others, appalled at the President's mean audacity. It's called religious liberty and it is the bedrock of this country's founding principles.

I often wonder why secular is always used as such a negative term.With a "modern" history that spans two thousand years, we can see that religion in power hasn't always been a good thing. This isn't even limited to one religion either. Human sacrifice for the good of the state? Owning slaves because X god said it was ok? Allowing torture, burnings, and feeding to the lions just because they don't share the same faith? The simple fact remains; Power and faith should never, ever mix. Yet when it comes to a government that isn't faith endorsed, it's like the bloody Apocalypse. I seriously think a all powerful deity could care less about our trivial political system. And if He/She/It did want to back something, I would think they could do it themselves. Because you know, all powerful. But I digress.... again.

Before we move on, I think one other point really needs to be made. You have the right to religion, any religion you want. You have the right to practice your faith in any means you deem fitting (assuming you're not killing or harming anyone). You have the right to enforce upon yourself what ever religious rules you deem fit in your home or place of worship. You do not have the right to force your religious, moral or ethical code on the masses just because you think you are right. If I might use a example, it's kinda like the whole gay marriage "issue". If your faith is so against same sex marriage that is fine. Just don't get one and don't allow it in your church. But do not tell me I can't conduct on in my sacred circle, grove, or others in their places of worship. Your faith, what ever that may be, does not control the whole of the planet, it does not dictate the lives and fates of other people! So next time dear lady, when you call religious discrimination check to see if it really is! Most of the time it will just be another case of  of baby crying because they aren't controlling everything.

Now back to her next point. Honestly now woman, when you work for a company who sued for their right to lie on tv and call it news, you really forfeit your right to conscience. But for a moment, let's forget about inconvenient notions like that. Let's for a moment consider what she is saying. She is saying that her Catholic morality is better than secular. If you want to compare Catholic morality, and more to the point actual actions, to secular you will find that Catholics have a lot of blood on their hands. Wars, crusades, inquisitions, purges in the name of God are not in fact a good thing. It means either you God demands blood sacrifice or his followers are just making crap up. And let's not forget, the bible is a holy book, not a buffet. You have to actually follow all the rules in there, or you just label yourself a hypercritical git. Finally if you are so gun ho about religious liberty, I also assume you will reverse your opinion and accept Shariah law? Would you also be willing to accept Pagan, Hindu, Buddiest, Shinto law?

After all religious liberty is a founding principle right? Just as your faith can dictate law, so should others.

What she said: Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore told Congress last year and I quote, “This is not even a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. This is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the government. Instead, it's a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception or sterilization, even if that violates their religious beliefs.”

Do I really need to point out the fact that a Bishop trying to push a law that fits his religious agenda is a clear violation of church and state? Unless this man is paying his taxes and his church (as in actual church) is being forced to provide health care, then why is he even giving a opinion as a representative of his church? You can't complain about separation of church and state, when church is all up in the state. Equal rights, equal responsibility. However, I will agree this is not a matter of contraception any more. Considering many plans covered contraception (even plans agreed upon by so called "religious business") before Obama-care, it's easy to see why. What this is, or has become, is a attempt to insert one version of religion into state and federal law. If we are to believe the "fair and balanced" view point that church and state should be separate, then why is this even being considered? Why is it even being encouraged? Ignoring one faiths attempt to control law, where would they even draw the line? Will they fight equally hard to allow Shariah law in the work place, despite their political and social views already saying no? Will they fight equally hard to allow the rejection of blood transfusions and fertility drugs? Will they follow strict biblical law and disallow anything that goes against natural law? Or even worse, disallow all medical help and use faith healing? 

After all, if we are going to mix faith and state, all faiths must have a say....

What she said: The Obama administration has made several bad faith attempts to fiddle with the contraception mandate's punitive character by juggling the bookkeeping methods, but the stern consequence remains. Those who don't agree to sign up must be punished and pay the exorbitant fines.

I really hate stereotypes. I hate how they are so broadly insulting, how intellectually bankrupt they are, and how they only exist to piss people off. The only thing I hate more is idiots that justify them. Lady news reporter who can still wear a cross on her neck and freely practice her faith, put down the god damn victim card already. Better yet, go home... you are clearly toooo drunk to think properly. All religious institutions and even religious non-profit organizations are exempt from this part of Obama-care. That's not bad faith attempts, that's accounting for religious "freedom". But for the sake of argument, let's explore that consideration for a moment. Let's say I'm a Catholic who doesn't want to fund X because it's against my faith. I am granted such a exemption because of faith, shouldn't I then be bound to my faith laws to establish I am indeed Catholic? Considering the point of being in business is to make money, shouldn't as a Catholic business owner, still be held to such biblical verses as:

Matthew 19:21: Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

1 John 3:17: If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

Matthew 25:31-46: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,  and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?  And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?  And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;  for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'  Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?'  Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (TLDR: Those who have been blessed with wealth must share generously with the poor)

Luke 16:13: "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

Prov 30:8-9 Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, "Who is the Lord?" Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

There are of course more, but I think I've made my point. Unless they are actually following their bible, how can they claim to be a Catholic business? Even more so, how dare they claim any faith, just to save a buck. Religion is, and should always be, about a personal relationship with the Divine, NOT about money. Oh and as for your little side comment about fees and such, I have some news for you. Myself, and people of like mind are a little tired of your church causing us huge fines and larges amount of money. How you ask?
  • Why do I have to pay income, land, and retail taxes but the church can hold large sums of land without paying taxes on them.
  • Why can the church get large sums of money for "faith bases initiatives" but my faith can not? 
  • Why can the church be exempt from many taxes and laws but mine can not? Further more why is only your faith allow to push law, but others are looked down upon?

If I wanted to take this a step further, I don't agree with a lot of things Republican have forced (in my opinion anyway) into law, yet I am still forced to follow and even pay for it. How many wars are and have been fought without the concent of the population who where forced to contribute to it? How many programs funded with tax payer money that went to corrupt politicians and equally corrupt programs? How about this? My faith clearly allows for gay couple to be married, but YOUR religious laws prevent that. Why are my religious rights pushed aside, when yours must be front and center... not to mention controling every little thing? This is not religious freedom, this is discrimination while hiding behind a cross.

What she said: Driving Obamacare is an eagerness to placate perpetually outraged feminists and press home fidelity to secularism at the expense of religious freedom. Their zeal to stamp out insurance to faith and conscience is extraordinary really. It's difficult to imagine any past president taking such license in this matter of faith and morals.

I hope you will pardon me for a moment, but the bitter angry part of me wants to have a word on this;

Driving modern day Republicans and followers of Fox news is an eagerness to placate perpetually outraged right wing dominionismist and press home fidelity to ONE religion at the expense of all others religious and life freedoms. Their zeal to stamp out rights from others not of like mind is extraordinary really. It's difficult to imagine any past people taking such license in this matter of faith and morals. After all ego is a sin.
So, we have moved on from (one version of) faith being the poor poor victim to the sole purpose of Obamacare is to make outraged feminist happy? Also couldn't the victim or "you are only doing this for x" point be made without being so insulting? And who writes this stuff? Are they stoned? High? Seriously how the hell can this lady do her opinion piece (which it is, it's not news) week after week with a straight face. It's just not right! I also find anything of a moral nature coming from the same woman who was all pissy about not being able to throw people behind fences and watching them die, laughable. Listen lady, no one questions government protection in the form of police, firefighters, and the military. But when it's protection of our health, a bright line appears that says "socialism" or "attack on faith".

As a final point, I want to bring up this list. See anything interesting? Until the 1950's many past presidents either rejected religion, rejected one religion ruling them all, was all hands off, or wanted nothing to do with religion in politics. If we refer to our found fathers when making laws, religion wouldn't even be considered. So please, consider that before you try to throw your ego around.

What she said:   Consider the Diocese of Pittsburgh which has filed one of the more than sixty law suits against the Obama White House. Pittsburgh church officials want to know how the Department of Health and Human Services developed the onerous regulations, and they've been stonewalled at every turn.

I always find this type of argument odd when I hear it from religious people of any kind. How can a person proclaim this or that faith be front in center in making government laws, but in the same breath freak out if government dare steps near religion? You honestly can't have it both ways, either government and religion is friendly, or they stay the frack away from each other. Even more so this is the same news station that routinely complains "people need to pay more and get less free rides". If they really believe this, one wonders why she/they hasn't screamed for the church to start paying taxes...

But I digress.

In any case, in response to her comment I would like to know what "onerous regulations" she is talking about since actual places of worship are exempt. Oh wait... do I have to mention again that a book store is not a religious building? 

What she said:  The feds told them that responding to freedom of information requests as to how the Obamacare architects created the new rules will cost about two million dollars and a wait of five years. A lawyer for the diocese rightly calls it a shocking disregard for their obligations as government officials.

Ok, honest question here.... what the hell is your source for this? I tried keyword searches for Obamacare architects created the new rules will cost about two million dollars and a wait of five years, church obamacare two million dollars and a wait of five years, church obamacare two million dollars, church sues obamacare two million dollars, Diocese of Pittsburgh sues obamacare, and could only find mention of it on a few blogs whose information contradicts (price tag and years is always different). So if a commenter can find a actual source for this, I'll return to it then.

And honestly the government taking it time or being misleading with something? Well colored me surprised... or should I say "Mission accomplished"?

What she said: Some would add that such disregard is deeply rooted in the extraordinary creeping paganism that makes a mockery of the so-called separation between church and state, not to mention the President's very oath of office.

And by "some" you mean you right? If not, then why not have the courage and journalist dignity to list your sources. Come on, arn't you guys suppose to be super proud of your faith, of doing "God's" work, and standing up for what you believe in? Stand and be counted! Or do you just enjoy using other faiths as punching bags, as you so claim happening to yourself? Actually you know what really pisses me off about this? It's not even the fact Fox is once again attacking another faith, it's the fact they are making people of the faith look bad... again. In the quest for ratings and money, you once again sell out anything for your own personal gain.

Shame on you. 

But now for your actual point you failed to make. Heading to the internet again, I did several searchs with the key words "pagans against separation of church and state"  And do you know what I found every freaking time? We Pagans have been pushing not only to enforce but expand the separation of church and state, not lessen it. Seriously, nearly every search I did this was always the first hit. You know what it is? It's a site writing about the dangers of church and state. That's right a pagan run political sight that speaks about the dangers of church and state united.

Oh what was that about "fair and balanced" again?

What she said: Small wonder the Wall Street Journal calls the Affordable Care Act “a fiasco for the ages.” How does this President utter the words of our National Anthem while pursuing this blatant attack on an American birthright?

I agree with you 100% here, this whole thing is a fiasco, Obamacare should not have been delayed, or rewritten because of religious nuts. It should not have had (what 42 now) votes to repeal that have failed each time. It should not be delayed again to give business time to adapt and conform to the law. So yes, it is a fiasco, and that's what you meant right? Because that is what you where referencing with the quote.

 What she said: And how do Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, both loudly professed Catholics, defend their shilling of this clear violation of church teaching? Biden actually went on record saying “Obamacare is no threat to religious liberty.”

Little lady, your bible is suppose to be the singular source of divinity and divine law in your life. It's pages are suppose to be directly inspired (or written) by the hand of God himself. All of it is then the word of God. So until you can stop being lazy and actually follow your own holy book, you have NO right to judge that "Catholicness" of another. Do you really want a "you without sin cast the first stone" moment here? Oh, and Obamacare is not a threat to religious liberty. You are confusing religious domination again. You are not the dark lord, your religion is not the one ring and it will never rule them all.

 What she said: As for Ms. Pelosi, she famously said “I'm a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it.” But they have this conscience thing. Reread your catechism Nancy. And by the way, stay out of my local church. Yes. I saw you.

Stay out of my bedroom,
Stay our of the bedroom of my friends and family,
Stay out of my faith,
Stay out of my pocket,
Stay out of my private life,
Stop using my tax dollars for your faith,
Stop pushing for your faith (and only your faith) to rule over them all.
Stop using a fake victim complex to make people feel bad for you.

Over and out.

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