Meet the Newest Person Ted Cruz is “Honored” to Have Support Him.

Its Gordon Klingenschmitt.  You know, Dr. Chaps!  From those tireless folks over at Right Wing Watch:

We have noted several times before that there seems to be no activist who is too extreme to be embraced by Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, so we were not particularly surprised when the Texas senator recently announced that infamous demon-hunting, anti-gay exorcist/state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt would be part of his Colorado leadership team.

“I am honored to have the support of so many courageous conservatives in Colorado,” Cruz said in a press release celebrating the formation of “his Colorado Leadership Team with the endorsement of 25 current and former elected officials and key grassroots leaders,” including Klingenschmitt.

How extreme is good ole Dr. Chaps? Well….

Klingenschmitt is a viciously anti-gay theocrat who brags of having once tried to rid a woman of the “foul spirit of lesbianism” through an exorcism and believes that gay people “want your soul” and may sexually abuse their own children, which is why he says that they should face government discrimination since only people who are going to heaven are entitled to equal treatment by the government.

Klingenschmitt is a man who wrote a book arguing that President Obama is ruled by multiple “demonic spirits” and once even tried to exorcise the White House, claims that “Obamacare causes cancer,” that the Bible commands people to own guns in order to “defend themselves against left wing crazies” and that the FCC is allowing demonic spirits to “molest and visually rape your children“.

I could go on, but I won’t.  Instead, go on over to Right Wing Watch, read some more of his bigotry and watch the videos of him saying this shit, proudly, out loud.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it often at least until the convention, but the only two words that scare me more than “President Trump” are “President Cruz.”

Hey Bigots! Can I Have Some Bigot Cake as Well?

Remember Melissa and Aaron Klein?  They are the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, an Oregon bakery that shot to national infamy by refusing to bake a cake for the local Satanic cult’s 3rd Annual Fetus Cook-Off.  The cake was to celebrate the addition of Planned Parenthood as a Gold level sponsor of this year’s event, and….  Yeah, actually they refused to make a wedding cake for two women because Jesus said very plainly in that book the bigoted Christians really wish existed:

“And Thee Sayeth Onto Thou, Skip a bit, brother, and thee Woman folk I command thusly; Touch no man but thou husband; be pure and chaste in all, but slut in the bed of marriage; enjoy thee not sex, but suffer through it whenever your lawful husband, your master, wishes it; know that if your husband strays, it is your fault, oh woman, once tempted led to the fall of man; God created fellatio, as a way for woman to worship her superior, and you should provide your husband nightly; cunnilingus however, is the work of Satan, never ask it of your husband; and now woman, pay close attention, for this is the key to your salvation.  Thee are permitted, encouraged even, to lick, kiss, touch, feel, fondle, poke, rub, hug, and/or suck on any part of another woman ONLY for the entertainment and pleasure of your lawful husband.  For a woman marrying a woman robs two men of their rightful property.  So spoke Jesus the Christ.  Seriously.  That is what I said.  Jesus.  That’s me.  And that is what I said.  Honest. ” – The Book of “God We Wish We Had This,” chapter 5, verses 11 to 73.

See?  It’s right there in that made up quote from that imaginary book about the mythical sky daddy who tells these people to be bigots.  It’s not their fault!

So anyway, Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to bake the nice couple a wedding cake and possibly also told them they were abominations in the eyes of god*.  The nice couple sued, and since our judicial system doesn’t base their decisions on what they think a 2000 year old mythical figure would do, Sweet Cakes by Melissa lost and was ordered to pay close to 150k.

So everything worked out alright in the end, right?  The couple, who just wanted a wedding cake, got compensated for being discriminated against, which kinda makes up for their unwanted infamy among the Christian right wing lunatic fringe, the courts did court stuff lawfully, and the cake bakers who refused to bake cakes for people in relationships they did not approve of had to pay a hefty fine.  All’s right in the world!

Until you read this:

Sweet Cakes by Melissa was kicked off GoFundMe earlier this year, but has since raised more than $350,000 on the crowdfunding site Continue to Give. The growing total, which far exceeds the couple’s $150,000 goal, is the largest individual campaign in the history of the three-year-old site, the Washington Times reported. The couple previously netted more than $60,000 from Go Fund Me before that campaign was taken down.

What good are fines at stopping discrimination when there are a whole bunch of bigots out there all too willing to send their bigot bucks to whatever bigot needs bigot bucks at that particular moment?  It’s practically an encouragement to discriminate, a bigot safety net, there to catch bigots who face complaints and lawsuits in a big pile of bigot bucks.**

Which leads us to our next chapter in this story; what the Klein’s decided to do with the leftover cash.

This week, the owners of an Oregon bakery ordered to pay $135,000 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple sent out 10 specially made cakes to LGBT groups.

Sweet Cakes By Melissa sent the cakes, which say “We really do love you!” in white writing over a red heart. The packages also included a DVD copy of “Audacity,” an anti-gay film, according to The Advocate. The film’s website says it “delivers an unexpected, eye-opening look at the controversial topic of homosexuality.”

“Our purpose is to express our love for them as a Christian,” bakery owner Melissa Klein wrote in an email to the Oregonian. “We don’t hate them. We also included in the package the movie Audacity. I feel it is a well done movie that shows what being a Christian is about. My hope is that they will watch it and maybe just understand our heart.  We want to show them that it’s not about not serving them it’s about not being able to partake in an event.”

audacityPic credit: Equality California

Okay, three cheers to the Kleins for a textbook example of the second definition for “audacity”:

noun: audacity
  1. 1.
    the willingness to take bold risks.
    “her audacity came in handy during our most recent emergency”
  2. 2.
    rude or disrespectful behavior; impudence.
    “she had the audacity to send GLBTQ organizations a cake with the hate flick Audacity.”

I mean, spot on use of language there.  Very impressive.  Second, you fucking sent them “Audacity”?  While claiming that you love them?  Holy mixed messages, Batman.  That’s like giving your kid a kitten then running the cute, cuddly ball of fur over on purpose,  then replacing said kitten with a puppy because puppy rape is what gets you going.  “Audacity” has an incredible amount of audacity (first definition) in even calling itself a film.  Half the damn movie is Ray Comfort clips from Youtube.  My feelings on “Audacity” can be summed up as follows; if Ray Comfort came up to me with a video camera and started asking idiotic questions about sexuality, I would fuck with him like no other.  But that’s not fair, I know who he is.  If a random stranger with a video camera came up to me and started asking me insane questions on sexuality in the same tone of voice and manner of speaking as Ray Comfort, I would say whatever I thought he wanted to hear to shut him up and get him away from me before he started to shoot or stab people.  If you torture yourself into watching “Audacity,” put everyone of his interviewees in that frame of mind.  If you want the full scoop on Ray Comfort’s masterpiece of Christian cinema, Eli, Noah, and Heath review this gem on The Scathing Atheisthere. (Review starts at the 23:45 part if you don’t like well written comedy. Not that you’ll like the review then either, but I still wanted to include the time stamp.)

So let’s see, we have spot on use of language, and inflicting a film that makes God’s Not Dead look both like  Oscar bait and a subtle, nuanced work of apologetic.  We’ll add that together, carry the one, divide by the square root, multiply by the ………

I got it!

Dear Melissa and Aaron.

Please take your bigot cakes, paid for with bigot bucks, and shove them as far up each of your bigot assholes as you each can reach, you passive aggressive, condescending, holier than thou, asshatted bigots.  While Jesus has surprisingly little to say about homosexuals, considering how much time and effort Christian bigots dedicate to all things gay, your god* could be the most homophobic deity in the pantheon and it still wouldn’t give you a legitimate excuse to not bake the cake.

When you bake a cake for a wedding, you are not giving your blessing and/or seal of approval on the match being made.  No one is asking that of you.  When they ask if anyone has any objection to the wedding, they don’t frantically look around to make sure the cake baker is in the room and giving consent.  It is the same as a county clerk, except even less vital; the clerk is also not approving or blessing the union, they are just verifying that the couple is eligible to get married according to the secular law, while you are just providing a decoration that will probably be shoved into at least one of the couple’s faces.

Melissa, you are a bigot.  Unfortunately, you happen to live during a time period in America where being a bigot pays.  You may have to move to a more bigoted location, or open up a mail order business, but it is beyond certain that while many talented and driven small cake shops will fail in the coming years, you will make a decent living either baking for bigots or speaking to bigots.  But do not let yourself be fooled.  Do not buy into the lie, that you are the one being oppressed, and that you are somehow fighting a fight for religious liberty.  You are not.  You are a homophobic bigot.

Why am I so comfortable in making that statement?  Well, partially this:

When one of the reporters called and asked if the business could make two identical cakes to help a friend celebrate the grant she received for cloning human stem cells, a Sweet Cakes employee simply laughed and said, “It’ll be $25.99 each, so about $50 to start.”

A request for a cake to congratulate a friend on her divorce was also happily accepted, with a Sweet Cakes worker saying, “We can definitely do something like that.”

Sweet Cakes was even happy to take orders for cakes for a pagan summer solstice fete — complete with a green pentagram decoration — and celebrating babies born out of wedlock.

But even more than that is the simple fact that all of you “traditional marriage” people are bigots.  No one is kidnapping the men off your block and forcing them into gay marriages.  You argue for biblical marriage, yet ignore the polygamy running rampant throughout the book.  Marriages were arranged for decent chunks of history, and while clans like the Duggars long for the days when women were passed like property from one man to the next, something tells me that even most Christians are not willingly going to accept arranged marriage.  While we’re keeping things traditional, are we bringing back the dowry as well?  I’ve recently been fascinated with medieval history, and the rare cases where a King or dowager Queen marry for love are often seen as scandalous.  (For one example, the dowager Queen Katherine and Owen Tudor. Or if we’re speaking of dowry, the marriage of Henry VI to “a Queen not worth ten marks”***, Margaret of Anjou.  Ah, traditional marriage.)  If you are that concerned about “traditional” marriage, why aren’t you freaking out about interracial weddings?  Cause you’re fifty years too late?  Cause that type of bigotry isn’t acceptable in polite, Christian circles anymore?  I guess it depends on what “polite, Christian circles” you run in, does it not?****

What about divorce?  You will bake divorce cakes, and something tells me you gladly bake cakes for people’s second (and third, and fourth, and….) weddings when Jesus, your whole fucking reason for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, was quite clear (for once) on divorce(my bolding):

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it. Matt 19

See, Jesus’ opinion isn’t “be fruitful and multiply,” it’s “keep it in your pants, but if you absolutely can’t stay celibate, which you definitely should, but if you can’t, I guess you can get married.”  And since he starts the chapter talking about how marriage was totes awesome according to god, who’s the enemy of traditional marriage in this story?  I’ll give you a hint.  It’s the same guy who’s on the other side of the glory hole.

Invariably, about this deep in any anti-marriage equality article, after the author has exhausted the weak arguments available to them, you find the anecdote about the author’s child (or friend’s child) finding out about gay marriage through tv/a magazine cover/ a newspaper cover/ an assigned book in school and that person having to explain something they are uncomfortable talking about to the child, and…..  Well, and then I’m not really sure.  I see this argument all the time I’m really not sure what they want.  The ability to hide reality from their child until that child is of legal age?  Here’s one recent example, from Right Wing Watch (although Wonkette covers it here as well.)

Ruse said that he started to worry when he realized that one of the chefs on Chopped “looked like a butch lesbian” and put his finger on the remote just in case he got exposed to gayness. “But this is the Food Network so we don’t have anything to worry about, right?” he said.

But it was too late. Despite his best efforts, Ruse and his daughter were forced to see a lesbian couple:

So I didn’t have my hand on the trigger fast enough when they did a hard cut to a backstory about this lesbian chef and don’t you know it she’s got her arm around her ‘wife,’ she refers to her ‘wife,’ and I was too slow in fast-forwarding. My eight-year-old Lucy, sweet Lucy, turned to me and said: ‘Did she say wife?’ And I said, ‘No, I think she meant girlfriend.’ And Lucy said, ‘I think she said life.’ God bless the innocence of this child. But they will not let us off the mat, the ideologies who want to cram this thing down our throats no matter where we go.

And it gets worse. Ruse laments that unwitting children may have had their vacations ruined by an edition of USA Today that featured a gay couple kissing:

The day after the decision of the Supreme Court was a full page photograph of two men kissing on USA Today. This is a paper that lands in front of hotel room doors all over the country, this is vacation time, families open that door, children may have opened this door to see two men kissing. They are making us explain things to our children that we don’t want to explain and they know what they’re doing, they absolutely know what they’re doing.

While Ruse complains about being persecuted by the Food Network, let’s remember that this is same anti-gay activist who condemned the United Nations for investigating “discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

I mean, I get the urge to protect your children.  If I had kids (and I do have nieces, a nephew, and a young cousin who’s pretty much a niece) I would want to protect them from Confederate battle flags, neo-nazis, Fox News, Westboro Baptist Church, Catholic priests, The 700 Club, guns, and poster sized pictures of aborted fetuses.  But these things all exist, and at age appropriate times, I think it is important to introduce children to the concepts.  I do not want the first time my daughter hears about a poster sized picture of an aborted fetus to be when she’s walking into a Planned Parenthood for her well-woman check and some protester is shoving it in her face.  “Traditional marriage” supporters will throw my own “age appropriate” comment right back in my face, but we aren’t talking about hardcore gay porn here.  We are speaking of the existence of a group of people who most certainly do exist.  Everyone knows a homosexual.  If you do not know a homosexual, it is more than likely because you are a bigot and the homosexuals you do know just aren’t telling you.  Chances are a few of the kids at your child’s school have gay parents.  A lesbian couple on Food Network is not an endorsement of that lifestyle.  A lip to lip kiss on the cover of a newspaper is not a religious statement.  They are just holding a mirror to society.  What evil lifestyle is the couple on Chopped displaying?  The one where you love someone and commit to them in marriage?  Those bastards.

Marriage equality is about love, consent, and equal rights under the law.  Freedom of religion means you do not have to get gay married.  Your church doesn’t have to perform gay weddings.  You and your pastor/priest can bitch about how gay marriage is going to lead to the end of the world all day long, and twice on Sunday.  You are even free, as sick as it is, to raise your kids believing that homosexuality is a sin and that gay marriage is wrong.  (Hopefully you’re not one of those bigots who will throw their child out of the house if they come out as gay.)

What you don’t get is the ability to force that belief on others.  No anti-gay prayers in school (or any prayers for that matter….and note, I am referring to official prayers, not non-disruptive silent prayers by individual students.)  If you hold elective office (or appointed office) you don’t get to refuse to do your job because Jesus.  You took an oath to obey and support the laws of our nation, not those of your book or church.  If you can’t do your job, then quit.  Save us all the trouble of firing you.  Especially when you are more than likely a “fiscal conservative” as well, and it is tax dollars you are wasting grandstanding for martyr points.  If you are a business, then you serve everyone or no one.  Simple, is it not?  Think that isn’t fair?  Well, how would you feel if I had a business and I refused to serve Christians?  Could you imagine what Bill O’Reilly would say about me?  He’d probably have David Silverman on as a guest, show the one picture of me posing with Silverman, and spend the whole segment yelling over David about how much of a treasonous bigoted scum sucking commie I was. But that whole thought experiment is meaningless to you, is it not?  Because you can not place yourself in another person’s skin.

Enjoy your bigot bucks.  Enjoy sending out your condescending cake with the bigger waste of a disc than “Free AOL” software.  Because on this front of the culture war, you lost.  You can pretend that you will out breed the progressives all you want, but most of your children will end up rejecting your bigotry.  The “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” kerfluffle will be a dark family secret, with their great grand children shockingly discovering those bigot were their ancestors, wondering what went wrong, eventually chalking it up to a different time, just as those of us did with ancestors who protested against things like interracial marriage, women’s suffrage, or ending slavery.

Now, get back to shoving that cake so deep in there that you see it in your santorum for the next year.

*While I never really thought of it before, after listening to this week’s diatribe on The Scathing Atheist, I am making a conscious effort to not capitalize “god,” except when it appears at the start of a sentence.  This is a habit I have had for ages, so please don’t mind the inconsistency as I retrain my fingers.

**Dude, I can not be the only atheist who’s retirement plan looks like this:

  • Fake conversion
  • Plead poverty/persecution due to my new found faith
  • Rake in the bigot bucks
  • Write book on my experiences in the Christian fringe movement.

Fucking ethics and morals.  I wonder how “psychics” and alt-med practitioners get rid of those pesky things.

***From the title of chapter 7 in The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir.  Also from this book comes my personal favorite nickname for the future Queen of England, “la petite creature.” (pg 107)

****Bigotry against an “outgroup” is fascinating.  While I was growing up and during my teen years, bigotry against homosexuals was seen as the standard in my area.  It was the default assumption.  Unless you spoke up, everyone assumed you hated the “fags.”  Those who were different at all for any reason were labeled “fags.”  (Before Nirvana went mainstream, I think I was called “leather fag” more often than my actual name for a while.)  There was also a really strong undercurrent of racism, just not as automatically assumed as the homophobia.  Perhaps because while my school had (I believe, I am not getting out my yearbook) one African-American (in 1994!!!)  and two Indian-Americans in my graduating class, we were just outside of Altoona (and all hung out with people from each school) which had a much more diverse racial make up.

Now, with outright racism largely frowned upon by society and the acceptance of GLBTQ community members as actual normal people, we’re witnessing a strange outbreak of bigotry across multiple fronts as, I don’t know, bigots look for an acceptable place to release it?  From the resurgence of anti-black racism (see the comment thread on any story dealing with Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown) to the last gasps of those who desperately wish they could choke on a nice hard cock (see Brian Fischer, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, et al.) to the shockingly counterproductive anti-Mexican immigrant hate coming from the GOP’s field of presidential candidates (see. well…all of them?) to the confusing issue of actual post 9/11 anti-Middle Easterner racism being lumped together and equated with legitimate criticism of the tenants of the Islamic religion, it seems society is determined to prove those who claimed we had moved beyond race, beyond bigotry as wrong as possible.  What’s the next group?  It can’t be women, although the GOP has made a go of it over the past couple of years, but women simply have too much voting power.  My guess, and we’ve definitely seen it in action before, I just think it will get much more mainstream: bigotry against the poor.  A group with almost no political power, with no money to buy politicians, that is so easily demonized (they buy steak with food stamps!  They get free phones!  Welfare mommas!  Your hard earned tax dollars, Rabble Rabble Rabble!!!)  It’s coming hard, from your local GOP candidate.  Bet on it.

***** Just a note here.  The piece on Jindal is over half done at the moment.  It hasn’t been the best week as it goes with my family and health, so I’ve been a bit behind.  I’m also just about to become unemployed,  hopefully for a very short period of time, which has been cutting into my time.  I will work on getting it up on Monday.  Thanks all for reading this!

In Soviet Russia, Jesus Crucifies You!

I freely admit that was horrible.  Feel free to virtually smack me upside the head.  On to the cause of that horrible joke.

Poor America.  First we lost God’s protection because of “the pagans, the abortions, the feminists and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way.” (Remember that blast from the past?)  Then the US military occupied the southwestern United States, confiscating all firearms and locking up all conservatives in closed Wal-Mart locations, and the Kenyan Usurper called an end to all elections, declared martial law, and named himself “President for life.”  Wait.  Shit.  Those last two didn’t happen yet.  Damn, Jade Helm is just starting.  Ignore everything I just said.  Haha.  It was a joke.

Now I am sad to report that the latest Godslap has been delivered to our nation, as our status as God’s Favorite Nation has been taken away, at least according to person-with-direct-line-to-the-will-of-God, Sam Rohrer. From RightWingWatch:

Sam Rohrer of the American Pastors Network once again appeared on The Dove TV yesterday to warn that the United States has forfeited its role as the leading moral voice in the world because of the Obama administration’s record of speaking out against draconian anti-gay laws in other nations, declaring that Vladimir Putin and Russia are now the “moral leader of the world.”

As an aside, has the sentence “Vladimir Putin <is> now the ‘moral leader of the world'” ever been spoken or written unironically before by anyone other than Vladimir Putin and people under the direct influence of Putin?  How far into single issue wonderland do you have to be to make that statement?  This far:

“The moral position leadership of our country has been forfeited,” the former Pennsylvania Republican legislator said. “Our administration is trying to tie together foreign aid into countries in Africa that have actually passed laws against homosexuality and in favor of traditional marriage. They’re trying to use and force these countries to actually embrace same-sex marriage. Our country, this nation is probably doing more to advance the face of same-sex marriage than anything else.”

Of course he was a former Pennsylvanian legislator.  Ahh, beautiful Pennsyltucky.  Remember, we also gave the world Rick “What is that all over the sheets?” Santorum.

“I look over to Russia, Putin, the Russian Orthodox Church has now lifted themselves up as the moral leader of the world,” Rohrer continued. “Believe it or not, Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church [are] the protectors of moral truth. The west and the United States have become the leaders of moral depravity.”

“To now see that we have become, not a shining city on a hill, but a purveyor of evil” is an incredible thing, Rohrer said.

OMG, OMG!!!  I finally get to use the line people in south central Pennsylvania used to say to be all the time, all through high school, college, working, hell….they still say it to me for that matter.  Let me get ready.


*in my best Appalachian drawl*

“Listen up here son, this here is Ameereka, the best damn country that God ever done founded, so if yinz Christians don love it here, then you can get the hell out and don let the door hit yinz on the ass.”

*in my best bigoted preacher voice*

“Let me tell you something, there are planes leaving every hour, on the hour, to all the other nations.  Get on one, we don’t want you, and we don’t need you!”

*in my best condescending teacher’s voice**made all the better cause it is an actual quote a teacher once said to me*

“You should consider moving to Russia.  I’m sure you could find a job writing propaganda for the state-run newspaper in no time at all.”

Ah, that felt really good.

Anyone else get the feeling ole Sam Rohrer gets that tingly feeling in his pants when he sees Putin on the teevee?  Just saying that his favorite fantasy may be the one where a shirtless Putin, fresh from wrasslin’ a bear, shows up to rescue Sam from the evil gay marrying United States, taking him back to Russia in a submarine, all alone, just the two of them, the whole way to Russia, with no one to see or judge them.  What happens under the ocean stays under the ocean, if you get my drift.

Okay, now someone needs to write Sam Rohrer/Vlad Putin slash fiction.  Get on it, internet!

Fellow Dog F$@&ers, ABORT! Pat Robertson Has Figured Out Our Plan! I Repeat, ABORT!

And we would have got away with it to, if it wasn’t for that meddling old hate peddler.

He then criticized the court for its recent ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, arguing that now polygamy, bestiality and pedophilia will all become legal nationwide.

“Watch what happens, love affairs between men and animals are going to be absolutely permitted,” Robertson said. “Polygamy, without question, is going to be permitted. And it will be called a right.”

Robertson also agreed with co-host Terry Meeuwsen’s claim that gay marriage will also legalize “relationships with children,” claiming that “they’re going to succeed now” in legalizing pedophilia.

My question is, how did he sniff out our master plan?  We’ll have to figure out a different way to get our perversion legalized.  I for one have high hopes regarding the secret document from the Dept. of Justice that Tom Delay claims to have which apparently seeks to legalize a dozen new perversions.  Fingers crossed!

How Far Will You Go to Improve Your National Poll Numbers? The “Wait, What?!? for July 22nd.

So Rick Santorum is apparently sitting down for an interview for The Rachel Maddow Show.

Any normal election cycle, this would be practically unthinkable.  While The Rachel Maddow Show has a habit of reaching out  to members of the GOP and has been quite fair to those who appear on the program (it definitely isn’t equivalent to a progressive appearing on The O’Reilly Factor just to be yelled over and cut off), she is not going to just serve up softball questions to Santorum.  Other than agreeing that Fox News is wielding to much power over the GOP field of Presidential candidates with their 10 person debate limit, Rick and Rachel have very little in common politically to put it as mildly as possible.  Rarely will I make this statement, but tonight’s interview is truly must-see-TV.  Or at least a must-hear podcast.

So why is Mr. Google Problem himself not only going on a progressive show, but on a progressive show hosted by an openly gay anchor?*  One has to assume that Fox News, and its field-narrowing 10 man (and with Carly Fiorina’s current numbers it will be only men) limit, based on national polls, for the all important first candidate debate has something to do with it.  While candidates left out of the Fox News debate will no doubt spin it as a non-fatal setback, the truth is those not on the stage are not going to be seen as serious candidates afterwards.    Barring the miraculous, being shut out of the debate will effectively end the campaigns of candidates already desperately trying to be noticed in the current sea, 16 announced as of today, of contenders.  The process of weeding out the field has been the job, in previous cycles, of the states with early caucuses and primaries.  While this process has its own issues (as a voter in Pennsylvania my primary vote is nothing but a rubber stamp or a hollow protest, the national candidate almost certainly already having been chosen by our election day), many still find it preferable to having the field whittled down on the whims of a television network.  Adding to the sense of outrage many feel is the fact that with this many candidates at this stage of the election cycle,  national polls are in large part just a name recognition competition with practically the entire field within the margin of error of each other.  In a poll with a margin of error of +/- 5%, what is the statistical significance of a separation of .2 or .4 of a percent?  Is that really what we want deciding who is allowed to run for President?

So with the date of the first debate rapidly approaching (for real, is there any other country that’s election cycle is over a year?) and practically meaningless national polling numbers suddenly all-important, expect to see all of the GOP presidential candidates, at least those without a safe spot on the debate stage, doing anything to make news, get attention, draw eyes, and hopefully move those polls the fraction of a percent the means everything.  Rachel may ask Rick some uncomfortable questions tonight, and she may draw out answers that further infuriate moderates and progressive alike, but those groups don’t chose the GOP candidate.  When it comes to the actual primaries, Santorum knows that his extreme positions and statements hit a chord with the fringe conservatives who vote en masse in GOP primaries.  After all, it was just last cycle that he finished second to Romney, and Trump’s poll numbers seem to indicate that, if anything, the “base” has become more conservative.  As long as he’s on that stage, he knows he has a chance.  Its just cracking the top ten, getting his name out there, moving those numbers.  This interview is much more likely to nudge the polls than mentioning Brad Pitt in e-mail spam.  Well played, Rick.

In honor of tonight’s impending interview ( I seriously can not wait. I just don’t even know what to expect.  It will probably be a really civil and professional interview, but damn, imagine how his base would love it if he dropped some homosexuality-and-contraception-causes-dog-fucking bigotry in her lap? Talk about guaranteed top ten status…), here are a couple of recent Rick “What’s that on the sheets?” Santorum nuggets of “Wait, What?!?”

In response to the hidden camera video released by a shady anti-abortion group, a video so deceptively edited that it makes the movie Expelled look like a honest bit of film-making:

“When we as a society allow for the dehumanization of any of our community, then we lead to this type of genocide and it leads to even more, as you see, more horrible — and an insensitivity to the dignity of lives and respect for that life,” Santorum said. “I think Planned Parenthood is a cancer in this country, something that the federal government should not have anything to participate with.”

Rick, come on now, don’t hold back.  Tell us what you really think about Planned Parenthood.  And dammit anti-abortion activists, you can make whatever moral, ethical case you want against abortion, but it is not genocide and it makes you look batshit when you make the claim.

I will close the post with a consequence of marriage equality that no one even considered.  I hope us non-bigots are happy now, with the chaos we’ve inflicted on schools that exist only in imaginations fueled by homophobia.  Damn us.

“I know in the schools in Massachusetts, in the grade school, they teach — there are books in place that say ‘Suzy has two moms,’ it’s okay to put a book that says ‘Suzy has two moms’ but you can’t put a book in there saying that moms and dads and marriage is important and tell people how important it is to be married before you have children, then you’re moralizing,” Santorum said. “It’s okay to say, ‘Suzy has two moms’ or ‘Johnny has two dads,” but you can’t say that marriage is an important part of having a stable and healthy economy.”

* I admit, I had a bit of trouble typing that because honestly, a host’s sexual orientation shouldn’t matter one way or the other, let alone even be anyone’s business, yet it seems relevant in this case due to Santorum’s, if not outright homophobia, public positions in opposition to the GLBTQ community.

For Those of You Who Have Yet to See it, The “Wait, What?!?” of the Marriage Equality Debate

Perhaps the most epic anti-marriage equality meltdown of all time that, to me at least, perfectly illustrates the fine line between religious belief and insanity.  It would be perfect comedy if not for the realization that she almost certainly votes every election, and that she is not alone in her feelings.

You know, I’ve often wondered how these “brave” defenders of “traditional” marriage reconcile all the polygamy running rampant through the Bible, then I remind myself how depressingly few Christians actually read the Bible.  (Not a Gospel or two, not some highlights suggested by their pastor, not from the beginning up to where they got bored and quit reading {more than likely still in Genesis}, but actually read their holy book front to back.  I mean, they believe God himself wrote the thing.  If I believed in an all-powerful, all-loving creator God who wrote a book of instructions for the human race, you better believe I’d read the hell out of that thing.  Yeah, Biblical ignorance reveals exactly how dishonest so much belief in God is, in my opinion.  But that is a different essay.)

And for those who are aware of how laughable the claim of “traditional” marriage actually is, well, cognitive dissonance is a pretty powerful effect.

Could a Judge Cite Matthew 7:1?

Oh, North Carolina.  We haven’t forgotten you.  We know you are down there in the south, and we know that your bigots are just as bigoted as the bigots from other southern states.  Perhaps even more bigoted, since your bigots may realize that thanks to population demographics and the open access to information provided by the internet, bigots just aren’t raising enough little bigots to replenish the bigot pool, resulting in a steady decline in bigot population, a trend that has hit North Carolina particularly hard.  Hard enough turn the state purple*, with Obama claiming North Carolina’s electoral votes in 2008.  Of course, thanks to the combination of gerrymandering** and single-representative districts***, North Carolina could turn a deep blue and the GOP could still control the state congress for close to a decade.

Yet even as the bigot well runs dry and bigoted parents discover how hard it is to raise little bigots when their children can access information freely, state legislatures proudly let their bigot flags fly, pausing in their quest to pass the most condescending and misogynist law dealing with women’s health care to take up a new sacred quest; to pass the most bigoted law possible while obfuscating the purpose of the bill enough to maintain plausible deniability.  First we had the state of Indiana with their version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, written with language broad enough to give businesses in the state a blank check when it came to discriminating against people because of their sexuality.    When Indiana Governor Mike Pence (Go ahead, guess.) signed the bill into law no one really knew what was going to happen.  The bill was obviously a homophobe’s wet dream**** and very unlikely to survive court challenges*****, but the possibility that there were enough far-right Christians with persecution complexes who would hold Gov. Pence up to be a hero made signing the bill an acceptable risk, at least to the Governor’s advisers.  The swift and vicious backlash that greeted Gov. Pence’s signature was heartening, and yet another sign that when it comes to this particular issue, the culture war is over, with those on the right divided between those who are trying to save some face as they surrender, and those who will fight a hopeless war until they die of old age.

Louisiana’s legislature, who was previously debating a similar bill, saw the backlash it caused in Indiana, not only from the left but also from the business right, and decided they would be in the “surrender while saving some face” camp.  Hilarious cartoon character/person who once said Republicans have to stop being “the stupid party,” Governor Bobby Jindal instead decided to continue debasing himself in any possible way to court the far right base of the GOP and receive the nomination for President in 2016****** by telling the legislature to suck it and declaring the bill law by executive order, then daring businesses to boycott Louisiana.

And now we have North Carolina, where the legislature passed a law that would allow state employees to refuse to issue marriage licenses by citing their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The bill allows magistrates and other officials to refuse to perform marriages or issue marriage certificates by citing a “sincerely held religious objection.” Once they have asked to opt out in writing, magistrates would be barred from performing any marriage, gay or heterosexual, for six months.

Republican Governor Pat McCrory, after witnessing the backlash in Indiana and the sad, strange actions of Gov. Jindal, wisely decided he didn’t want any part of any of this, and vetoed the bill.  The state legislature, determined to get some of that good old backlash for themselves (all the better to paint yourself a martyr for Christianity next election), set about overriding the Governor’s veto, defending the law with well-reasoned arguments such as:

Senate leader Phil Berger said the bill struck a balance between the legal ruling that allowed same-sex marriages to begin in the state last year and the rights of state employees to exercise their religion.

“If the federal courts say they will be performed, they will be performed,” Berger said before Monday’s vote. “But if someone takes a job, they don’t park their First Amendment rights at the door. They are entitled to exercise those rights.”


*sigh* Religious freedom does not give you the right to take a job and refuse to perform the duties of the job because they violate your religious freedom.  You still have freedom of religion.  You can quit, and then no one will ever make you marry teh ghays.  A Muslim can not get hired as a butcher then refuse to cut up pork.  This is one of the most insulting arguments the culture war has given us, and that is really saying a lot.  Be it pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for contraceptives, clerks refusing to issue the license, or magistrates refusing to perform the marriage, “religious freedom” laws like this share one thing in common; even the people supporting the law don’t really think the people should actually have the freedom the law gives them.  No, the laws are set up as last ditch efforts to trick the law into allowing their bigotry to continue, without anyone ever following the law to its logical conclusion.  Sure, they think it is a great idea when Christians get to deny some queers their marriage license, or refuse to fill some harlot’s slut pills.  But what happens when that pharmacist decides that sex is only for procreation, according to his sincerely held religious beliefs, and he stops filling all Viagra scripts for men over fifty?  What if he decides herpes sores are part of God’s punishment and puts Valtrex on the unprescribable list?  Hell, what if he converts to Christian Science and just refuses to fill prescriptions?  Okay, that last one was a bit “slippery slopy,” so on to the marriage license.  How long until someone refuses to wed an interracial couple, citing their religious beliefs?  Remember, Judge Bazile of Loving V. Virginia fame defended laws against interracial marriage based on religious belief.

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents…. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

Or how about when the first previously divorced person gets refused?  The first couple from different religions?  I know North Carolina is only doing this because of teh ghays,  but bigots gonna bigot.  And even ignoring all of the countless problems that could spring up from this law as a result of differing interpretations of Christianity, what about the slack-jawed look of disbelief on legislators faces the first time a non-Christian decides to avail himself of these brand spanking new rights?  This law would do more to bring Sharia law to North Carolina that any Muslim over the last fifty years.  Of course, Christians always forget about the other religions when they get all religious freedomy for some reason, perhaps because they have a different version of the Constitution that declares us a Christian nation.

So which state will be the next to attempt to use religious freedom to legalize a form of bigotry, and if the N.C. House succeeds in overturning the veto, what will be the reasoning behind the first unintended refused marriage?  Watch this space!

*Not claiming that Republicans are bigots.  In fact, if you look at the backlash in Indiana, I think it is obvious that the majority of Republicans are not bigoted, just willing to use any methods possible to win.  I don’t think they adopted the Southern Strategy because they were racist, rather that they adopted the Southern Strategy because it allowed them to ride the bigots to victory.  Honestly, I feel this way for most social issues.  If it would get them the ability to eliminate the capital gains tax, slash taxes on the wealthy, and bomb whoever they decided needed bombing, most Republicans would be pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, anti-gun atheists.  Which is somehow more depressing than if they were just all bigots.

**I live in Pennsylvania, a state with a Democratic Governor, that votes Democratic for President, and has one current Democratic senator, yet the GOP holds a 118 to 82 advantage in the House and a 30-19 advantage in the Senate.  We know gerrymandering.

***Ah, Single-representative districts, the one thing I will fight against in government for as long as I draw breath, no matter which party is in control.  If the Republican (or the Democrat) wins my district 51% to 49%, how is it democratic for the losing 49% to be told “sorry.”  Not only does it leave a huge portion of the population unrepresented, but it also effectively kills the vast majority of third party candidates.  There are many possible solutions for this issue.  My personal favorite is just combining some districts into larger super-districts and holding the elections.  Then, instead of winner take all, we have the top three or four (or whatever) elected.  So instead of an election ending like this: Bush (R) 50.1% Winner Vs. Kerry (D) 49.9%. we would instead have something like Bush (R) 27% Kerry (D) 26% Douglas (I) 21% George (G) 11% Santorum (R) 10% Huckabee (R) 5% with the top three elected.  Sure, some portion of the electorate would still be voting for a loser, but a much higher percentage would have representation with this system, and third party candidates would find themselves instantly much more electable.  Not saying my way is the way to go, just that practically anything would be better than the system we have now.

****My apologies.  Everyone knows that a homophobe’s wet dream is actually kneeling in front of a naked Kit Harrington, looking up at him shyly, and saying “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” before consummating the fuck out of that relationship.

*****Of course, after Hobby Lobby and Citizens United, who the fuck knows what the Supreme Court is going to do?  The only thing predictable is that the ruling will be 5-4.  Ah, the classic 5-4 decisions, just more proof that this once respected judicial body is nothing but a partisan train wreck.

****** Made even sadder since I have more of a chance of securing the GOP nomination than Jindal does.  Yep, keep slobbering on those conservative Christian cocks, Bobby.  One day you will look back on all of this, remember your statements after the 2012 election about how the GOP had to stop being the stupid party, and realize that you could have taken the lead in moving the party into the 21st century, saving the GOP from the reactionaries and bigots who want to turn the clock back to the 1950’s if not earlier rather than spending 4 years destroying your political legacy sucking the cocks of far right Christian conservatives who will never trust you thanks to your degree, and will never nominate you because……well, because…. Just look in the mirror, Gov.  All you will ever be to the base is that funny looking Governor who swore he would never do a bukkake scene, yet ended up on his knees the second the base said “all potential nominees must do bukkake.”  In the end, they will pat you, Carson, and Fiorina on the head, wish you all better luck next time, and nominate a white man for President.  All you will get out of the deal is a glazed face.

Is it really worth it?