For the better part of 20 years, the Republican Party, through people like Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and others, have been experimenting with a zombie virus. It’s a combination of anti-intellectualism, cultural warfare, and divisive rhetoric. It’s what gave us the Contract with America and the Impeachment trial. It’s the origin of “Al Gore invented the Internet” and the Purple Heart Band Aids. It’s what created “Get a brain morans” and “Barack HUSSEIN Obama.”
But since Obama’s victory, it’s started to come unhinged. Others are likening it to a circular firing squad. They say the fiscal conservatives are shooting at the militarist conservatives who are shooting at the social conservatives in a circle of blame over who lost the election.
But I see it differently. The leaders of the party, the “elites” who pull the strings, who run the think tanks, created this situation for themselves. By promoting anti-intellectualism, they’ve made their base unable to be reasoned with. By promoting “with us or against us” rhetoric, they’ve removed any ability for the more reasonable members of their base to talk their friends out of rash action. And by framing politics as warfare, they’ve eliminated any hope of compromise.
And this will lead to a fracturing of the conservatives in this country similar to what happened to the liberals in 1968, and gave them control of the government for the next 20 years. And I can’t see a downside to this.
I realized a little while ago that the only person who I hadn’t communicated directly with about this whole “atheists are evil” North Carolina Senate flap is Elizabeth Dole. So I decided to write her a letter. And to share it with everyone else.
As an atheist, I am appalled at your blatant bigotry against my co-non-religionists. While I am painfully aware that we are the last minority group for whom bigotry against is still politically correct, your trio of attack ads against Kay Hagan is most blatant example I’ve seen since President George Bush Sr. said “No, I don’t know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”
There is nothing wrong with what Kay Hagan did. Taking money from atheists is not bad, and it does not mean that she will support their agenda. Neither is associating with atheists. (I’m sure that if you asked your staff to fill out anonymous forms, you’d find some atheists among them.) We are not evil or immoral. I am a loving father and husband, a hard worker, a loyal friend, and a patriotic American. And yet my lack of belief in god makes me ineligible to lobby my congressman for fear that they would be attacked by the likes of you, preying on the obvious bigotry that still exists in this country.
I do share the ideals of the Godless Americans PAC. I would like to see “under god” taken out of our pledge, to which it was only added in 1951. I would like to see “In God We Trust” taken off of our currency, to which it was added in the mid-1960s. And I support giving people floating Federal holidays rather than forcing them to take Christmas off regardless of their beliefs.
I don’t feel these are extreme positions. I shouldn’t have to lie when I say the Pledge of Allegiance. Something I disagree with should not be put on the money I am forced to use. I should be allowed to observe my own holidays, not forced to observe yours.
I am ashamed that, even in the 21st century, in the most advanced nation in the world, an honest, hardworking American citizen can still be discriminated against in this manner. I would ask for a public apology, but I know that you would never do this. All I can hope is that these desperate smear tactics work against the bigotry that I have felt because of my lack of belief.
I found this response to the whole Hagan/Dole “atheist” flap over at The Digital Cuttlefish, and it really summarizes my thoughts on the subject well. So I thought I’d share.
I proudly am an atheist;
I do not share your views.
Imagine how insulting,
When I watch the evening news
And I see you point at folks like me
Indignantly, with rage,
As if we were the lepers
Of a less enlightened age!
No need to watch your language
Or to treat us with respect—
Because demonizing us is still
You’d never talk like this regarding
Blacks, or Gays, or Jews,
But with atheists, just look at all
The language that you use!
“Obama is a terrorist”—of course
The claim’s obscene;
But “Hagan is an atheist”?
The worst you’ve ever seen?!?
Comparing her to me is now
The lowest of the low?
It’s good I don’t believe in Hell—
I’d tell you where to go.
I proudly am an atheist
I proudly am a Jew
I proudly am a Christian,
And I’m proudly Muslim, too.
I’m proud to be both Gay and Straight
I’m proudly Black and White
I’m proudly Man and Woman
And I’ll proudly join the fight.
I proudly am Humanity,
Whatever that is worth;
There is no group below me,
Or above me, on this Earth.
Elizabeth Dole has released an ad that has audio of her opponent, Kay Hagan, shouting “There is no god.” But there’s a little problem with it. That never actually happened. Dole either faked the audio, or used another women who sounds a lot like Hagan to record it and played it over a picture of Hagan. Kay responded with two ads of her own, and a cease and desist letter calling the accusation that she is an atheist slanderous.
Now, slander is defined as “the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation.” Now, I can understand that calling Hagan, who is active in her church, an atheist would be innaccurate. But is it defamatory? Are Christians really that insulted by being accused of being atheists that it would be slander? Would it really be so bad for a group of people to think you’re an atheist.
So I’m not sure which is more insulting: That calling someone an atheist is considered a political attack, or that such an attack is considered slander by believers. I mean, how do you think people would have responded if Obama had called the attacks that he is a Muslim slander?
Pennsylvania, the state that gave birth to this great country, has a chance to set things right. It has not had a moment to shine like this since 1787 when our Constitution was written there.
I disagree. I think Pennsylvania has had a couple great moments since the Constitution. The Battle of Gettysburg, for example, was the turning point of the Civil War. And the Dover School Board case, where a solid blow was struck against the anti-American intelligent design movement, was decided in my hometown of Harrisburg.
So securing Obama’s nomination and eventual victory isn’t the only great moment Pennsylvania has had since the Constitution. It’s just the most recent.
Drexel Dems had a great post about why some woman from Latrobe got to ask Obama a question. According to them, her first appearance on the national stage came from a NY Times article where we learned that, even though she’s 52, unemployed, and living in a small town, she only seems to care about whether her president wears a lapel pin.
She’s exactly the person Obama is talking about when he says that people in small towns are bitter and cling to things like religion or guns or lapel pins. It’s not that their bitterness makes them love these things. It’s that they’re so disenchanted with government that they don’t think it can fix the big things, like the economy, so they focus on the little things.
In other words, she is an example of the attitude Obama was talking about. Maybe ABC was trying to be ironic when they let her on to ask her question. Or maybe they were just their usual clueless selves.
In case you hadn’t heard, A Democratic state representative from Illinois, Monique Davis (D – Chicago), has, well, I think she said it best:
Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) interrupted atheist activist Rob Sherman during his testimony Wednesday afternoon before the House State Government Administration Committee in Springfield and told him, “What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous . . . it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!
“This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God,” Davis said. “Get out of that seat . . . You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.”