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In my online posts, including the ones here, a consistent theme is my trying to engender in my US chums a spirit of challenging politicians for the stupid things they say.

These are no longer the days of Ed Murrow, and now it seems your media just sit there and sop up whatever twaddle politicians peddle in the hope that means they will continue appearing on their channel or providing interviews to their tawdry rag of a "news" paper.

Well, enough of the soup course. Lets get down to the meaty loveliness of the steak that awaits us just below the crumpled orange napkin....

On Tuesday Paul Ryan told supporters in Carnegie, Pennsylvania that "I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion."

My suggested course of address in reply would delve into that statement by pointing out that Mr Ryan is anything but a good representative of the Catholic faith and its doctrines as laid out in official publications and statements of the Popes. I would inquire why, if he is such a good Catholic, there's a bus load of nuns dogging his trail telling the public what a bad Catholic he really is. And lets face it - who is a better expert on Catholic dogma and faith? A nun who dedicates her life to the Church, or a Wonk from Wisconsin? There was also that letter that the US Bishops sent to Congress stating that Ryan's budget was bad Catholicism 101.

The only religion Paul seems to cling so desperately to is Randism, and some messed up papist spin on the hideous Prosperity Gospel preached by the evangelical pastors who live in mansions and bilk blue rinsed grannies out of their welfare checks to pay for the fuel for their limos and Lear Jets.

And you know what Paul....maybe when America seems to be going through an extremely bad patch of gun violence and spree shootings, the hairy chested Grizzly Adams gun toting proud 2nd Ammender hunter routine is just plain old bad taste.


Then Perma-Grin Paul went on to say: "The idea of America is essentially this: Our rights, they come from nature and God, not from government."

No Paul. The "idea" of America is enshrined in those three opening words of the Constitution. WE THE PEOPLE. And when it takes me, a representative of the people you fought and defeated to be able to write those words, to point out that glaringly obvious fact.... that my pedigree chum is f*cked up.

If rights come from God then why is it demonstrably provable that on any marker associated with human rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and so on - you know those rights enshrined in the Constitution's 1st Ammendment - as well as other rights such as health, wealth, happiness and the stuff Adams, Madison, Jefferson and his mates like Tom Paine wrote about people who live in theocratic regimes where God says what goes on are worse off than people who live in secular states?So rights obviously dont come from God, they are in fact demonstrably restricted by God, and the more God gets a say, the less rights people have.

Don't agree? Well then Paul, go to Iran with your wife, and the both of you walk down a street holding hands - and get your wife to walk along without wearing a scarf. Or, if Iran is off the travel agenda, go to Saudi Arabia, hire a car, and see how far you can go along the road with your wife behind the steering wheel. Still off the agenda? Well maybe take a trip to Indonesia. There stand on any street corner and decry publicly that you think Islam is wrong. Or you can do what Alexander Aan did to get beaten up repeatedly both before and after arrest, and then end up in prison - set up an atheism facing FaceBook page and draw a picture or two of Mohammed. In Turkey all you would have to do is set up the FaceBook page, no cartoons needed. In Pakistan all you have to do is post comments on some one else's atheist FaceBook page.

Too Muslim for you? Well..... perhaps you could go to Western Europe's own pet theocratic state - Eire (that's aka Southern Ireland for the geographically challenged of the GOP). There you can still be convicted for blasphemy! Hurrah!

See how God Given Rights works out for you then.

Stating that rights come from God usurps the clear written intent of the very document that is the foundation stone of America. It betrays the very thing that defines America, and its proud history as the first modern western state established as a purely secular government.

And that phrase about rights coming from God and Nature.... you know who else says almost the exact same thing? White Supremacists from the KKK to the Christian Identity Ministries. They use that reasoning to justify their racism. They are of course just echoing the words of Adolf Hitler, and if you don't believe me Paul I suggest you put down your well thumbed copy of Atlas Shrugged and read Mein Kampf. There you will find lengthy discussions of how the rights of the Aryans to dominate all others come from God and Nature.


So there you go my wonderful American chums on the reasoning side of society. A couple of ways to challenge the mosquito whine of the dog whistlin' bullshit spouted by Ryan which I have no doubt you will hear echoed by the empty bobbleheads of the GOP base. Pull them up on what they say, and maybe .... just maybe...... political discussion in the US will mature somewhat and leave the realm of fairy tales, invisible friends, and made up mythological history.

And when that happens, maybe.... just maybe.... the media bobbleheads will follow suit and drop all the softball cackola.

Good luck my friends


2:51 AM PT: UPDATE: Or maybe Paul would like to go to Morocco and ask Kacem El Ghazzali, a blogger who posted some DEIST material how his "god Given Rights" worked out in his theocratic state.

Ah.... no point. You see Kacem had to flee to Switzerland and claim asylum there to avoid persecution and imprisonment by men who would otherwise apply his "god given rights".

3:00 AM PT: UPDATE 2: One I forgot about, and one that proves that even in a supposedly secular state which is majority polytheist - India - "god gven rights" apply and mean shut the hell up and dont dare challenge us or else.

While Paul is in Switzerland having a chat with Kacem,about his "god given rights" he could also drop in and see Indian skeptic and current dissenter on the run Sanal Edamaruku.

Sanal had the temerity to point out that a local Catholic church "miracle" was in fact a leaky washroom pipe and that maybe the priests were using this to scam the gullible population out of money. They charged him with blasphemy, and so Sanal had to do a runner, Maybe he is currently in Switzerland as well..... a secular state where god doesn't get a say in what rights people have.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And just when you thought... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...that Ryan couldn't get any more desperate:

    Paul Ryan offered a throwback to the 2008 election in a Tuesday speech in Pennsylvania, citing two lines of attack against President Obama that originated in the John McCain era. “Remember back in 2008?” Ryan said. “Remember the guy ‘Joe the Plumber?..." -- TPM
    Not-Joe the Not-Plumber? Seriously? You want to revive memories of the 2008 campaign? Gee, what a swell go for it, pal.

    See ya in the funny papers.

  •  Just So You Know Murrow (0+ / 0-)

    did a ton of interviews he hated. Tons of them.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 03:15:53 AM PDT

  •  The Constitution does not confer rights. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, raincrow

    It enumerats natural rights the government can not infringe.

    •  Okay . . . (0+ / 0-)

      so hypothetically, let's say the government oversteps its bounds and, in violation of the Constitution, does infringe on those rights. Will you A) pray for God or Nature to step in and push the government back over the line or B) protest and revolt using non-supernatural methods? History has repeatedly proven that if your choice of action is to wait for God, you must be prepared to wait a really, really, really long time.

      We are here (that is not debatable). We can fight and/or cooperate, build and/or destroy, make decisions for our community based on reason and/or emotion, be savage and/or be civilized. We have done all of that. Whether God was invisibly here with us the whole time IS debatable.

      And I suppose those Somalians and Iranians and Yemenis and Syrians and Chinese and everybody else on the planet who theoretically, as a human, deserves these natural rights but doesn't get them is just shit out of luck. Doesn't the fact that the majority of the people on the planet don't enjoy a right indicate that said right is not a naturally-occurring right?

      Nature is here (that is not debatable). Nature doesn't mind killing thousands of us at a whack with an earthquake or tsunami. You could argue that Nature, as a rule, wants some of us (specifically, the strongest of us) to survive, but even the strong die in earthquakes. Maybe Nature doesn't care one way or the other about any of us.

      So how about this? Until Nature starts communicating with us in a way we can understand--or until God visibly arrives (whichever comes first)--let's do the best we can on our own. That way maybe the first thing he or she will say to us can be "I like what you've done with the place."

      •  Perhaps you can go to those benighted (0+ / 0-)

        jurisdictions and encourage them to adopt a Constitution or similar charter that prevents their government from alienating their citizen's natural rights, and that allows them to establish end sustain institutions that supports that Constitution.

        We did.

  •  I think this misses the point completely. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Paul Ryan wouldn't have a problem with any of the examples of religious oppression you have posted.  Paul Ryan wishes he could oppress people in this fashion, to impose his religion, the majority's after all, on people he disagrees with.

    That's the whole point of that 'America is a Christian Nation' nonsense.  Just like Iran is an Islamic nation.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 07:25:00 AM PDT

  •  Ryan correct on rights; you're talking privileges (0+ / 0-)

    as much as it pains me to concede ANY point to him.

    By definition, rights inhere to us, a hardwired, non-negotiable human entitlement, their existence inferred by human desire for them through time and across cultures -- for instance, the longing for freedom from slavery, self-determination, the opportunity to speak freely without fear of retribution. Certainly one's rights can be denied, and the act of doing so is the very definition of tyranny.

    You are describing privileges, which are granted by law and custom; may not be common across historical eras, cultures, or even castes within the same culture; and can be rescinded according to whim or fashion.

    The framers' understanding that rights are an endowment from our Creator (whatever you believe to be the nature and circumstance of the creation of the universe), and not a fashion or custom, is captured in the Declaration of Independence:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
    An understanding of rights as supra-governmental, durable, and not subject to fashion is a major undercurrent in the debates surrounding the adoption of the Bill of Rights. From the ACLU's A History of the Bill of Rights:
    ....Some delegates believed that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary because government respect for civil liberties would follow automatically as a byproduct of the limited system they had created, with its division of functions, separation of powers, and checks and balances. Alexander Hamilton argued that since Congress had no authority to act beyond the scope of its enumerated powers, "Why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?"

    ....Still other delegates opposed Mason's motion out of fear that if the federal government enumerated certain rights, and not others, only those rights would be protected. This danger would be avoided, they contended, if the Constitution simply left the rights of Americans unspecified.

    ....In a letter dated December 20, 1787, Jefferson wrote what was to become one of the preeminent statements for a federal Bill of Rights: "[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference."

    Now: what is the precise list of our rights, since they exist only by inference and not material proof? THERE's the rub.

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