Archives for posts with tag: freedom

There is a lot of hooting and hollering about a “war on religion” in the United States: evidently, our KenyanMuslimChristianSocialistAtheistSatanicCommunistFascistBlackWhiteMaoistGodonlyknowswhatelse butwewillcallhimthateventuallyjustyouwaitandsee Prexy has unleashed all of the demonic forces at his command to take away our freedoms, which he hates us for. At least, that’s what one hears from multiple “news” sources, and in speeches from our “representatives”.

Please, can we all just pay a brief visit to Planet Reality? A few facts to keep in mind:

Number A: The President has doodly-squat  in the way of power over religion. Congress has not much more, the Courts slightly more than Congress: simply put, the three branches of government have very little influence over things churchish. The IRS has more power to regulate religion (via application of tax breaks) than any other public entity, but it usually doesn’t exercise it.

Letter 2: Most Americans are religious, and we can pray, proselytize, tithe, and go to church unmolested: Christians, Moslems, Jews, Wiccans, Unitarians, Mormons, Buddhists, etc. Anybody here been prevented from doing so?

Thirdly: Churches get lots of slack cut for them, in terms of speech, taxes, special services provided by government, and so on. This blogger once saw a  Mike Huckabee political rally at a Babtist church: that sort of thing is forbidden under the tax code, but no one enforced that law, as is usually the case.

Religion permeates virtually every layer and aspect of American society, and anyone dumb enough to try to declare war on it would soon wish they were fighting something easier, like a platoon of rabid Hydras. Might be amusing to watch, but it hasn’t happened, isn’t happening, isn’t gonna happen, and it would fail if it were tried. Calm down.

Mr. B & C

Next Time: So, if there is no war on religion, what is all the fuss about?

In recent months, a long-standing and uncontroversial policy that was enforced by previous administrations without complaint suddenly became The Biggest Threat To Religious Freedom Ever Ever EVER, Such A Huge Huge HUGE Threat, Oh Yes It IS, Oh My Goodness Gracious:

A policy saying that people must be treated equally when it comes to their health insurance benefits.

Wow. Golly Gee Shucks. Jeepers. Yep, sounds pretty much like Satan’s frontal assault on all things churchy…right?

Of course not.  The Bushies enforced this policy for the better part of 8 years and none of these religious organizations raised an eyebrow. So, what changed? Only one teeny tiny little thing: Money.

A change in cost allocations associated with prescription birth control medications was proposed, and THAT is when the churches started screaming. Yes, only when it looked like it might hit the churches in their tender pocketbooks did it turn into a problem. Note this well – the coverage requirement itself was never an issue. Look back to beginning of the century, and you’ll find almost nothing about it in the news or from the pulpit.

Also please note that as soon as the Administration agreed to shift most of the cost responsibility away from the churches, most churches shut up about it. They got what they wanted.  This was never about religion. It was all about the cash.

Brings to mind a little story about a rabbi who caused a kerfuffle in a temple back in the day;  He read the riot act to the money changers who were working therein, after which He proceeded to boot them out of the temple.  Sounds to this writer like the money changers have moved back in – indeed, it sounds as if they are running the joint. 

But this time, the money changers have brought some really slick P.R. types with them, to help keep those pesky rabbis away.

Mr. B & C

Mr. Blunt and Cranky has lots of friends and relatives who are veterans, and has lost a few of such over the years. And even though the Military said “no thanks” to his back and eyesight when he tried to enlist, he has done what he can as a private citizen to support those who serve us and paid the price of freedom.

Over the upcoming weekend, there will be manymanymany blowhards using the sacrifice of these individuals to score cheap political points (in fact, this has already started). In an effort to hose these dirty dogs down a bit (the only way to stop such critters), here are some blunt truths about sacrifice:

{1} Since the Civil War, not one veteran has died in favor of a divided America. So, if you’re planning a partisan speech to demonize the other side, show them some respect and don’t start with that crap.

{2} Not a single Veteran has died to promote one type of religion over another. So if you’re planning to preach from the pulpit about how those brave men and women died so that your denomination could triumph over the rest, show them some respect and don’t start with that crap.

{3} Veterans do not die for a political party. Not the Whigs, the Dems, the Repubs, the Greens, etc.  So if you’re planning a speech….you get the idea.

These are supposed to be the UNITED States of America. If all we do as a people is remember that fact, we will truly honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans on this Memorial Day.

Mr. B & C