Stray thoughts …

Roy Moore may be the stupidest man ever to don a robe in Alabama. And Alabama has a long history of stupid men in robes.

Moore may even be dumb enough to one day be awarded “Statesman of the Year” honors from Florida’s Sarasota Republican Party.

The Slacktiverse just posted a terrifically handy collection of links to “documents central to the functioning of our own and other countries.” This “Political Documents 101” post is one of those things you should bookmark to save you from having to bookmark all of those things separately.

You could also think of it as a Collection of Links to Documents Roy Moore Hasn’t Ever Bothered to Read.

Here’s another post worth bookmarking for reference — and another collection of links that folks like Moore don’t want you to read. “Voter ID Requirements for All 50 States” (via). Look ’em up, learn ’em, and don’t let the plutocrats disenfranchise you.

Speaking of plutocrats and of really dumb people … Rick Perry has “proudly” rejected federal funds to provide health insurance for 1.2 million poor people who have the added misfortune of living in Texas.

The ideological explanation for that is a tortured claim that in Perry’s ideal dreamworld, Medicaid would be replaced with a hypothetically preferable conservative alternative. That alternative doesn’t exist in the real world (it barely even exists on paper — the alternative conservative vision for health care was signed into law two years ago as the Affordable Care Act). But if Perry can’t have his ideal dreamworld, then he figures the least he can do is kick poor people while they’re down — 1.2 million poor people.

As Josef Stalin supposedly said: “Deny one poor person life-saving health care, that’s a tragedy. Deny 1.2 million poor people life-saving health care, that’s a statistic.” That’s not politics, it’s just evil.

What does Rick Perry think of poor people who lack access to health care? Apparently the same thing that health-care-industry lobbying group Strategic Health Care thinks of them: Sneering condescension and contempt.

And speaking of politics and evil … Jesse Curtis asks if Jerry Falwell ever publicly repented of his enthusiastic support of racial segregation and the sermons he preached condemning Brown v. Board of Education.

Sure, years after it had become very clear he’d been on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of right and wrong, Falwell no longer spoke the way he spoke back in the 1950s and 1960s. But did he ever actually recant, repent, apologize or in any way suggest that he had changed his mind?

If Falwell did change his mind, he did it very quietly.

The ACLU goes there (via). And they’re right.

And if you’re at all tempted to cry “Godwin!” over that, then every teacher who every taught you American history deserves to be sued for malpractice.

Marvin Olasky is shocked — shocked! — to learn that many Protestants in the National Association of Evangelicals do not bow to the papal authority of Humanae Vitae.

Yes, it’s true: There are Protestants who don’t support the invented 20th-century Catholic doctrine condemning birth control.

Next hard-hitting exposé from Olasky’s World magazine: Protestants at the NAE who reject transubstantiation!

Manhattan Declaration declarer Robert George serves on the board of the Bradley Foundation, where he helps to fund “some of the worst anti-Islam extremists.” But George has found common cause with this international conspiracy of stealth sharia proponents to combat a common foe: Hotel porn.

The battle against pornography in hotels, George says, is just like the civil rights movement.

So for those keeping score at home, here is the world according to Dr. Robert P. George, McCormick professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University: Trying to get rid of hotel porn is analogous to the civil rights movement, but trying to secure civil rights for LGBT people is not analogous to the civil rights movement.

If this is what they teach at Princeton, they’re over-charging.

Speaking of social scientists saying dumb things … when Christian social scientists go tribal, they become willing to defend indefensibly shoddy work. Next up will be a statement from Christian spokespeople defending Mark Regnerus’ hideous chin-beard.

I worried I was pounding on the same note too often recently when I wound up writing a whole string of posts on Peter’s vision from the 10th chapter of Acts (see here, here, here and here). But I feel better about that now because Peter Enns points out that this passage is “Absolutely the Most Important Chapter in the Entire Bible.”

For those of us who are Gentiles, he makes a strong case. But again, when one argues that the same inclusive principle this chapter extends toward Gentiles ought to be extended toward LGBT people as well, then many Gentile Christians start to sound like Olson Johnson in Blazing Saddles: “All right … we’ll give some land to the [blacks] and the [Chinese]. But we don’t want the Irish!”

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  • hidden_urchin

    Sometimes I really hate being a Texan.  Perry, incidentally, is a great example of why I support term limits for all political offices.

  • Kiba

    Ah, Texas. So many reasons why I hate living here.

    If this is what they teach at Princeton, they’re over-charging.

    To be honest, if this is what they teach at Princeton they would be over-charging if they were giving it away for free.

  • Tonio

    Appropriate that Florida’s governor resembles Gordon Godfrey. He enacted “inspirational messages” to get around the constitutional prohibition on official school prayer.

    Why wouldn’t Fred classify Roy Moore as evil instead of stupid? Or both? Moore is pushing a bigoted version of Christianity blended with a bigoted version of patriotism. He probably knows damn well that there’s no such thing as a “false religion” and that secular government doesn’t lead to Sharia law. Most likely he just doesn’t care.

  • friendly reader

    The purpose of Godwin’s Law is to make you stop and think, “Really, is this actually comparable to the atrocities of the Nazis? Can I come up with a more apt example? Can I come up with a more creative example?” To throw around Nazism and Hitler for everything and anything you don’t like cheapens what they did.

    With slavery, Jim Crow, and the current “War on Crime,” I think the answers to those questions are “yes,” “maybe,” and “probably, but nobody would understand the reference.”

    Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply here because, really, there’s no example they
    could use comparable to the legacy of racism in America that most
    people would immediately know other than Nazi
    persecution of Jews. It’s miles away from claiming the IRS is “like the gestapo” or that restricting automatic weapons means they’ll be coming to take you to death camps soon.

  • I love this state, but speaking as a proud Texan, Governor Rick “Good-Hair” Perry is a grotesque embarrassment who ought to have been run out of town on a rail a decade ago.

  • JonathanPelikan

    Proud-ish Missourian here to add my voice to the ‘oh but there’s a few conservative fucks in my state I’d love to put on a rocket and shoot to the moon… or at least somewhere like Arkansas’. Sometimes it feels like it’s teabags all the way down in this state despite people like Jay Nixon as governor doing their best to remain human and Democratic.

    I distinctly recall a few weeks back hearing a news story about two people being inducted to the Hall of Famous Missourians or something like that. I’m fairly sure Dred Scott was the first. The second? Rush Limbaugh.

    Shit. The only thing that saved my parents’ TV that day was my self-deluding hope that the two inductees were lined up so close together due to some decision-maker’s sense of dark humor and bitter irony.

    (In doing lazy research to make sure Dred Scott was in fact a Missourian, and I wasn’t remembering too poorly, I found a little factoid. ‘A local tradition later developed of placing Lincoln pennies on top of Scott’s gravestone for good luck.’ It’s the little things that get to your heart sometimes.)

  • PJ Evans

     I heard about Limbaugh. Didn’t hear about Dred Scott. Scott deserves the honor.

  • I was reading a bit about Roy Moore today in the context of an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the religious right.  One of the ways he was used as an example is that they have this damnable habit of turning any defeat into a “moral victory” that galvanizes them to further action.  They will to enact policies that they know cannot stand, then dare higher powers to strike them down.  Once struck down, it reinforces the perception of the people religious right that they are some oppressed group who needs to fight back all the harder against their oppressors.  

    It leads to this kind of cycle where the religious right are really successful at pushing grassroots action, but really poor at implementing policy.  

  • J_Enigma32

     And Limbaugh deserves to fly his ass down to the Caribbean, where he constantly whined he would go if the ACA would pass.

  • Gotchaye

    Speaking as a Texan with a bunch of Republican and a few pro-Perry acquaintances, nobody’s taking the ideological justification all that seriously.  This is very self-conscious tribalism.  Obama’s a bad guy, Obamacare’s a bad law (you can tell because it has “Obama” in the name), and Rick Perry just threw a wrench in Obama’s little plan.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Hey, Arkansas has enough racist Teahadists. I think I’m the only non-christian here. Cut me some slack. 

  • nirrti

    Never have I’ve been more happy to live in Tennessee. For all our nutcase politicians, the ones in Florida and Texas make ours look like nuns.

    Our unofficial motto: “At least we’re not(Mississippi/Florida/Texas/ect,)

  • There at least seems to be a lot of awareness among state officials that Limbaugh really wasn’t deserving. Hence the absurd amount of security his entry gets. You don’t see many people aiming to desecrate anyone else, do you? 

  • No! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! (No, Really…think of the poor children!)

  • You didn’t misremember, by the way – it was in fact Scott who was inducted with Limbaugh, back in May:

  • reynard61

    “And Limbaugh deserves to fly his ass down to the Caribbean, where he constantly whined he would go if the ACA would pass.”

    What he deserves is to have it *kicked* down to a place a lot hotter and less hospitable than any Caribbean island, if you know what I mean…

  • The_L1985

    You’d be surprised.  My home state takes willful ignorance and aspirations to stupidity to a whole new level.

  • The_L1985

     The disgusting part is, I have family who are (bless their hearts) gullible enough to still support Roy Moore.

  • The man seems to have a chip on his shoulder for judicial displays of Christian symbolism, and his supporters seem to have chips on their shoulder for Roy Moore.  

    The point of having a chip on one’s shoulder being to dare people to knock it off and start a fight.  What was it Fred once said about the crack-pipe of indignation?  

  • It is vexing, the way that they can use even contradicting events to maintain the  illusion of perfect efficacy, of always being the stonger party forever on the verge of the Final Permanent victory. 

    And unfortunately, since voter turnout in the US is historically low, so that simply voting at all is by our standards in itself a sign of unusually strong political engagement, this self-reinforcing motivation loop is often more than enough to turn elections their way.

  • Has anyone challenged Limbaugh on his blatherings yet, by the way?

  • Matri

    None of the right-wingers will even remember any of the contradictions.