April 7, 2017

Senator Marco Rubio and other Republicans use religious language to justify military strike on Syria.

The Hill reports on the recent attack against Syria:

Approximately 72 hours after the world woke up to another chemical weapons attack on civilians perpetrated by Assad regime warplanes, President Trump responded with a “go” order to the U.S. military.

Fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles from the USS Porter and the USS Ross based in the Mediterranean Sea were launched in the direction of the very airfield where the chemical weapons strike in Idlib province originated.

In response to the news, Senator Marco Rubio tweeted a Bible verse from the Book of Proverbs to justify the attack:

(“Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished” Proverbs 11:21 #SyriaChemicalAttack)

Rubio was not alone in using religious language to justify the attack. After the missile strike was over, President Donald Trump gave a brief statement from his Florida retreat, explaining his decision to attack by invoking God’s name multiple times in a speech replete with religious overtones:

No child of god should ever suffer such horror. Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically. As a result the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies. Tonight I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.We ask for god’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed. And we hope that as long as America stands for justice that peace and harmony will in the end prevail.

Goodnight and god bless America and the entire world.

Bottom line: While it is not surprising to hear Republicans use God and the Bible to justify killing in the name of the U.S. government, it is always disappointing, and always frightening.  

Senator Marco Rubio (Image via Twitter)
Senator Marco Rubio (Image via Twitter)
August 8, 2016

Religious extremist Marco Rubio opposes abortions for women infected with Zika.

Sen. Marco Rubio said Saturday that he doesn’t believe a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus should have the right to an abortion — even if she had reason to believe the fetus would be born with severe microcephaly.

Rubio told Politico:

I understand a lot of people disagree with my view — but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it’s a difficult question and a hard one. But if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life.

Rubio continued:

Obviously, microcephaly is a terrible prenatal condition that kids are born with. And when they are, it’s a lifetime of difficulties. So I get it. I’m not pretending to you that that’s an easy question you asked me. But I’m pro-life. And I’m strongly pro-life. I believe all human life should be protected by our law, irrespective of the circumstances or condition of that life.

According to CNN, the Centers for Disease Control has reported 1,825 cases of Zika through last Friday, including 322 cases in Florida. The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to microcephaly in babies born of infected women.

Raw Story reports microcephaly involves severe deformities of the brain and skull. Babies born with the condition begin their lives critically ill. Their care can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in the first year of life alone.

As for Rubio, throughout his political career he has been consistent in his anti-abortion, pro-fetus, pro-forced-birth rhetoric.

As a 2016 GOP presidential candidate Rubio called the historic Roe v. Wade decision “egregiously flawed” while promising to continue the fight to restrict a woman’s right to choose “at home and around the world.”

Indeed, Rubio even brags about wanting to deny victims of rape and incest access to abortion, taking perverse pride in his willingness to deny women their constitutional rights in even the most dire of circumstance.

Bottom line: Citing sincerely held religious beliefs, Marco Rubio argues pregnant women infected with the Zika virus should not be allowed to terminate their pregnancies.

Marco Rubio (Image via Wikimedia)
Marco Rubio (Image via Wikimedia)
March 15, 2016

Blaming God, Marco Rubio drops out of the presidential race after losing his home state of Florida to Donald Trump.

Speaking in his hometown of Miami, Rubio officially put an end to his 2016 presidential bid, declaring:

While it is not God’s plan that I be president in 2016, or maybe ever, and while today my campaign is suspended, the fact that i’ve even come this far is evidence of how special America truly is and all the reason more why we must do all we can to ensure this nation remains a special place.

While we are on the right side, this year, we will not be on the winning side… Today my campaign is suspended… God makes no mistakes, and He has big plans for all of us.

God makes no mistakes? Please tell that to the child suffering with cancer, or the parents of that child. Please tell all those suffering injustice, all those suffering in pain, all those suffering in poverty; please tell all those suffering that “God makes no mistakes.”

And please tell all those GOP candidates who claimed God told them to run for president that God makes no mistakes.

Bottom line: It is no surprise that Rubio would blame God for his loss. Rubio has made a career out of pandering to conservative Christians, and putting the blame on God. In fact, earlier in the campaign Rubio said as president he wouldn’t worry about terrorism, because it is all part of God’s plan.

Watch Rubio’s speech below –

Marco Rubio (Image via Wikimedia)
Marco Rubio (Image via Wikimedia)
March 1, 2016

For God and country: Marco Rubio insults Donald Trump by suggesting Trump’s small hands indicate a small penis.

On the campaign trail before Super Tuesday, GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio went on the attack, mocking GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, joking about the size of Trump’s hands while alluding to the size of Trump’s manhood.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Virginia, Rubio said:

He’s always calling me ‘Little Marco’ … and I’ll admit he’s taller than me, he’s 6’2″ which is why I don’t understand why he has hands the size of someone who’s 5’2″. Have you seen his hands? You know what they say about men with small hands…

After pausing for dramatic effect Rubio added:

You can’t trust them. You can’t trust them. You can’t trust them. All right? You can’t trust them.

While Rubio did not specifically refer to Trump’s genitals, the allusion was not lost on his audience.

At the rally Rubio also took aim at Trump’s notorious orange complexion, saying:

He doesn’t sweat because his pores are clogged from the spray tan that he uses. Donald is not going to make America great, he is going to make America orange!

On a more serious note, Rubio warned that Trump was dangerous to the conservative movement, noting:

I’m telling you, if we nominate Donald Trump, who today is the frontrunner, we will lose this election to Hillary Clinton.

Bottom line: Rubio, like the GOP establishment, is in a panic over the rise of Donald Trump. Rubio’s remarks alluding to Trump’s penis size is but a sad footnote on the rise of Trump and the demise of the GOP.

Watch the video of Rubio’s remarks below –

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
January 29, 2016

Pandering to conservative Christians, presidential hopeful Marco Rubio used the final debate before the Iowa caucus as an opportunity to remind Republican voters that he really loves Jesus.

When reminded that Time magazine once labeled him as “the Republican savior,” Rubio was quick to point out that “there’s only one savior,” declaring:

Well, let me be clear about one thing, there’s only one Savior and it’s not me. It’s Jesus Christ who came down to earth and died for our sins.

Later in the debate Rubio gave a long winded and obnoxious response to a question about the role of faith in the United States:

And I think this is an important question. I think if you do not understand that our Judeo-Christian values are one of the reasons why America is such a special country, you don’t understand our history. You see, why are we one of the most generous people in the world — no, the most generous people in the world? Why do Americans contribute millions of dollars to charity? It is not because of the tax writeoff.

It is because in this nation, we are influenced by Judeo-Christian values that teach us to care for the less fortunate, to reach out to the needy, to love our neighbor. This is what’s made our nation so special.

And you should hope that our next president is someone that is influenced by their faith. Because if your faith causes you to care for the less fortunate, it is something you want to see in your public figures. And when I’m president, I can tell you this, my faith will not just influence the way I’ll govern as president, it will influence the way I live my life.

Because in the end, my goal is not simply to live on this earth for 80 years, but to live an eternity with my creator. And I will always allow my faith to influence everything I do.

And in his closing statement Rubio said:

The Bible commands us to let our light shine on the world. Over 200 years, America’s light has been shining on the world and the world has never been the same again. Now, the world is dimming a little because of Barack Obama.

Rubio may be a good Christian, but he would be a terrible president. Simply put, Rubio fails to appreciate the secular values upon which this nation was founded.

When Rubio says “… my faith will not just influence the way I’ll govern as president..” he is admitting his faith will influence how he would govern if elected president. This is unacceptable.

And in his closing statement, Rubio used his faith to take a cheap shot at President Obama:

” … The Bible commands us to let our light shine on the world. … Now, the world is dimming a little because of Barack Obama. “

If taken seriously, Rubio’s remarks indicate that he is more interested in spending an eternity with his creator than he is serving the American people if elected president. However, it is difficult to take Rubio seriously.

Where does Rubio’s faith end, and where does the political pandering begin? Does Rubio believe all this non-sense? Or is he just pandering to Iowa’s conservative Christian voters?  

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)

 

December 1, 2015

Dangerous faith: Marco Rubio isn’t worried about terrorism, because it is all part of God’s plan.

GOP presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio claims the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last month and in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, were both part of God’s mysterious plan for the universe.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Laconia, New Hampshire on Monday, Florida Sen. Rubio told a story about being asked a question about terrorism and God during another campaign event a few days prior. Rubio reports that he was asked:

Where was God on 9/11? Where was God in Paris?

Rubio said he answered the question by saying:

Where God always is — on the throne in Heaven.

Rubio continued:

The question was how could God allow these bad things to happen?

Rubio then tried to answered his own question:

It always challenges us to understand that God’s ways are not our ways. What we may interpret as bad, and most certainly is in the case of Paris or 9/11, even that is part of a broader plan for the universe and for our lives that we are just not going to know the answer to. God’s ways are not our ways.

In other words, Rubio is making the tired and supremely unsatisfactory universal disclaimer: “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

However, contrary to Rubio’s Sunday school pandering, the idea that an all powerful, all knowing, benevolent God would allow the horror and suffering attending the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last month and in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, is absurd.

In fact, the problem of evil is one of several powerful arguments against the existence of an all powerful, all knowing, benevolent God that most theists claim as their own.

The question Rubio tries to answer, the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil and suffering in the world with that of of an all powerful, all knowing, benevolent God, is an ancient one:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Epicurus

Compared to Epicurus, Rubio’s answer is simple minded and childish. To claim that God is on his “throne in heaven” is laughable in its naivete, yet many Christians are happy to accept Rubio’s silly account of how the world supposedly works under the mysterious guidance of the Christian God.

Despite his imaginary God’s apparent callous indifference to human suffering, Rubio reassures himself and his audience that it is all part of God’s plan, and that we should not be afraid:

We are biblically ordered not to be afraid. You know why? Because God is telling us that no matter what happens, ‘It is part of my plan. I will give you the strength to endure it whether you like it or not.’

On one level, Rubio’s remarks are trite Christian truisms, accepted by many Christians unwilling or unable to think critically. Yet on another level, Rubio’s claim that everything “is part of God’s plan” is sadistic and cruel beyond measure.

To tell the child with cancer, or the child being abused, or anyone who is suffering and in pain that it is “all part of God’s plan” is the height of arrogance and cruelty, a sublime smugness that is ultimately despicable in its callous disregard for the humanity of the other.

Rubio’s childish faith in “God’s plan” is intellectual malpractice and an abdication of reason. And while it is fine for a private citizen to ignore intellect and instead grovel in subservient supplication to ignorant religious superstition, in a perfect world such behavior should disqualify one from being considered to be a suitable candidate for the highest office in the land.

Watch Rubio’s remarks below –

(Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
(Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
May 27, 2015

Fantasies of persecution: Senator Marco Rubio, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, claims same-sex marriage represents “a real and present danger” to the survival of Christianity.

In a dramatic statement made during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, Senator Rubio warned that gay marriage represents “a real and present danger” to Christianity in America.

Rubio argues that because anti-gay messages, including anti-gay messages issued by some Christian churches, are labeled as “hate speech,” the survival of Christianity is at stake.

Rubio said:

We are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.

So what’s the next step after that? After they’re done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech. That’s a real and present danger.

Rubio is playing to the conservative Christian base of the Republican party by making such silly and dramatic claims. For the record, same-sex marriage is not a threat to Christianity. Indeed, the fact is that many progressive Christians embrace marriage equality as a simple matter of justice and fairness.

However, the ignorant anti-gay hatred and bigotry expressed by many conservative Christians, a bigotry Rubio is apparently willing to defend, has damaged and continues to damage the brand of Christianity.

In the past, mainstream teachings of Christianity have been used to defend slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, the oppression of women, and other horrors. But Christianity has managed to survive by changing its doctrines and teachings to conform with a more moral, more enlightened, and more just population. And so it goes with discrimination and bigotry against LGBT people.

As for the presidential election, Rubio said that it was up to God — and the voters, declaring:

My view is you go out and do the very best you can and ultimately it’s going to turn out the way voters and God decide.

Rubio’s non-existent God will decide nothing, but the voters will. Let’s hope they have the good sense to reject the conservative Christian extremism Rubio and his GOP counterparts are promoting, and instead choose to protect and promote the secular values upon which this nation was founded.

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
August 6, 2020

Idiot-In-Chief: A deranged President Trump went on a wild rant earlier today, at one point claiming Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would “hurt God” if elected president.

The Hill reports:

President Trump on Thursday claimed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic, is “against God” as he levied a stream of attacks on his likely opponent in the November election.

Trump painted a grim picture of a Biden presidency during a rally-style speech to supporters on the tarmac of the Cleveland airport, claiming the former vice president would follow a radical agenda.

Speaking to supporters in Cleveland, Ohio, Trump declared:

(Joe Biden will) Take away your guns, take away your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy.

Trump’s attacks are juvenile and ridiculous. Even more so because of the fact that Biden has made no effort to hide the fact that he is a practicing Catholic. 

A spokesperson for the Biden campaign offered a statement to Mediaite on Trump’s remarks:

Joe Biden’s faith is at the core of who he is; he’s lived it with dignity his entire life, and it’s been a source of strength and comfort in times of extreme hardship. Donald Trump is the only president in our history to have tear-gassed peaceful Americans and thrown a priest out of his church just so he could profane it – and a Bible – for his own cynical optics as he sought to tear our nation apart at a moment of crisis and pain. And this comes just one day after Trump’s campaign abused a photo of Joe Biden praying in church to demean him, in one of the starkest expressions of weakness throughout this whole campaign.

On Twitter, Trump was roasted for his childish rant:

Bottom line: A deranged President Trump went on a wild rant earlier today, at one point claiming Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would “hurt God” if elected president.

Deranged Trump Claims Biden Will ‘Hurt God’ If Elected President (Image via Screen Grab)
Deranged Trump Claims Biden Will ‘Hurt God’ If Elected President (Image via Screen Grab)
August 5, 2018

Twitter sends “thoughts and prayers” to mock the NRA after America’s premier terrorist organization claims to be experiencing a financial crisis.

A new report from Rolling Stone explains:

The National Rifle Association warns that it is in grave financial jeopardy, according to a recent court filing obtained by Rolling Stone, and that it could soon “be unable to exist… or pursue its advocacy mission.”

The good people on Twitter rejoiced at the news that the NRA could soon “be unable to exist… or pursue its advocacy mission,” with many people mocking the terrorist organization by sending “thoughts and prayers.”

For example:

Let’s be clear: The NRA should be mocked, they are a deadly and powerful terrorist organization with blood on its hands.

Death and Taxes reports on the carnage:

1.4 million Americans have died from gunfire since 1968, more than in all of the country’s wars through history combined. No other group — not ISIS, not Al Qaeda, not foreign governments — has been more successful at killing Americans than the NRA.

And:

It is impossible to determine the exact number of deaths that can be directly attributed to the NRA’s efforts, because for 20 years, it has successfully fought to prevent any public health studies at the federal level into gun violence.

Market Watch reports that contrary to public opinion, the NRA does not speak for all gun owners; in fact, only a small, deranged minority of gun owners are actually NRA members:

Only a tiny percentage of Americans are members of the NRA. The association’s annual membership fee is $40. Last year its membership dues came to $160 million. So that’s 4 million members. Out of an estimated 55 million gun owners.

Yet despite the relatively small numbers, the NRA has terrorized politicians and civilians alike for decades.

As a nation we live with and tolerate a culture of gun violence. All the while any proposal to enact sensible reform to curb gun violence is squashed by the the NRA. Indeed, the NRA intimidates and bullies politicians and others,  while spreading deception and misinformation to the general public. They are the equivalent of the 20th century tobacco lobby, merchants of death, terrorists claiming their product is safe while countless Americans die.

Bottom line: The NRA should be mocked. Indeed, the NRA and its supporters should be ridiculed and shunned. In fact, the NRA needs to be stopped before more Americans die because of the irrational and dangerous policy goals of America’s premier terrorist organization.

NRA Claims Financial Crisis, Twitter Sends ‘Thoughts And Prayers’ (Image via Twitter)
NRA Claims Financial Crisis, Twitter Sends ‘Thoughts And Prayers’ (Image via Twitter)
June 29, 2018

Hero: Annapolis shooting survivor Selene San Felice speaks truth to power, tells Trump his prayers are meaningless “if there’s nothing else.”

Selene San Felice, a reporter for Maryland’s Capital Gazette newspaper, is a survivor of and witness to the Annapolis shooting that left five of her colleagues dead and more injured.

After the shooting San Felice spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper about her horrific ordeal.

San Felice explained to Cooper  that she hid under her desk while the gunman opened fire, noting that the shooting had left the newsroom “shaken.” In addition, the reporter said that she was not interested in empty thoughts and prayers from politicians.

San Felice told Cooper:

I’ve heard that President Trump sent his prayers. I’m not trying to make this political, right? But we need more than prayers. I appreciate the prayers. I was praying the entire time I was [hiding] under that desk. I want your prayers but I want something else.

San Felice continued:

I’m going to need more than a couple days of news coverage and some thoughts and prayers because our whole lives have been shattered, and so thanks for your prayers, but I couldn’t give a fuck about them if there’s nothing else.

The F word is bleeped out on the official CNN YouTube clip, but it wasn’t bleeped out when CNN aired the interview –

Many cheered San Felice for her brave and sensible words immediately after the horrific shooting. However, some puritans seemed more concerned about the fact that the reporter had used an obscenity on a cable news show than with the fact that five people had been killed in yet another mass shooting.

For example, Senator Marco Rubio went on Twitter to clutch his pearls and denounce the use of the “F word.” Rubio tweeted:

“Sign of our times… the F word is now routinely used in news stories, tweets etc It’s not even F*** anymore. Who made that decision???”

And Twitter responded to Rubio’s misplaced puritanical concerns:

Bottom line: Annapolis shooting survivor Selene San Felice is right. Prayers are not enough. In fact, prayers are never enough. Prayers are spiritual masturbation: they might make the person doing the praying feel a little better, but prayers do nothing to effect change in the real world.

Annapolis Shooting Survivor Selene San Felice Tells Trump: We Need More Than Prayers (Image via Twitter)
Annapolis Shooting Survivor Selene San Felice Tells Trump: We Need More Than Prayers (Image via Twitter)



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