The Watering Hole; Thursday August 6 2015; “The Hollow Men”

I ran across this one the other day:

Liberty Counsel: Marriage Equality Imposes Unconstitutional ‘Religious Test’ For Public Office

That bogus premise is based, of course, on Article VI Clause 3 in the Constitution, the part that reads “. . . no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” My first thought on reading the link title was WTF? How in the world could the reality of marriage equality ever be so nonsensically interpreted? Here are the “nuts” and bolts of their argument:

The right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel has been encouraging public officials from county clerks to governors to ignore the Supreme Court’s decision striking down gay-marriage bans nationwide, and as part of this work is representing Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Liberty Counsel’s main argument in the Kentucky case is that Davis’ religious liberty is being violated because she is being forced to do her job and issue licenses for legal marriages between people of the same sex. . . .

From WorldNutDaily:

They want, the court filing explains, “to induce irreversible and substantial harm to the religious conscience of Davis.”

“If Davis’ religious objection cannot be accommodated under the circumstances of this case, then elected officials have no real religious freedom when they take public office,” Staver warned. . . .

The brief argues, “There is no constitutional right to have a particular person authorize a SSM license and affix their imprimatur to that permanent public record, especially if that person holds deep religious convictions prohibiting her from participating in and approving of SSM.”

It continued, “Contrary to plaintiffs’ insatiable demands, such individual rights and freedoms so fundamental to liberty are neither surrendered at the entry door of public service nor waived upon taking an oath of office. To suggest otherwise creates a religious (or anti-religious) test for holding office – which the United States and Kentucky Constitutions expressly forbid. (all highlights mine)

In other words, the freedom to hate and detest someone — anyone — is a religious right. Ergo: to disallow any public official from ‘officially’ practicing his/her “right” to hate, detest, or simply deny rights the public servant enjoys to someone else — for reasons dictated solely by his/her religious beliefs — is ‘expressly forbidden by Article VI Clause 3 of the US Constitution.

Who could ever have guessed that the founders so strongly supported the right of public governmental officials to practice religiously-driven hate that they included it in the Constitution? Is that corner of the Constitution similarly intended to allow, say, NON-Christian or NON-religious public officials from county clerks to governors to refuse service to anyone whose religious beliefs they might happen to find disagreeable? What would Liberty Counsel’s reaction be if their lawsuit actually served to allow hate-based discrimination in all directions? What if the right to discriminate at will against anyone at all for whatever reason were to become the law of the land?

There remains, however, one further and more fundamental question, one which reads: Can the religious and political far right possibly manage to cough up an even more stupid premise than that one?

The answer is, of course, clear and obvious. HELL YES!

Michael Savage: Obama Will Commit Anti-White Genocide, Just As The Mayans Prophesied

Right. Michael-the-Savage-Weiner read it in an email so it must be true.

Conservative talk radio host Michael Savage is positively convinced that President Obama is inciting an anti-white race war, and now he has definitive proof: An elderly Mayan woman prophesied it, maybe. . . .

“They interviewed an ancient, an old Mayan woman who said she had a dream and she said, ‘I see the future and in the future we will be missing our white brothers,’” Savage said. “That was chilling, that was a shocking, chilling statement. I don’t want to dwell on that too much but the fact of the matter is that unless something drastic is done quickly, how does this all end? How does this end when you have an administration that is siding with terrorists in the case of the PLO, are siding with the burners and the destroyers in Ferguson or in Baltimore, tell me how this ends?”

Fascinating. The whole right wing political scene these days reminds me, for some really ‘odd’ reason, of some lines by TS Eliot, lines that today seem to perfectly define the Republican Party. Eliot wrote,

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion

[. . .]

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

I strongly suggest that those who choose to watch tonight’s Republican “debate” might want to keep those words in mind, use them to see which candidate they most aptly define!

OPEN THREAD

41 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday August 6 2015; “The Hollow Men”

  1. If said County Clerk Davis is rendered incapable of assuming the responsibilities of said County Clerk Job due to his or her religious beliefs, or lack thereof, the primary recourse if for said person Davis to find other means of employment, not snivel and whine and drivel about religious freedumb.

    Oh, and Mr Savage Wiener? Who are the burners and destroyers in Ferguson to whom you refer? The police?

  2. Bernie Sanders to Speak at Liberty University

    Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will address a convocation next month at Liberty University, the evangelical school where the firebrand Senator Ted Cruz kicked off his own presidential campaign.

    Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Va., was founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell and has been a requisite stop for many Republican presidential candidates over the years, and for some Democratic gubernatorial candidates in the state. But it is not typically a place that Democratic primary candidates have sought to visit.

    “Liberty University was kind enough to invite me to address a convocation and I decided to accept,” Mr. Sanders said in a statement his spokesman provided. “It goes without saying that my views on many issues — women’s rights, gay rights, education and many other issues — are very different from the opinions of some in the Liberty University community. I think it is important, however, to see if we can reach consensus regarding the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in our country, about the collapse of the middle class, about the high level of childhood poverty, about climate change and other issues.”

    He added: “It is very easy for a candidate to speak to people who hold the same views. It’s harder but important to reach out to others who look at the world differently. I look forward to meeting with the students and faculty of Liberty University.”

    Two words: No Fear

  3. Jeb Bush Uncensored: Donald Trump Is An ‘A**hole’

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has largely refrained from publicly engaging with real estate mogul Donald Trump over the course of the 2016 presidential race. But in private, the former Florida governor reportedly has some choice words for his primary rival.

    Citing several anonymous sources close to Bush, Politico reported Thursday that Bush unloaded on the billionaire in a recent conversation with a GOP donor.

    “Seriously, what’s this guy’s problem?” Bush reportedly told the donor, adding that he thought Trump was “a buffoon,” a “clown” and an “asshole.”

    I’m fairly certain the Donald has heard much worse from better men that Jeb.

    • Hmm Jeb ‘I am not a BUSH!’ Bush’s ‘adult in the room’ strategy may already be unraveling. See light weight guide to emptying of the front seat of the Clown Car into the ring for the first time tonight.

      Don’t know about you folks, but I think some people are going to get pied-in-the-face tonight.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33780887

      • Jeb is the perfect example of a “Hollow Man.” As are . . . lessee . . . Trump, Walker, Rubio, pHuckabee, Christie, Carson, Cruz, Paul, Jindal, Kasich, Prickerry, Rantorum, Graham . . . and anyone else with an R after their name. Fiorino is hollow too, but not a man, at least afaik. Alladem
        “. . . meaningless
        As wind in dry grass
        Or rats’ feet over broken glass
        In our dry cellar”

  4. As we all know, I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure these asshats have it wrong. When you enter public office in an officially secular nation, you very much DO give up your religious freedoms as long as you’re being paid by the public to do your job. And if your job does not involve religion (and almost all public sectors jobs don’t, except chaplains), then there is no “religious freedom” being denied.

    • I agree totally. Problem is, these asshat fundies seriously believe that this is a Christian nation and therefore . . . etc., thus their theocratic version(s) of Christian hate, fear, and denial are each and all Constitutional. I also suspect that no amount of explication could ever convince them otherwise.

      • They have reading comprehension issues. If they want to have a religious test for any public office, then they have to go through the procedure to alter the constitution. Really, it can be done, unlikely but just saying there should be one is not even close to meaning anything.

    • I would sing a particular song but I don’t want to give Warner Music Group any royalties. Happy Birthday bdmm!

      • Actually, I thought I heard recently that because “Happy Birthday To You” is really just the public domain song “Good Morning to You,” you don’t have to pay royalties for using it. Besides, how are they gonna collect? Not from us.

        • Yes, for everyday use, no real issue. But don’t sing it in a movie without talking to Warner first!! It’s BS but you know lawyers🙂

          • I know we have a better one. And they would lose if they tried to collect. It’s a public domain song. Besides, they couldn’t hold exclusive rights to it forever.

    • If it wasn’t for the 70th of Hiroshima today, I’d say “Have a blast!” – oh I just did say that.😉

  5. Does anyone know if the repiggie “debate” will be shown online? I don’t really want to watch, but all y’all might want to ridicule the thing, and might as well do it here. 😉

    • We would prefer to be hung by the neck with a short rope rather than be forced to watch the Ridiot parade. Fortunately we have no cable, though, so all is well.

        • Right Zooey, and I cannot be embarrassed by that show, by virtue of being a bloody furriner and all that, and who the hell should I have drinks with?

    • I’ve got a TVPC channel working on Fox News. I think they will have it at their website, and there’s an app available for mobile devices.

      • I don’t think I can link to that for a post. C-Span seems to be avoiding this thing like the plague — not that I blame them.

        • As House points out – only SmellyFox has the debate live.
          Guessing they have made sure no other outlet would air.
          I looked a NPR and PBS and didn’t see any mention of airing the three-ringed circus.

          The first Republican presidential debate is tonight at 9 pm Eastern. It will air on Fox News Channel, or you can watch it live on FoxNews.com

        • I think MSNBC will be airing the debates, with commentary starting at 5 PM EDT, 2 PM Zoo Time.

        • I have no proof of what I just posted. I’ve been watching cc,com. They are finishing up a month of streaming Jon Stewart episodes, The episode currently playing was the one with Obama in July,

          • This article reads as if only Fox will be able to air the debate.
            That isn’t stopping MSNBC from doing an entire day of yapping.
            (no mention, at all, of being able to air it live, though)

            The first Republican presidential debate is tonight at 9 pm Eastern. It will air on Fox News Channel, or you can watch it live on FoxNews.com

        • Zooey, why not link to a three stooges video, it won’t be that much different and we can shoot our months off (and drink).

  6. Thanks for all the birthday wishes!!

    Looking forward to the “debate” tonight on Fox News, but this is uncharted territory for my TV so I hope it doesn’t implode. I don’t expect any fireworks or bickering — that will come in later soirees.

    I do hope Trump wears one of his stupid hats.

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