Sunday, February 20, 2011

Church Chat

You want jobs?

How about an entire industry based on the faith lobby?

(Remember that both true and false faith is something that replaces evidence. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". KJV Hebrews 11:1; "faith" is a replacement for evidence)

In Driving Miss Crazy we pointed out some of the problems faith in government can lead to.

For example the source code that runs the computer that decides blood levels of alcohol, and the source code for the computer that decides election results, are secret, meaning your faith in them is required:
A secret code making legal decisions, or deciding elections for that matter is simply unacceptable, and as long as Americans are satisfied to have the rights of accused drinking drivers violated, they set the precedent for their own rights to be violated.
(Intoxylizer Source Code). Did you notice that the author mentions the source code of voting machines also in general being a state controlled secret?

Think also about the classified budget, because anything that is a secret, or anytime you take their word for it without evidence, is a quasi-religious type of realm based on your faith in them.

Some observers point out that this faith tends to lead to huge industries with a misguided motive:
The second reason is political. "Alcohol related" statistics paint a picture of epidemic proportions that demand government action (and money) and a mobilization of citizen action. It justifies bigger budgets, more authority for enforcement agencies, and rationalizes a whole industry designed to feed off the "Drunk Driving epidemic." Multi-million dollar industries, organizations and bureaucracies are dependent on maintaining the aura of a drunk driving epidemic. This illusion would be impossible to maintain if the true magnitude of drunk driving caused accidents and fatalities were actually itemized and categorized into meaningful segments ... remember that the definition of alcohol-related does not mean alcohol-caused. For their own reasons, NHTSA has chosen to define an alcohol related crash as an accident in which a driver, passenger, bicyclist or pedestrian had any measurable alcohol in their system. Furthermore, cause, fault or circumstance are not considered. For example, a winter chain reaction crash on black ice on I91 involving 10 cars and three deaths would be considered alcohol related if one of the drivers had taken some cough syrup medication that morning. If you feel that I am engaging in hyperbole, refer back to the May 5 OLR study that uses the same example.
(National Motorist Association, emphasis added). The history of several industries, including organized crime, traces back to the Eighteenth Amendment “prohibition” ideology.

A federal appeals court writes down some facts indicating, as will be seen, that the origin of various aspects of some federal law is religious-faith based coming from temperance movement ideology.

In this post, among other things, Dredd Blog will try to show that temperance ideology has made its way into federal law though the religious faith of once Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, along with ordained Episcopalian Priest Senator Danforth and who knows whom else:
“Thereafter, a version of section 523(a)(9) was introduced by Senator Dole as part of the Omnibus Bankruptcy Improvements Act of 1983 (the Omnibus Act). S. 445, 129 Cong.Rec. 9953, 9957 (April 27, 1983). After Senator Dole introduced the Omnibus Act, Senator Danforth remarked: "Subtitle D is a modified version of S. 605, a bill I introduced earlier this session ... [which] would have defined drunk driving as a willful and malicious offense for purposes of the bankruptcy statute. The provision in the bill before us achieves the same result by specifically stating that debts arising from drunk driving shall be nondischargeable." 129 Cong. Rec. 9998 (April 27, 1983).”
Lugo v Paulsen, 886 F.2d 602 (3rd Cir. 1989). Senator Danforth was an ordained Priest, and Senator Dole is a lifetime member in the arm of the Methodist Church that had activities called the “temperance movement” which led to the Eighteenth Amendment, then the Twenty First Amendment:
"The temperance movement was the social concern which most broadly captured the interest and enthusiasm of the Methodist Church. The movement was strongly tied to John Wesley’s theology and social principles. Wesley’s abhorrence of alcohol use was taken up by American Methodists, many of whom were active and prominent leaders within the movement ... The Methodist stance against drinking was strongly stated in the Book of Discipline. Initially, the issue taken was limited to distilled liquors, but quickly, teetotalism became the norm and Methodists were commonly known to abstain from all alcoholic beverages ... Due to the temperate stance of the church, the practice of Eucharist was altered — to this day, Methodist churches most commonly use grape juice symbolically during Communion rather than wine. The Methodist church distinguished itself from many other denominations in their beliefs about state control of alcohol. Where many other denominations, including Roman Catholics, Protestant Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Unitarians, believed that the ill-effects of liquor should be controlled by self-discipline and individual restraint, Methodists believed that it was the duty of the government to enforce restrictions on the use of alcohol. In 1904, the Board of Temperance was created by the General Conference to help push the Temperance agenda ... To this day, the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Missions holds property across on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, which was built using funds provided by laypeople. Women of the church were responsible for 70% of the $650,000 it cost to construct the building in 1922. The building was intended to serve as the Methodist Church’s social reform presence of the Hill. The Board of Temperance, Prohibition and Public Morals was especially prominent within the building.
(Wikipedia, emphasis added). Senator Danforth, (the priest at Reagan's funeral), as an ordained Priest was obviously influenced by his religion, and Senator Dole was influenced strongly by his church ideology as well:
"Bob was raised in that kind of environment where everything rotates and revolves around the activities of the church, the rhythms of the [Methodist] church, the rituals of the church ... “At this point in American history, in American culture, in a small town, in the Midwest, everything revolves around the church. Nothing takes place that is not in some way headquartered and centered in that church. A pastor is a high prestige position, high esteem, in a small town. So Bob Dole grew up in an environment where everything is ordered and organized by the rituals and the rhythms of that church. And he learned the small town values of a, of a church that is this white clap or steeple church that is kind of a, almost a cliche, but everything it stands for has an ordering, organizing, a centering of one's life and that's where, that's where religion was centered and that's where you centered your faith, through the rhythms and rituals of that church."
(Public Broadcasting System, emphasis added). While the Establishment Clause is not supposed to allow religious law (the temperance movement is a religious movement), and due process doesn't allow unconstitutional application of any laws, yet there they are in black and white all over the place.

As it now stands, some federal law looks like an ugly throwback to an ugly part of our history (prohibition) that still mobs us, and still satiates someone's desire to exalt their religious doctrine over other religious doctrine, all in structured tension with the Establishment Clause and the Fifth Amendment.

The faith that God Is On Our Side flies in the face of Christians fleeing Iraq, after we brought "democracy" to them, unless of course one has enough "Christian faith" to believe that faith works in mysterious ways (including building a nation of the Oilah Akbar religion, a.k.a. the resurrected Mithraism).

Any other examples?


  1. On Bill Maher's recent show Matt Taibbi was there talking about his Why Isn't Wall Street In Jail series.

    It explains the retirement disaster we talked about in comments yesterday.

    Today's post about faith reminds me that part of the American Religion is faith in Wall Street, the bankers of MOMCOM.

  2. There is an interesting debate between a Minister of Faith and a professional architect planned ... the subject is faith in the official Bush doctrine about the WTC 3 tower collapse, and one small building 6.

    The Minister will advocate Bill Maher's (who hates religion) position, the professional architect will represent the position of "the truthers".

    Faith works strange miracles doesn't it?

  3. It sounds like some of the faith realm confused conundrum with condom once upon a time.

    It is a regular Mantrasity caught up in a Monstrosity.

    Where are disaffected and Kathy when you need them?

  4. Dredd,

    I see you quoted PBS this morning. You'd better get all the quotes from them you can, as the proposed House budget cuts their funding in entirety! (NoBama says he'll veto. We'll see how he explains it this time after capitulating once again.)

    When it comes to faith-based anything and the government, I subscribe to the Sam Harris point of view, which is basically this: once you bring that bullshit (And that's what organized religion is, unsubstantiated, fantasy bullshit, and more often than not an active money scam as well. As you can see, I've always had a special place in my heart for religion.) into the public square, all bets are off. As in, no more tax breaks, no more condescension to your stupid comments, no more special treatment in any way! They should be treated just like any other special interest group (which is to say, rewarded I guess, if Washington is any indicator) and not given any slack whatsoever. Compare that to the current reality.

    I'm watching Sunday Morning's piece on pension funds this morning. Absolutely scary shit going down in Alabama. Prichard Alabama has chosen to flat out stiff their pensioners for over 17 months now. Many of the pensioners have died already. No word on what they did with the remains if they were broke. Maybe they stuffed them and hired them as hat racks for minimum wage?

    The Atlantic, that last great bastion of high-brow liberal doggerel, had a Megan McArdle thread on the Wisconsin affair. The comments following were overwhelmingly in favor of the state and openly denigrating of the teachers in particular. If the teachers (teachers!) can't even get the sympathy of high fallutin' east coast academic establishment, then they are surely out of luck. First they came for the teachers and I wasn't one, so I said there's one of them treacherous bastards right there, go get them...

    The pension/organized labor crisis is going to explode into civil insurrection very, very soon. Not long til the shooting starts now my friends. I don't think we'll even make it to 2012.

  5. disaffected,

    The holy wars of the virgin MOMCOM destroying America in order to save America.

  6. Let me add, it's not hard to understand now how the Soviet Union thrived for all those years (And is in fact authoritarian once again in Russia. I also think it will soon be recognized that simple authoritarianism is greatly preferable to a corrupt fascist police state.).

    It's just amazing to see how fast we here in "the land of the free" are proving to be in embracing authoritarian structures in the naive belief that they will be "stabilizing." Once again, the fascist state will not be "imposed" on most of us at all. It will be actively embraced, even as the results will be painfully obvious to all. The population has been so dumbed down and pacified by the glitter of entertainment media that they're pretty much helpless before the forces that seek to control them.

    I doubt that MOMCOM will even be necessary to control the masses once the collapse begins in earnest. I think they'll turn on each other and do their overlords' bidding once more all by themselves.

  7. "simple authoritarianism is greatly preferable to a corrupt fascist police state"

    Problem is, authoritarianism is more difficult than democracy wherein the people participate to bring true the adage that "many hands lighten the load".

    Plus, the authoritarians themselves then decide what is "simple authoritarianism", which never is "simple", but is always "brutal".

    Especially after graduating from MOMCOM war college in the clouds.

  8. Randy,

    All true, and I'm not endorsing authoritarianism either. But, absent a populace that's mature enough to actually exercise a democracy (as we've seen oh so well in Iraq), authoritarianism is the next best alternative to chaos. My prediction is that once the fascist police state has completed its business here in the US and we're all broke, destitute, and no longer serve a useful purpose as consumers, the situation will devolve to authoritarianism at the local levels, and where that fails as well, chaos and/or tribalism will ensue. In other words, we will have completed our conversion into a legitimate third world failed state.

    Just like homelessness now, where many of the homeless are shocked at the rapidity with which they descended, we will also be shocked in the aftermath at the speed of our descent. You really only need to tug at a very few threads to unravel the entire fabric of what we call civilization, and skyrocketing inflation of basic commodity prices, combined with the dismantling of the social safety net, plus the wide spread perception that the game is rigged, which are all in place to some degree or another right now, are all more than enough to do the trick.

  9. disaffected,

    "need to tug at a very few threads to unravel the entire fabric of what we call civilization"

    So true but so ignored.

    Check out "The Dieing - Lying Continuum" where a scientist is quoted as saying the planet will not be recognizable by 2050.

  10. To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

    And I think it's fair to say we now know how that situation will be handled: those mouths will simply not be fed. I expect a major population implosion to begin NLT 2020, probably well before that. We're already beyond long term carrying capacity, especially when you factor in the super wealthy siphoning off most of our productive capacity for their own amusement.

    Maybe wars are just nature's way of telling us we're too many? In that case, nukes might just be the ultimate solution for an earth that's tired of our bullshit and wishes we would just leave already.

    But I totally agree. For better or worse (more than likely worse), by 2050 we'll no longer recognize the place. And the technologists better damn sure hope they're right, because absent significant technological advancements, a mass die-off now seems absolutely certain. Call me a skeptic.

  11. Another example that can be directly tied into the drunk driving example that you explained is the mandated use of 12 step programs for those convicted of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) as well as a host of other alcohol and substance related charges. Although it is frequently argued that AA and it's brethren - NA, Al Anon, etc. - are not religious, several courts have determined otherwise and recommend that a menu of choices be offered instead of continuing with the AA stranglehold. My own examination of the AA program revealed clear connections to religion, both in its history and current practice. The act of forcing someone to attend these meetings is a definite violation of the The Establishment clause. I was amazed at how much I discovered about this subject which regrettably remains unchallenged by most individuals and jurisdictions while the "treatment" industry expands at an alarming rate. Many of these 12 step programs not only fail to address the real issues but cause significant harm in the process.

  12. Marcelle,

    MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) founder C. Lightner was forced out of MADD by temperance movement fanatics who took over MADD.

    See Founder of MADD lobbies for Liquor Industry.

    She did it because MADD was taken over by religious fanatics.

    MADD is now a bizarre dream-world organization run amok.

  13. Wow - what a bizarre revolving door bit of madness indeed. With no end in sight.

    The "treatments" offered for these "violators" are likely designed with the purpose of having the same "offenders" come back in over and over. When that population appeared to have been taken care of they come after the social drinkers, etc. Mindless drones.

    I wish I had an answer on how to approach the irrationality of these out of control groups with their campaigns for even more restrictive laws and penalties for an ever widening definition of drug and alcohol abuse/drunk driving etc.

    There are very few who can see through the lunacy of all this so I feel compelled to support accurate & reasonable interpretations when I can even if it is only a comment.

    I never could have imagined how rotten things would turn out a mere 10 years ago. Things actually had a bit of a rosy glow for me then (with lots of clouds).
    Excellent blog you have here.