Sunday, June 20, 2010

Atheist and want to hold Public Office in America? GO FOR IT!

Fortney Hillman "Pete" Stark, Jr. (born November 11, 1931) is an American politician from the state of California. A Democrat, he has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1973 (37 years), currently representing California's 13th congressional district in southwestern Alameda County. Currently he is the sixth most senior Representative as well as 8th most senior member of Congress.


United States Constitution Article VI
All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Why is this part of the Constitution?
Why did the Founding Father’s have this as part of the Constitution?
The answer is very simple:
George Santayan’s famous quote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” was published in 1905.*
The Founding Fathers were well ahead of their time but they knew their history.
Sadly many today do not wish to study history or learn from it’s lessons. These are the lessons of mankind. Our successes, achievements, follies and failures. The good, the bad and yes, the ugly.
At first the United States was organized as a Confederation.
The result was a weak Federal government. While there were some productive measures taken, overall the “Confederation” form of government was not working. A stronger form of government was needed by the young country.

The country needed a government that could guarantee stability. “On the same sheet of music.“ Some issues the country was facing were: order, property rights, lack of economic stability, state taxes and problems with foreign trade.

Then there was Shays’ Rebellion. The country was for the lack of a better term, in a “recession.” In New England it was worse. High prices, high taxes and veterans who’d never been paid. Many feared debtors prison, losing all they had and forced to become tenant farmers.

In short, a new form of Government was needed. This lead to the Continental Congress convening and writing the Constitution completed in September 1787. By July 1788 New Hampshire ratified the US Constitution which created the new government and the scheduling of an election. In March 1789 the 1st Congress was held and Washington was inaugurated that April.

Ok. So what does this have to do with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the Founding Father’s were closer historically to the rule of countries by Kings and Queens. Where the Pope or a religious leader could bring a country to its knees by a papal decree. Or where wars could be started for no other reason then for personal glory of the crown.
The Founding Father’s knew and understood that they had the ability to free themselves and the people of the United States from such tyranny.
They were also well aware of the war between Catholics and Protestants.

And the uses and abuses of Religious Tests that had been applied in England and other countries.
Remember the story of the Pilgrims? Why they left England and eventually settled in America? For Religious Freedom. They were escaping from a national religion, the Church of England.
And then there is the subject of Churches subjecting people to taxes.

So the Founding Father’s made sure that no religion or church enjoyed any advantages or disadvantages because of an established “National” religion. Religion had no relevance in a person’s citizenship, the right to vote or hold office and therefore no political privilege or

This is potent stuff. This is the stuff that makes religions and it's leaders back off. The “teeth” that religion and religious leaders had were pulled out. In other words, religion could not be used against the United States as a weapon or a tool for extortion or blackmail.

You see, in the 1600’s and the 1700’s in England, they had “Religious Tests” to exclude anyone who wasn’t a member of the Church of England from holding office. In other words if you were Catholic, nonconforming Protestants or Jewish, you were not going to hold office.

Now, just how long do you think it would take for someone like Mike Huckabee or Mit Romney to start screaming bloody murder if they had to take such an oath? Or were denied office? Or not even allowed to run for an office? These are two American politicians who are very
religious and let you know they are. They attempted to run for President representing the Republican Party in the 2008 elections but lost to John McCain. McCain lost to Obama.

There are six states: Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas that have laws on their books that essentially do no allow atheists to hold office.
Nice try guys.
No go.

Constitution of the United States says there isn’t a religious test.
And, as we all know from our government classes, the US Constitution cannot be superseded by a State’s Constitution.

And the icing on the cake is the case of, Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488 (1961) was a United States Supreme Court case in which the court reaffirmed that the US Constitution prohibits States and the Federal Government from requiring any kind of religious test for public office.

So the next time some yahoo whose been listening too much to “talk radio” or some talking head on “Fox,” just remember that the Founding Father’s had their heads on straight. They foresaw that one day, some religious half wit would try to use religion to force their way of life on you and they created the “No Religious Test” clause of Article VI.

*George Santayana, The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress: Reason in Common Sense, Chapter XII, "Flux and Constancy in Human Nature"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Do Very Relligious People Scare You?

Do religious people scare you?
Do their actions or their mannerisms raise the hair on the back of your neck?
A few years ago I saw a well known TV Preacher at a national political convention.
He had his "entourage" with him. I guess that’s the nice way of saying, “pack” like a pack of wolves.
The "vibrations" they gave off were the kind that made a person become very "vigilant." I’m saying that because these are the feelings I was having as I watched them walk by.
They just made you feel that they were up to no good and that you had to keep your eye on them.
Like they could quickly turn on you in a wink of an eye.
And have no remorse in doing so.
Like a pack of wolves or wild dogs.

How many “Religious” leaders or “religious” politicians or some “religious” TV personalities exhibit some or all of the following?

1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
3. Authoritarian
4. Secretive
5. Paranoid
6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
7. Conventional appearance
8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
12. Incapable of real human attachment to another
13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt
14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose
15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world

These are sociopath traits.

This is a summary common features of descriptions of the behavior of sociopaths.

Glibness and Superficial Charm

Manipulative and Conning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

Pathological Lying
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt

A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Shallow Emotions
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

Incapacity for Love

Need for Stimulation
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Natur
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.


Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle

Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

Now, again, just how many “TV” preacher, religious leaders, “religious” politicians have these traits?
Am I saying they all are like this? No. But take a step back and with what you’ve read, see how many have these traits

What is your view on this?

Monday, June 14, 2010

If you’re horny and you know, it’s too damn bad…so says God

Seems that the bible pounders just want to control every aspect of your life.
They even want to know what you’re doing in your bedroom.
Funny thing is, they don’t want the government to pry into their business. But because “God” is on their “side” they assume they have the right to stick their noses into everyone personal and private business.
It’s the same with the abortion issue. They honestly believe it’s their duty to intervene in a persons private matters. And if need be, some of them will actually kill to do so.
And have.
And will do so again.
“God” is on their side…..
Kinda like to rival sports teams praying to defeat the other prior to the game. I still haven’t figured that one out….
So here it comes with a women, who is married, had sex with her husband, BEFORE THEY WERE MARRIED!
So what?
Well here’s the “what.” It cost her her job as a teacher in a “Christian” school.
Seems pre-marital sex was a no-no. I’m sure every employee there including some of the students have never ever masturbated, been sexually assaulted, abused, or had sex before they were married.
They must have ice machines in each office and classroom. Either that or everyone is medicated.
Saltpeter anyone?
I think the vast majority of these people have a lot of repressed issues.
It reminds me of a couple who had a daughter who was five. They made her wear a bra. A five year old child wearing a bra. Is it just me or were those people wound a bit too “tight?”

Well here’s the story. Let me know what you think.
Cynthia Tucker
Political commentary from Pulitzer Prize winner Cynthia Tucker

“Christian” school teacher gets fired for fornication — with her fiance

12:33 pm June 14, 2010, by ctucker
This morning, NBC’s Ann Curry interviewed a Florida woman, Jeretta Hamilton, who was fired from a private school for having sex with her fiance before marriage. The principal found out when she applied for maternity leave and he did the math — like folks used to do back in the 1950s. The termination letter told her to ”consider the testimony of the Lord.”
Hamilton may have a good case in federal court, but could she actually be surprised that a Christianist school gets in a snit over fornication? Isn’t that in its rule book (figuratively, if not literally?)
From NBC
Jarretta Hamilton and her husband of 16 months, Samuel Treftz, told TODAY’s Ann Curry Monday that the termination violated federal anti-discrimination laws. In addition, they allege in a pending lawsuit, the school’s principal, Jon Ennis, invaded Hamilton’s privacy by telling other teachers and the parents of her students the exact reason she was fired.
“When they let me go, they told the entire staff in a staff meeting that I had been fired and the reason why they let me go. And then they called all of my parents to my fourth-grade students and told them, as well,” Hamilton said.
Ennis declined to appear on TODAY, citing a lawsuit filed by Hamilton against the school. But in a pre-recorded report filed by NBC News’ Mike Taibbi, Ennis was asked if he stood by the firing. “Yes, absolutely,” he replied. . .
“I was only requesting a standard six weeks maternity leave and as the conversation progressed, he said, ‘I’m just trying to do the math here. When did you get married?’ ” Hamilton told Curry.
School principal Jon Ennis defends the teacher’s firing on moral grounds.
“I said Feb. 20,” she continued. “He said, ‘Well, did you conceive prior to marriage?’ I answered and I told him, ‘Yes.’ ”
A week later, she was notified that she was terminated. The school has asked Hamilton to withdraw her suit over her firing.
“Jarretta was asked not to return because of a moral issue that was disregarded, namely fornication, sex outside of marriage. The employment application, which she filled out, clearly states that as a leader before our students we require all teachers to maintain and communicate the values and purpose of our school.
“We request that Jarretta withdraw her complaint and consider the testimony of the Lord,” the letter concludes.
I hold no brief for schools such as this, where Christian fundamentalism overlooks much of Christ’s ministry — which focused on poverty and (yes, Glenn Beck) social justice — and emphasizes a narrow morality revolving largely around sex. But I do wonder how Ms. Hamilton could have been surprised by it, since she teaches there.
There are hundreds of thousands of schools all over the country with a religious orientation — Catholic schools, Episcopal schools, Methodist schools, Jewish schools and Greek Orthodox schools. They vary in their ecumenicism and their approach to religious instruction. Some require all students to attend a religious service; some don’t.
But those with “Christian” in the name are known for a very narrow reading of the Bible that eschews the teaching of evolution, celebrates militarism and denounces gay rights. I wouldn’t send my child to such a school, but it seems they ought to have a right to fire teachers for fornication if they choose.
But they should have included a morality clause in the contract.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The United States was not "Founded" as a "Christian Country"

I am an American.
On top of that I am also a Texan.
I was born in Texas and can trace my family coming to Texas in the 1850’s.
Most of my family came from the United Kingdom. The rest came from Europe.
Some have been in the United States since the early 1700’s. Some fought in the American Revolution against England.
For what I can tell, they all were “Christians” of some sort or another.

I am an Atheist.
I’ve been an Atheist since the age of six.
I have a degree in History from Texas A&M University. It is a University that is conservative. There’s nothing “liberal” about it.

In order to graduate from high school in Texas, you are required to take a government class that covers both Texas and the Federal Government.
In order to graduate from a college or university in Texas you are required to take:
Six hours of American History
Three hours of Texas government
Three hours of American Government.
So you’re looking at a total of 12 hours of American history and government.

I’ve heard many a time my fellow student whine about having to take these classes that they’ll never use.
They use them. Or should I say, they “don’t” use them every time there’s an election.
I do.

I also use them when I hear such myths as, “America was founded as a ‘Christian’ country.”
It wasn’t.
“There’s nothing in the Constitution about ‘Separation of Church and State.‘”
There isn’t.
Any reference to “religion” is in the Bill of Rights:

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So what does that mean?
It means we don’t have a “National” religion like we did when we were the colonies and part of England.
This is religion is known as “The Church of England.” King George III was the head of it. As have all Kings and Queens have been going back to Henry VIII.
Henry, if you recall, told the Catholic Church and the Pope where to go and started his own.
You see, one of the reasons the American Revolution happened was that we felt we were not being fairly treated as our fellow Englishmen were in England. That we were not being “Represented” but were still being “Taxed” as all English subjects were.
Hence, “Taxation without representation.”

Also, for well over a thousand years, Kings and Queens had used the “Church” vis-à-vis religion to enforce and validate their positions, their power, and the rule.
The Founding Father’s knew this.
And didn’t buy a word of it.

In fact George III wasn’t even English. That’s also reflected in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That’s why Arnold Schwarzenegger can’t be President.
But that’s for another time.

So when George Bush #43 say, “God wanted me to be President…” he should have been removed from office.
James Bakers law firm and a frivolous lawsuit got Bush #43 into office. Not “God.”
And how Mr. Baker was treated by Bush #43 in his second term, haunts Mr. Baker to this day.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.
What I want to talk about is the silly notion that the United States was founded as a “Christian” country.
It wasn’t.
It’s a myth being promoted by people who know nothing of the History of the United States and know even less about it’s government.
This can easily proven with a quick American History lesson.
One of the earliest issues the young country of the United States had to deal with were the Barbary Pirates. This cumulated in the Treaty of Tripoli.

Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

So even as far back as 1796, the Senate of the United States gave proof not only to the people of the United States, but the world as well, that it is NOT a “Christian” country nor was it FOUNDED as one.

So when you hear this myth being promoted, you have the ability to be a “Myth Buster” and set the record straight. And please, reference Article I of the Bill of Rights and the 1796 Treaty of Tripoli that was ratified by the United States Senate and signed by the President John Adams.

And just to tweak their noses a bit more, remind them that John Adams also signed the Declaration of Independence and therefore a Founding Father.