Conservatives Still Playing in the Planned Parenthood Sandbox

Standard

The world is in disarray; our sworn enemies are getting stronger and closer; with the release of the billion$ to Iran (after our Jihadist-in-Chief worked his magic) we are now one of the largest financiers of terrorist networks in the world and, simultaneously, we are assisting our most diabolical enemy in the creation of Nuclear warheads that will be pointed at us; our national Debt is near the breaking point; we have millions of uninvited guest living and working here and using resources that were only intended for U.S. citizens; our unemployment rate is ridiculously and dangerously high.

With all this (just the tip of the iceberg) and even more going on and threatening our existence, the so-called Conservative Republican contenders for President in 2017 are still going to extreme, nauseating lengths, planning a war with Planned Parenthood.

I agree with the basic Conservative principle of limited government, I champion a free market, I oppose excessive taxes and unnecessary regulations on business and I champion a strong national defense, but I loudly and firmly oppose any connection between organized religion and organized politics (only because there IS NO CONNECTION and there should not be one).

Mr or Ms Conservative candidate proudly proclaim, on a near-daily basis, the purely moral position that they are “pro-life.” Does that make them better at making the right political decision when the good of the country is at stake? NO, of course not! Politicians (even Conservative ones) should do their jobs and make decisions on the bases of Constitutionality and relevant law. Yes, we are all moral beings, that’s just part of our better nature and part how most of us were brought up; with ingrained rules that say this is right and that is wrong. A politician who self-identifies as either “pro-life” or “pro-choice” brings NOTHING to the table when it comes to doing the jobs they were elected to do. Yet that seems to be the primary “credential” for many of them in this (and past) election seasons.

Here’s a news flash for citizen, non-politicians who have been drinking the Religious Conservative Kool-Aid for so long that they believe that they can’t call themselves Conservative without being devoutly religious and advertising it! You’ve been duped! If you believe, as I stated above that I do, in the core Conservative values of small government, less regulation and a strong free market a strong national defense and responsible levels of taxation you ARE a Conservative. Don’t let Sean Hannity, Mark Levin or any other Conservative talker tell you otherwise because you disagree with them on the LEAST IMPORTANT issues facing America and Americans.

The Website About.com has an excellent “Overview of Political Conservatism”. What is excellent about this particular definition of Conservatism is the fact that it correctly identifies Conservatism as a two-part philosophy:

Part 1 is identified as “core tenets” of Conservatism. For me, these core tenets define what I call “Secular Conservatism. The “core tenets” of Conservatism are the basic beliefs in three principles: (from the article): “1) Economic liberty and the central role of free enterprise in American society, 2) A small, non-invasive government, (and) 3) A strong national defense focused on protection and the fight against terrorism.”

Part 2 consists of the “Ancillary Principles & Ideologies” of Conservatism. These ancillary principles are the things that Religious Conservatives see as potential threats to their religious beliefs: Attitudes about “traditional family values”, marriage, the commitment to faith and religion and the assumed right to life for still un-born potential citizens. Even the strongest Religious Conservative would have to scratch pretty hard to find an “Ancillary Conservative Principle” that will help them do the main job they were elected to do.

Nothing wrong with morality or religion, but my point is, when these things become the focal point of an elected official’s political life the importance and connotations of the words ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ as they were intended by our forefathers can become too easily lost in admonitions from bible verse. Also, when Religious Conservatism is forced down the country’s throat as the ONLY alternative to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden, it begins to ‘taste and smell’ like sour milk.

One more thing, all this ranting and raving against Planned Parenthood is based solely on some videos that were produced by a group whose primary (and perhaps ONLY) goal is to cripple Planned Parenthood. Sounds suspicious to me!

Recommended:

Washington Post: “Why the war over Planned Parenthood will hurt the GOP in 2016

A Rational Look at Abortions and Planned Parenthood

Standard

Let’s start with Planned Parenthood.

Except in the case of medical necessity, abortion is a life choice that should be made by a woman and a medical professional; not by a politician, religious official or a government agency. As a life choice, unless the mother’s life or health is endangered, the choice to abort should be paid for by the woman, not by taxpayers. How or why Planned Parenthood ever started getting paid by the feds for performing abortions is irrelevant, that funding should stop! Not all funding!

Apparently Planned Parenthood performs many helpful services for women who cannot afford testing or medication on their own, Personally I have no problem with them getting our money for that, as long as the people who use their services actually need that financial help.

Unfortunately, some people who are well off financially got that way and stay that way by cheating the system: getting charity, assistance, food stamps, tax breaks, etc. that they don’t need or deserve. Those are the people who should be ‘cut off!’

As I started out saying, I believe that abortion or no abortion is a decision that belong solely to the prospective mother. I find it bizarre  that, when the prospective mother makes the decision to terminate her pregnancy, suddenly every moralistic idiot in our society finds something to say about it.

Born or Not Born

If a woman made the decision to “have a baby”, not one of the aforementioned moralizing idiots would know about that child until it is born (born defined by Websters: “brought into life by the process of birth”) The well being of that child would be the mother’s ‘legal responsibility. It would be a life protected under our laws and our Constitution. If that child then died by normal circumstance: disease, organ failure or accident, it’s a tragedy for that mother and for that family unit. If that child died through neglect or an intentional act, the law would attempt to bring someone to justice for the act.

If a woman decides, for whatever reason, NOT to have a baby, but she is already pregnant, I believe she should have the right to terminate the pregnancy at some point before the baby is born, i.e., “brought into life . . .”. That decision does not give anyone else a moral responsibility for that baby’s life. That decision does NOT make a woman’s baby public property — that decision does not suddenly make that baby EVERYONE’S child, everyone’s concern or everyone’s problem. The unborn baby is still inside the mother, still feeding on her nourishment, still requiring her blood and respiration. To assume, at that point, that ANYONE but the mother has ANY moral claim to that unborn baby’s existence is completely illogical as well as morally absurd.

The social rules were made centuries ago: women have children or do not have children the circumstances of either case should not be open to discussion or governed by anyone’s moral code, except for the woman’s and, in most cases, the biological father’s.

Planned Parenthood Selling Baby Parts??

(Selling Baby Parts: That’s what Planned Parenthood”s opponents call it because they want the public suitably shocked!)

Having watched some of the videos that have come out it seems that some of Planned Parenthood’s activities may border on illegality, if that is the case, the people who are acting illegally should be brought to justice, like every else who breaks the law. That may justify a federal government supervised reorganization, (since they are using tax money), but as usual the moralizers want to whip everyone into a frenzy and will continue to pretend that totally de-funding the organization is the only option.

Shutting down Planned Parenthood is a poor option. Their mission statement emphasizes reproductive health and education as well as abortions, unless you are ready to assume that Planned Parenthood does NO GOOD for the community, there is no reason to judge it based only on their ability to perform safe, legal abortions or based on someone’s self-righteous opposition to abortion.

Political Identity: Secular-Conservative

Standard

I used to have an internal debate going over my political identity. I’ve self-identified at times as a Republican, a Conservative,  a Libertarian and an Independent. I’ve come to the conclusion that, if I was forced to decide on an an official title it would probably be none of those, it would be hyphenated: Secular-Conservative really fits me. I agree with the basic Conservative principle of limited government, I champion a free market, I oppose excessive taxes and unnecessary regulations on business and champion a strong national defense, but I loudly and firmly oppose any connection between organized religion and organized politics (only because there IS NO CONNECTION and there should not be one).

Mr or Ms Conservative candidate proudly procaim, on a near-daily basis, the purely religious position that they are “pro-life.” Does that make them better at making the right political decision when their political decision is required. NO, of course not. Politicians (even Conservative ones) do their jobs and make decisions on the bases of Constitutionality and relevant law. Yes  we are all moral beings, that’s just part of our better nature and part how most of us were brought up; with ingrained rules that say this is right and that is wrong. A politician who self-identifies in their private life as either “pro-life” or “pro-choice” brings NOTHING to the table when it comes to doing the jobs they were elected to do. Yet that seems to be the primary “credential” for many of them in an election season.

Here’s a news flash for citizen non-politicians who have been drinking the Religious Conservative Kool-Aid for so long that they believe that they can’t call themselves Conservative without being devoutly religious and advertising it! You’ve been duped! If you believe, as I stated above that I do, in the core Conservative values of small government, less regulation and a strong free market a strong national defense and responsible levels of taxation you ARE a Conservative. Don’t let Sean Hannity, Mark Levin or any other Conservative talker tell you otherwise.

The Website About.com has an excellent “Overview of Political Conservatism“.  What is excellent about this particular definition of Conservatism is the fact that it correctly identifies Conservatism as a two-part philosophy:

Part 1 is identified as “core tenets” of Conservatism. To me, these core tenets define what I call “Secular Conservatism. The “core tenets” of Conservatism are the basic beliefs in three principles: (from the article): “1) Economic liberty and the central role of free enterprise in American society, 2) A small, non-invasive government, (and) 3) A strong national defense focused on protection and the fight against terrorism.”

Part 2 is the “Ancillary Principles & Ideologies” of Conservatism. These ancillary principles are the things that only threaten Christian Culture: Attitudes about “traditional family values”, marriage, the commitment to faith and religion and the assumed right to life for still un-born potential citizens. Even the strongest Religious Conservative would have to scratch pretty hard to find an “Ancillary Conservative Principle” that will help them do the job they were elected to do.

When you think about it, vocalizing their pro-life stance is just a way to coerce votes from the minority of religious people who have long since substituted religious texts for the U.S. Constitution and relevant law. Even the majority of the religious community must understand that the word “Religious” before the word “Conservative” is a ploy.

The Case Against Social Conservatism

Standard

crossroads

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
— Albert Einstein

Once again, the Republicans in the House of Representatives have allowed Social Conservatives to shoved aside the issues that are important to normal voting Americans in favor of a Social Conservative moral message. They have created another abortion bill; this one would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Will they never learn?

Alright so Kermit Gosnell was a real piece of human excrement, we have laws that will take care of him, we don’t need grandstanders like Trent Franks (R-Az) to turn it into a ‘federal case’ for his personal satisfaction or for political gain.

Normal Americans (and yes! The implication is that Social Conservatives do not behave like normal people, they have taken the role of moral arbiters) don’t want Washington ‘evangelists’ controlling, or even attempting to control their lives — especially their intimate personal lives. Who they sleep with, who they marry, if and when they decide to have a baby or terminate a pregnancy: these are questions that can not be and should not be answered by the Federal government. These are personal situations that DON’T require Federal government (or any government’s) oversight. A person’s behavior, as long as it is not illegal, should always be protected by the government NOT controlled by the government.

Social Conservatives always preach about limited government and individual freedom and then do what they can to inject the government into our personal lives and limit our freedom until it conforms to THEIR values. They helped the Republican party “shoot itself in the foot” in 2012 by doing that and they seem determined to do it to us again in 2014 and 2016. What a price we paid!

Republicans (who ALMOST ALL call themselves Conservatives now-a-days) went down to defeat in the last presidential election at least partially because the Republican electorate saw religious loons like Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachman threatening to take the lead in the Republican race, so they rushed to Mitt “Milktoast” Romney’s side and, in the end, were defeated not just by the Democrats but by potential Republican voters who felt that they couldn’t trust or even endure four years of ‘Mr. Nice Guy,’ so they stayed at home on election day.

Lets not do that again! If Social Conservatives really care about limited government and personal freedom they should start acting like it. Our next Republican platform should contain NO moral manifestos. No one needs to know how Social Conservatives feel about their personal behaviors and certainly no one has any reason to care. We have hundreds of thousands of pages of LAW ‘on the books’ that has been meticulously worded, thoroughly vetted, tried and tested. We certainly don’t need religious preference and modern interpretations of ancient manuscripts (which, when it comes down to it is all the Social Conservatives have to offer) added to our civil laws.

To be clear, I am not criticizing what “believers” believe (unless they are terrorists) or how they apply those beliefs to their PERSONAL lives; what I am criticizing is their childish and boorish behaviors when it comes to what others believe or don’t believe. Election to public office is not an invitation to run everyone else’s lives, it is a mandate to responsibly run a branch or office of government to the benefit of ALL Americans.

REFERENCE:

Washington Post Blogs: The House abortion bill likely won’t make it into law. But it still matters.

WHY?

Standard

An article published in the University of Wisconsin student newspaper “The Badger Herald” is headlined: “Paul Ryan: GOP must stay strong against abortion”.

In response to that, this blog post is simply titled: “WHY?

To begin with, the Badger article illuminates the immature logic of the anti-abortion crowd with statements like Paul Ryan’s statement: “pro-life advocates need to win over pro-choice supporters and key legislators by finding common areas where they can both agree.”

It is absolutely laughable to suggest that there is room for compromise on either side. Pro-choice supporters stand under one banner, the one that reads: “abortion is a choice that must be freely made ONLY by the woman who is carrying the unborn baby.” Pro-Life supporters, on the other hand, stand under the banner that reads: “The choice to give birth should NOT rest in the hands of the woman who is carrying the unborn baby. She has no choice!” The pro-life stance not only does not make sense, it ignores the fact that this is America and not a dictatorship or a theocracy. We have free choice, especially when it comes to our own bodies. Granted we are rapidly loosing that free choice thanks to the current crop of numskulls who daily gamble our futures in Washington D.C., but we must cling to the hope that that will change for the better.

Intelligent people understand that most people were brought up under the influence of a religion, that religions tend to be very dictatorial and religions tend to ‘forbid’ certain things. Some people however grow up and realize that free-choice in America also means freedom from religious dictates. Others refuse to embrace the free choice granted to them by the Constitution and would rather have the church make their difficult life decisions. Neither way is wrong! Everyone needs to make their own choices, but the fact is, ‘one size fits all’ only works in the garment industry and never works for people with free minds who would rather make their own life decisions.

I guess if Paul Ryan were to be totally honest (not that a politician can afford to be totally honest if he or she wants to keep his or her job) his answer to my “WHY?” would be simply ‘because I believe abortion is wrong’. To be totally honest, he would have to admit that his religious upbringing has made it impossible for him to think for himself about this (or possibly about many of life’s other difficult issues).

It would be a gargantuan task to convince people in Federal office that no one voted to put the fate of the human race in THEIR hands, we voted to put the security and sovereignty of the United States in their hands. It would be a gargantuan task but well worth the effort.

If any intelligent person is looking for moral guidance, moral clarity or a moral authority, I truly believe that the LAST place they will look is in the halls of Congress.

The Annual Christmas Brawl

Standard

An Examiner.com article published Wednesday titled: Bill O’Reilly tells David Silverman: Christianity is not a religion is kind of a centerpiece for the annual Christian/Atheist media cage match.

As usual, there are atheists screaming that by making Christmas a National Holiday the government is “establishing” Christianity as our National Religion. The First Amendment to our Constitution expressly prohibits “the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion” but there is a great and continuing debate over the exact meaning of that particular phrase.

If it means, as the atheists claim, that the United States is prohibited from adopting an existing religion as a de facto national religion, the atheists are right. Hasn’t Christianity become our, at least unofficial, National Religion?

If, however, that phrase in the First Amendment is taken literally, i.e., the United States Congress cannot draft and pass a law that makes Christianity (or any other religion) the official religion of the United States, the atheists are wrong. There has been is no such law passed by Congress.

According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 78.4% of all adults in the United States claim Christianity as their basic faith. I’d say that’s a majority and in a Democracy, the majority rules. No, that’s not just a trite phrase, in the United States that phrase means something — it is the basis of our entire election system. So if the Pew Forum results are accurate, one would have to assume that a national election on the question “If we adopt a National Religion which religion should be our National Religion”; it’s pretty certain that Christianity would win. Something like that is, of course, what the atheists may ultimately fear but it’s safe to say it will never happen.

That said, the atheists should not worry about national holidays and start concerning themselves with the influence of religion on the United States Congress. There are continuing pressures by Congress to ban abortion and gay marriage. These pressures are not brought about by Constitutional issues, they are clearly initiated by Senators and Representatives who are misusing their powers by allowing their own religious beliefs to interfere with their sworn oaths to “support the Constitution of the United States.” The Constitution does not suggest discrimination against same-gender marriages nor does allow the government to interfere with a doctor/patient decision to abort. Those are both religious prohibitions, so while the majority may not be protesting against the Christmas Holiday it certainly should be protesting Congressional Misfeasance; and the American Atheists, or a similar group, should be leading that charge.

Back to Bill O’Reilly

During his latest debate with David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, Bill O’Reilly made the incredible statement (incredible for a person who flaunts his Christian faith and believes in the power of words) that “Christianity is not a religion but merely a philosophy.” The ‘word-meister’ O’Reilly apparently made a misstatement and he will either admit that and correct it on his TV show or he will discredit himself further by arguing that he was right.

Every dictionary definition of Christianity, including the the Catholic Encyclopedia, defines Christianity as a religion, i.e., “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies.”

Pessimism on the National and International Fronts

Standard

The national and world “News” during this past two weeks can be summed up in a couple compound sentences:

The Republicans lost and are trying to justify it while the Obama administration sees their win as a mandate to complete the economic devastation they began during their first four years.

The Israelis are defending themselves against an Arab world that continues to deny their right to defend themselves (or even their right to exist) and Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons while the world is distracted by this Israel/Palestine conflict.

I’m not a prophet but I don’t have to be to see that the United States and the world are in very bad shape today and it will get much worse.

Obama may find a way to ‘bridge’ the “fiscal cliff” for a year or two but it eventually must be dealt with and the most expedient way to do that is to drastically reduce the reach and size of the Federal Government. Can you see that happening during a second Obama administration? I certainly can’t!

On the international front, I’ve implied here that the war Palestine started with Israel is just a planned distraction that is being financed by Iran to take the world’s attention away from their nuclear ambitions. That is admittedly just an assumption but it seems to be working that way. Of course, on a positive note, the Israelis are smart and they still may be keeping a close eye on Iran; the negative aspect however can’t be dismissed by sheer optimism. This ever escalating border conflict is certainly sapping Israeli resources and in the end all they can hope to depend on is aide and support from their ally but . . . since that ally is the ‘United States of Obama’, they might be out of luck.

My parents never taught me the rule about not saying anything if you don’t have anything good to say — I think I learned that from a Salvation Army Major at a bus stop. I do, however, like to be optimistic when there is justification (or at least room for wishful thinking) so let me end with some hopeful optimism on the domestic front.

The Republican party is engaged in a post-election civil war of sorts right now and I hope that by the 2014 midterms they will have arrived at several basic understandings:

1) The truth, when spoken by an unlikable person, might as well not be spoken.

2) The Bible is a religious document and not a set of societal rules in a Democracy. A “Christian” legislator is not only working for other Christians, he/she is working for ALL his/her constituents; which leads to understandings 3 and 4:

3) Republicans appeared (and, in fact were) hypocritical by denouncing Obamacare for allowing the government to get between a person and his/her doctor while advocating interference between a pregnant woman and her doctor.

4) The LGBT community has as many rights under the Constitution as the Catholic Church.

I have been preaching this common sense stuff since 2006 when I began this blog and still, 323 posts later, I haven’t found any reason to significantly change my views.